Here are 483 retirement messages from some of your colleagues:
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Warm best wishes from Ruth and me to one of psychology's finest statespersons with his scientific knowledge, erudition, and genuine love of people. You introduced psychology to millions of our citizens using down to earth language and concepts that brought a needed vitality to our discipline. And your research, scientific and lay writings leave an equally rich legacy.
I shall long treasure your warm and genuinely affectionate embraces whenever and wherever we met.
Oregon Health Sciences University
You have meant so much to me as a professional and as a colleague. I have used your materials for over 30 years. Now as an author of the AP guide for the Psychology and Life text, I am still awe-struck that I know you!
A few years ago we met, and I am honored that I can call you a friend. You even wrote a letter of recommendation for me this past year for the Moffitt Award when I know you had so many more important things to do. Saying thank you is simply not enough.
In Toronto, when I saw you one night, you were leaving the hotel -- always in a rush! -- with one arm in a sling and the other using the cane. Two days later, I went to see you speak. You came walking towards me, and I asked, "How are you?" You replied, "I hurt all over," yet, being the proud person you are, you walked as well as you could, carried as much as you could, and you were Phil Zimbardo!
I always admired your professional work and dedication for the little people in psychology -- like me. You inspired me, you taught me to be a better teacher, you taught me to respect the material, and, most of all, to respect my profession.
You'll never know how many students, teachers, and psychologists have been touched by you and your work. For people in my generation, you are a giant in the field of psychology.
Best as always...
Carl Sandburg High School
Congratulations on your wonderful career and best wishes on your next one! To the most gracious man I know -- I want to be just like you when I grow up!!
Thanks for showing us that scientific psychology can also be FUN !
Northern Kentucky University
Thanks for your creativity, inspiration, industry, and support. A privilege to have worked with you.
University of East London
Dear Dr. Zimbardo....
I come from the streets of New York too. Born in Brooklyn, I've spent my career teaching psychology in the Bronx.
It was sometimes a tough sell to kids who, like myself, grew up fighting to survive, let alone prosper. But I did it, finished my degrees in history and went into the classroom to say that there was more to life than brawling to assuage wounded egos. Psychology came later to me, but once invested I gave it my complete devotion. By example I taught my students that street and book smarts were not mutually exclusive.
Yet all this was not enough. You, friend, were the last ingredient in the recipe that steeped success in my classes. I never tired of showing your face or reading from your texts and each time reminded my students that you were raised on the same mean streets from which they came. You were a Bronx boy made good -- very, very good. You were a role model as powerful, more powerful, than myself and I thank you. Together we have brought psychology and the discipline and diligence of study to many who without us may have chosen darkness.
I am proud to report that my pupils, young adults from all the ethnic and racial backgrounds that make a city like New York great, have learned to love psychology. They have also loved to learn its messages, have scored well on the Advanced Placement exam, and in many cases have gone on to major in psychology in college. They are as I write making their careers, careers that without you may not have seemed possible. They came to know you without ever meeting you, eventually embraced you as one of their own, and used you as a yardstick against which to measure their own efforts and performances. You have given us much even though you may not have known it, and I wanted to use this opportunity to make sure that you knew it.
Thanks again. You have touched the lives of many. You are a teacher, and there is no profession more noble nor any practitioner more worthy of praise. I salute you and wish you a splendid retirement filled with love and joy.
Lehman High School, Bronx, NY
Phil, congratulations on a fabulous career and all your contributions to our field. You may remember your visits to Texas Tech, but you probably don't recall my first contact with you by mail during the height of Watergate. I had requested a copy of the tape recorded persuasive messages you had used in distraction-persuasion research. Shortly, a tape arrived with a nice note! Unfortunately it was, outdoing even the then-famous 18 minute gap in the Nixon tapes, a total blank. Thanks for the tape, your delightful wit in the exchange that followed, the replacement tapes you sent, and for all the excitement for psychology that you inspired over the years.
Texas Tech University
We've never met and probably never will, though we live in the same area. But I thank you for your profound influence on psychology and for your modeling of the "compassionate scientist."
Enjoy your retirement!
California Institute of Integral Studies
Phil, you and I have never met, but of course I know your work, and you probably know some of mine (e.g., in the time area).
This note is to wish you well on your retirement. I hope you have as much fun in your retirement as I have had in mine.
University of Illinois, Urbana
The scariest thought on this Halloween would be that Phil Z. is retiring from work, but fear no evil: Toussaint follows and Phil will continue to guide us wearing a new hat.
William J. McGuire
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