Here are 483 retirement messages from some of your colleagues:

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Your long and distinguished career, including your ability to address difficult and complex topics in ways the public can understand, constitutes a significant asset to 20th (and 21st!) century psychology.

Best wishes,

Gerry Koocher
Simmons College and APA Board of Directors
United States

Dear Phil,

When WGBH TV first went on the road to find the premier master teacher for introductory psychology, it became clear very quickly that you were on the top five list. We then spent a good deal of time seeing and hearing professors teach, and thinking about who would translate best to television in order for us to make something of unassailably powerful and lasting value in the field. At that point you helped us along by providing us with a letter telling us why you were the best professor for the job. I still have that letter in my files. And you know, you were right on all counts.

Thank you, Phil, for a wonderful working experience, and for what you have made possible for us to bring to the field of psychology. You have the kind of insight, energy and charisma that truly makes you THE master teacher for psychology. All of us at WGBH send you our very best wishes as you move into this new phase of experiences. I won't call it retirement because I don't for a minute think you will retire -- just refocus in new and exciting ways.

Michele Korf
WGBH Educational Foundation
United States

Dear Phil:

Thanks again for letting John Gray and me crash your party to celebrate the publication of Psychology and Life.

When I was a student, you were "larger than life"... and you still are!

With warm wishes,


Stephen Kosslyn
Harvard University
United States

Congratulations on your retirement. What a career you have had. I hope I can make even a small portion of the mark you have made on the field.

Robin Kowalski
Clemson University
United States

Dear Dr. Zimbardo,

I would like to thank you for inspiring me and so many of my students over the years with your video series and textbooks.

In 2001 my Psychology Club designed a t-shirt with your face on it -- over 70 shirts are running around with you on it! If you are ever in Beloit, Wisconsin, please stop in!

Best wishes in your retirement!

Cindy Kremer
Beloit Memorial High School
United States

Dear Phil,

It was a pleasure to get to know you through APA Council during your Presidential term. On behalf of myself and the Dance Caucus, I would like to thank you for your support of healthy balance during our long work days.

I wish you happiness, health, and fulfillment during this next adventure in your life.

Loretta Kroin
CHOICES: Psychology Consultation Center
United States

Phil: I can't imagine social psychology without you energetically at the center of it, doing important research and synthesizing the findings of others into story lines that help us all move the field forward. So please take retirement as your opportunity to do more, not less, of this great stuff for us all. Hope it's a wonderful transition for you (and one that keeps you on campus just as much).

All the best!

Jon Krosnick
Stanford University
United States

Dear Phil,

Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for all that you contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of psychology. Your attitude, approach, and zest are inspirational. It was an honor to get to spend an afternoon with you, even in the strip mall Starbucks of Encino!

Thanks for sharing your work and your humor and your self with me and my graduate students! I look forward to visiting more in the future!!


Jody Kussin
Phillips Graduate Institute
United States

I first heard of Philip Zimbardo in August 1971 from one of my housemates, Clay, AKA prisoner #416. With the newspapers being full of San Quentin and Attica, I was impressed that there was at least one psychologist at Stanford who studied "what's happening."

Almost a decade later, as a doctoral student in psychophysiology studying cognizant or "lucid" dreaming, I took Dr. Zimbardo's course on hypnosis, and discovered an inspiring teacher.

In the dozen years we have worked together, on projects ranging from hypnotic amnesia, to objective measures of imagery, dreaming consciousness, and character change blindness, I have found Phil compassionate, patient, funny, and insightful: an altogether exceptional friend and colleague.

Phil simply doesn't fit the standard categories. Yes, he is a very social psychologist, but he's much more: a sort of "Renaissance man" and in the end, a complete human being. A few weeks ago, at the scene of the notorious 1971 study, I asked Phil, in mock-documentary style, "Tell me, Dr. Zimbardo, how did you escape from the Stanford Prison Study?" With a smile he replied, "I disguised myself as a psychology professor."


Stephen LaBerge
Stanford University
United States

Dear Dr. Zimbardo-

Although I have never met you, I am familiar with your research through my own studies of social psychology and from Craig Haney at UCSC, where I received my BA. Even though I teach in the area of community psychology, I find that I talk about your research in every class, every semester. I wanted to let you know this so that you would have an idea of how far-reaching your influence has been. I'm certain that based on your work, there are many of us who have come to ask new questions to ourselves and our society.

Best wishes for you in your retirement.

Gina Langhout
Wesleyan University
United States

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