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The Emeriti/ae Council

With the support of University leadership, the Emeriti/ae Council is a representative group of 15 emeriti/ae faculty and staff from across the university that supports the emeriti community, reflecting emeriti interests and concerns, communicating with relevant University officers, and encouraging emeriti 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 emeriti/ae 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).

The 2020 -2021 Council Members: 

Iris Litt (Chair), David Abernethy, Sandy Fetter, Chuck Holloway, Roberta Katz, Mike Kirst, Ray Levitt,  Michele Marincovich, John Rickford, Susan Schofield, and George Springer. 

Upcoming Virtual Events  

In light of concerns regarding COVID-19 and new University guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus, the Fall events will be hosted via Zoom. 

David B. Abernethy Emeriti/ae Lectures: Autobiographical Reflections
Continuing our 15-year series of quarterly Emeriti/ae Lectures, James Gibbons, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, will speak (via Zoom webinar) on Thursday, October 8, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. (Zoom link will be provided a few days before the event.) 

Professor Gibbons received his BSEE degree at Northwestern University in 1953 and his PhD from Stanford in 1956. He joined the Stanford faculty as an assistant professor in 1957, becoming professor of electrical engineering in 1964, and he served as Dean of the School of Engineering from 1984 to 1996. He built Stanford's first solid-state semiconductor processing laboratory in 1958 and was instrumental in creating Stanford's Center for Integrated Systems (CIS) in 1980.  Professor Gibbons’ research interests are in semiconductor device design, process physics, and technology.  He and his graduate students have developed two technologies that are foundational for semiconductor processing worldwide.  A member of several national and international academies, he has won numerous awards including the IEEE Founders Medal “for leadership in engineering research, education, and administration, and for fostering relationships between academia and industry.”  He has served on a number of boards, and on committees reporting to the President’s Science Advisor in the Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton administrations. 

Professor Gibbons’ lecture is entitled “Tutored Video Instruction Before and After Zoom.”  He invented the TVI process while serving on President Nixon’s Science Advisory Council in 1972.  It was designed as an alternative to traditional televised instruction and was initially used to teach graduate level courses in Electrical Engineering to off-campus audiences.  Success in that application led to its use in a number of different environments, each of which has features specific to that setting. Using TVI to teach emotional skills to youth in a variety of school and juvenile justice settings across the country provides an example of how the process is shaped for each application.  Now that schools from kindergarten through college are experimenting, of necessity, with “virtual education,” Professor Gibbons’ personal story is especially timely and relevant.

Longevity Series
In our other series, co-sponsored with the Stanford Center on Longevity, we are pleased to announce that Philip Pizzo, M.D., who spoke to us last April on the pandemic, has agreed to speak to emeriti/ae again byZoom webinar on Monday, November 2, at 3:00 pm, providing an update on COVID-19 and what we have learned/still need to learn with particular reference to those in our age group.
(Zoom link will be provided a few days before the event.)

Dr. Pizzo, you will recall, is the immediate past dean of the Stanford School of Medicine and the founding director of Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute. He has four decades of research and clinical leadership in the field of infectious diseases. Since Dr. Pizzo is eager to gear his remarks to our interests, you are welcome to submit questions in advance by emailing his assistant, Tamara Cogan:, using the subject line “Emeriti/ae Presentation Nov. 2.” Participants will also have a chance to ask questions live at the end of the webinar.

Please contact us at if you have questions. Stanford is providing updates on the overall campus situation at the Health Alerts website.

Past Lectures  

The David B. Abernethy Emeriti Lectures: Autobiographical Reflections is a series in which retired professors speak about their lives, careers, post-retirement experiences and perspectives. The collection of 39 lectures is available on the web through Stanford Apple Podcasts at Emeriti Council Autobiographical Reflections

Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Lecture entitled “A Fortunate Life,” David Abernethy, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Lecture by Albert Camarillo, Professor of History, Emeritus  

Monday, January 28, 2019. Lecture by Lee Shulman, Professor of Education, Emeritus  

Thursday, November 8, 2018. Lecture by Irv Weissman, Professor of Pathology, Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, Professor of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, Biology 

Thursday, April 12, 2018. Lecture by Ewart Thomas, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences 

Contact Information

The Council receives administrative support from the Office of Faculty Development. For more information, please call 650-736-0384 or email

Other Resources