Main content
Emeritus College celebrates Emory faculty retiring in 2022-23

Unlike the nine Emory colleges and schools that admit students, Emeritus College doesn’t require faculty to teach, research and serve on committees — but they can if they want to. Emeritus College, Emory’s official organization for retired faculty, serves precisely those needs by keeping its members engaged in the social and intellectual life of the university.

On June 2, Emeritus College hosted its first university-wide celebration of faculty reaching retirement over the previous year. Honoring decades’ worth of commitment, achievement and collegiality, the event brought together new and existing retirees, their spouses and partners, and university leadership to welcome faculty to this new community and familiarize the recently retired with a new set of colleagues and all that Emeritus College has to offer.

“It was an honor to celebrate the retirement of 73 faculty members who have contributed so much to Emory through their scholarship, teaching, leadership and service. It’s amazing that we have an Emeritus College that provides opportunities for engagement and community for our retired faculty,” says Pearl Dowe, vice provost for faculty affairs, who spoke at the hybrid event.

The celebration was organized by Ann E. Rogers, who took on the role of Emeritus College director in June 2021. She drew inspiration from her experiences of the rich relationships and learning opportunities within Emeritus College as well as a similar event held by an emeritus faculty organization at the University of Pennsylvania. 

“Emeritus College offers retired faculty the chance to get to know colleagues from across the university,” says Rogers, who also serves as a professor in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Similarly, “Cross-disciplinary learning opportunities allow scientists like me to learn more about the humanities.”

Emeritus College was established in 2001 to advance the intellectual and creative interests of active faculty members approaching retirement and those already retired. The college was the brainchild of Eugene Bianchi and John Bugge, former professors in the Department of Religion and the Department of English, respectively, as well as Emory’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Informed by the work of organizations for retired faculty at institutions across the country, the Emory team sought to burnish the relationship between the university and its retired faculty. 

Many faculty first encounter Emeritus College through the retirement planning resources it offers. Popular seminars, to which all Emory faculty age 55 and over are invited, focus on developing financial and health care plans for retirement. Already retired faculty are available to serve as retirement mentors and guide faculty through the process.

From these introductions to retirement, faculty begin their engagement with Emeritus College, which takes much of its shape — if not its intensity — from the world of academia.

Emeritus College offers lectures for and by members, colloquiums and discussion groups. Research fellowships are available to those who wish to continue their professional scholarship or embark on new intellectual journeys. 

For Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus Ron Gould, a recipient of Emeritus College funding, the organization serves both social and intellectual functions. “Emeritus College has allowed me to remain in contact with several retired friends and to make a number of new friends,” he says. Gould also appreciates the opportunities to stretch his intellectual curiosity through the lunch colloquium series and seminars. 

Those interested in service opportunities may follow Emeritus College suggestions like mentoring through the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence and teaching at the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning. Service opportunities also exist through International MedShare and the Atlanta Food Bank.

The organization is also planning social activities such as group visits to the Michael C. Carlos Museum and other local cultural institutions.

Today, Emeritus College remains devoted to its founders’ mission while responding to evolving needs and interests. In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, Emeritus College moved its programming online and increased its offerings from once every other week to once a week. After Emory’s return to campus, Emeritus College’s home in the Luce Center was fitted with the technology necessary to host year-round hybrid events.

Events are open to all Emory retired faculty and faculty nearing retirement. Emeritus College membership is available to these groups as well as their spouses and partners, who become associate members. Faculty from institutions without emeritus organizations, including Agnes Scott College and Georgia Tech, are eligible for affiliate membership. To join, send your name, contact information and school to

Recent News