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The Stanford Emeriti/ae Council

With the support of University leadership, the Emeriti/ae Council is a representative group of up to 16 emeriti/ae faculty and staff from across the university that supports the emeriti/ae community, reflecting emeriti/ae interests and concerns, communicating with relevant University officers, and encouraging emeriti/ae to support the University in a variety of ways. A Council member serves ex-officio on the university's Faculty Senate. In addition to start-of-year and year-end receptions, emeriti/ae and spouses or partners are invited to attend three "Autobiographical Reflections" lectures by distinguished retired professors during the academic year, as well as presentations co-sponsored with the Stanford Center on Longevity on topics of special interest to seniors. David Abernethy (Political Science) was the long-time chair of the Emeriti/ae Council; the current chair is Iris Litt (Pediatrics).

Council Members as of January 2024: 

Iris Litt (Chair), David Abernethy, Sarah Donaldson, Margaret Ann Fidler, Curt Frank, Bill Gould, Pat Jones, Roberta Katz, Mike Kirst, David Kreps, Michele Marincovich, Pamela Matson, Ellen Porzig, John R. Rickford, Cecilia Ridgeway and Susan Schofield.

David B. Abernethy Emeriti/ae Lecture Series 

The David B. Abernethy Emeriti/ae Lectures: Autobiographical Reflections is a series begun in 2005 in which distinguished retired professors speak about their lives, careers, inspirations, and post-retirement experiences and perspectives. The growing collection of more than 40 lectures is available on the web through Stanford Apple Podcasts at Emeriti/ae Council Autobiographical Reflections

2023/24 Lectures 

Hosted at The Stanford Faculty Club, Cedar Room from 4 - 6 PM 

  • November 15, 2023. Lecture by Michael Wald, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, Emeritus, entitled "The Power of Social Context: Pipelines to the Top and Bottom"
  • February 28, 2024. Lecture by Myra Strober, Professor Emerita at The Stanford Graduate School of Education, entitled "Ninety Men and Me — Some Autobiographical Reflections"
  • May 15, 2024. Lecture by John R. Rickford, J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, entitled “Speaking My Soul:  Race, Life and Language”

Recent Past Lectures

  • April 19, 2023.  Lecture by Ann Arvin, Lucile Salter Packard Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Emerita, entitled "Autobiographical Reflections."
  • February 15, 2023. Lecture by Paul Yock, Weiland Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine, Emeritus, entitled "Tales of a Medical Gizmologist."
  • November 15, 2022. Lecture by Clayborne Carson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History, Emeritus, entitled "Where Do We Go from Here? Martin Luther King Jr.’s Still Unanswered Question for the World"
  • April 20, 2022. Lecture by William Durham, Bing Professor in Human Biology, Emeritus, entitled "Surprising Implications of Evolution."  
  • February 16, 2022. Lecture by Lubert Stryer, Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor of Cell Biology, Emeritus, entitled "Light and Life." 
  • November 17, 2021. Lecture by Jerry M. Harris, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, entitled "My Mississippi." 

Listen to all previous episodes of our podcast

Longevity Series

This series is co-sponsored with the Stanford Center on Longevity and addresses topics of particular interest to seniors in the Stanford community.

2023/24 Presentations

  • Thursday, October 23, 2023. President Richard Saller in a presentation and Q&A with the Emeriti/ae Community 
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Dr. Anne L. Friedlander on the topic of “Physical Activity for Longevity: Needs and Recommendations for Later in Life.”  Resources are available upon request by contacting
  • Date TBD. "Aging-in-Place: Reflections and Resources."  

Recent Past Presentations

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2023, “Where to Live in Retirement: Some Options,” a panel moderated by Professor Emeritus Mike Kirst consisting of emeriti/ae faculty panelists Stanley Peters, Dick Scott, Phil Sunshine, and Nancy Tuma, with comments by Margaret Ann Fidler. A document containing informative handouts is linked below.  
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2023. "Advances in Understanding Attention and Memory" by Professor Emerit Michael Posner of the University of Oregon, Zoom at 4 PM.
  • Monday, December 5, 2022. “Young Blood for Old Brains” by Professor Tony Wyss-Coray, Zoom at 4 PM. 
  • May 23, 2022. “Navigating 21st Century Lives.” Zoom presentation by Laura Carstensen, Professor of Psychology, Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor in Public Policy, and founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.
  • March 17, 2022. "Balanced Living: The Key to Fall Prevention." Zoom presentation by Dr. Deborah Kado, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Geriatric Research. 


Contact Information

The Council receives administrative support from the Provost's Office of Faculty Development, Diversity and Engagement. For more information, please call (650) 736-0384 or email

Other Resources