Here are 483 retirement messages from some of your colleagues:

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Congratulations Phil:

Many good wishes to you on your retirement...although I think that I’m part of a chorus of folks who just cannot imagine YOU in retirement.

I am so glad that our paths crossed when you were President-elect of APA and I was President of Division 42 [Psychologists in Independent Practice]. We were able to cross the great divide and work together, scientist/academician and practitioner, to create a wonderful contribution to the public understanding of shyness, "Painful Shyness in Children and Adults."

I wish you well on the next chapters of your life and your contributions to the world.

With Warm Affection,

Elaine Rodino
Independent Practice
United States

Thank you for your many wonderful contributions to our field. I can't imagine teaching intro psych or intro social psych lectures without reference to your research or presentation of your film clips.

Neal Roese
University of Illinois
United States


I suspect the word retirement will be a misnomer in your case. It will merely mean working on your schedule, not someone else's. Thank you for the opportunity of meeting you as part of your presentation at the Bridging the Gaps conference in Washington, D.C.

I look forward to continued collaboration in helping the world understand the social psychology of disability.


Dan Rohe
Past President, Division of Rehabilitation Psychology
United States

Dear Phil,

I want to join the chorus of many, many others who thank you for your tremendous contributions to psychology and your leadership and vision in advancing the field.

On a more personal note, though, I would like to thank you for inspiring me to become a psychologist. I took your course on Introductory Psychology many years ago at Stanford. (Could 30+ years truly have flown by so quickly?!) Needless to say, you were a captivating and inspiring instructor, and I found myself recounting the details of your lectures to my friends in the dorms on a regular basis and being absolutely seduced by the excitement of this new discipline I was discovering.

I don't know whether you recall this, but on more than one occasion you lectured well beyond the scheduled end of the class -- sometimes by as much as 30 minutes. Remarkably, not a single student out of a class of over 250 left, preferring to remain with you to wrestle with the challenging issues you presented to us. Relatively few of us, I suspect, have been so successful in kindling this kind of fascination in our students. I was a history major at the time, taking courses from brilliant historians. I hope you will take this as the tribute I intend when I say that your 10-week course lured me into the field of psychology and, from there, into a different life path. I have never looked back, and I consider myself so fortunate to have discovered psychology with you as my guide.

I have other fond memories as well (bicycling to the post office in my senior year to mail out videotapes of the Stanford Prison Experiment, when it was just becoming known; acting the role of a study participant in a film about one of your studies being made by a very lively Italian film crew; and more). As I congratulate you on your retirement, it is with great appreciation both for these happy memories from my college days and for the very happy turn that my life took when, thanks to you, I discovered psychology.

I hope the coming years bring you much happiness and new adventures, and I thank you, again, for touching my life so profoundly over three decades ago.

With deepest affection and admiration,

Karen Rook
University of California, Irvine
United States

Warmest regards and best wishes on your retirement, Phil.

Ralph Rosnow
United States

The Presidential Citation you presented to me on my own retirement in 2002 eased my path. I wish I were in a position to issue a similar commendation to you, for you have been a marvelous APA President.

Congratulations on this next step in your life.


Donald K. Routh
University of Miami
United States

Dearest Zim:

Congratulations on your retirement. I see lots of consulting in your future. Hope to see you in DC soon.

Enjoy this wonderful webbed surprise.

Jasmin Ruback
DDI, Inc.
United States

Dan: In April 1989 I traveled to the WPA in Reno to present a paper on the economics of creativity; my wife, Ellen, came along for fun. Reviewing the conference program I saw that Phil would be previewing a new film about the Stanford Prison Study. As an alumnus of Phil’s Psych 1 class (early 1970s), I suggested she make time to attend what would certainly be an exciting presentation, and as part of the sales pitch described to her several of his notable studies in social psychology.

Ellen: I was in the casino gambling at the quarter slot machines with a girlfriend. Before pulling the slot machine lever I rubbed my fingers around an ivory talisman I wore around my neck. The $5 in quarters I started with an hour before had grown to $45. I was winning. Suddenly I became aware of a small group of slightly inebriated people, decked out in suits, ties, and fancy dresses, surrounding me. An older distinguished gentleman came forward and introduced himself; I had never heard of him. He explained that he and his colleagues were psychologists attending a conference, and they wanted to know why I gambled. He then introduced me -- with some sarcasm in his voice -- to the famous Dr. Philip Zimbardo.

“Phil Zimbardo,” I said. “The Stanford prison study, the…” As I rattled off the list of research studies previously described by Dan, Phil took me in his arms and kissed me.

Dan: The next day I walked into the hotel elevator, and by coincidence there was Phil. I introduced myself as a long-ago former student, and added that he had met my wife the night before. Phil lit up and walked out of the elevator with me to tell the rest of the story.

He’d been dining with a group of past WPA presidents, the wine was flowing freely, and one of them was teasing Phil, claiming that despite the books and TV series he’s not really that well known. To prove the point, they decided to approach a “bimbo at random” in the casino and watch Phil’s ego deflate as she failed to recognize his name. I guess they picked the wrong one.

Dan Rubenson
Economics Department, Southern Oregon University
United States

You don't know me, but between your classic research, your sophisticated videos, your advice to play music in the classroom, and your indoctrination of Allen Funt as an honorary social psychologist, I owe you an enormous debt. You are virtually the Face and Voice of social psychology for my undergraduate students. On behalf of them, as well as myself, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wit, style, brains, and generosity. I can only hope you get bored with retirement and come back to the fold soon.

Laurie Rudman
Rutgers University
United States

Wow -- retirement??!!!

THANKS for years of contributing to my students on the Psych Tour.

Whatever your retirement activities, may they be enjoyable and profitable.

Mike Rulon
Covenant College-Psych Tour
United States

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