April 21, 2023

Roaring through retirement: Emeritus Academy works hard to give back

Founder of the Emeritus Academy Arthur Marotti poses for a photo.
Arthur Marotti is the founder of the Emeritus Academy.

They mentor Wayne State University students and faculty, discuss great books, help the Detroit community and judge research competitions. The 125 members of the Emeritus Academy have had long, high-achieving careers as academic professors and researchers and could understandably rest on their laurels.

Instead, they continue to give back.

“Members have tutored students in Wayne State’s HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program,” said Arthur Marotti, Ph.D., founder of the Emeritus Academy. “We’ve helped junior faculty write grants and publish journal articles. We enjoy putting our experience to good use.”

In 2010, Marotti, distinguished professor emeritus of English, retired from WSU but was determined to stay professionally active. At the time, Wayne State contained no organized way for retired faculty to connect, share ideas and augment productivity. Marotti’s first job as a retiree was to create a group to help him do that. He met with colleagues and made a case for the creation of a special type of WSU alum. Five years later, the Emeritus Academy officially launched. Membership has been strong since.

The Emeritus Academy is open to retired faculty of Wayne State University, either tenure-track, clinical or non-tenured. The academy’s advisory committee is a multidisciplinary mix of retired faculty from psychology, law, literature, engineering, medicine, art history, music and more. Membership is free, but donations to support programming are encouraged. You need not be “emeritus” status to join.

The group meets regularly for colloquia presentations, book discussions, memoir writing and service projects. Housed in the Tierney Alumni House at the corner of East Ferry and Woodward, their regal office space befits the esteem they continue to garner.

Academy members are officially “retired” but impressively productive: Their last annual report contains 33 pages of member achievements. Accomplishments include book and journal publications, podcasts, lectures, reviews, conferences, media interviews and, of course, teaching at various levels.

“I’d like to see even more of our faculty consider the Emeritus Academy when they retire,” said Marotti. “Experience matters. We’re in the perfect position to share our lessons learned and smooth the path for future generations — while staying stimulated and connected.”

For more information about joining, please contact Marotti at a.marotti@wayne.edu.

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Wayne State University is “age friendly.” WSU earned that global designation in 2022 by committing to a set of principles to respect, include and support older adults in our policies and practices. WSU's older learner programs, human resources trainings, direct outreach and research projects exemplify the university's dedication to include older adults. Be an age sage and help fight ageism and age discrimination. Read our monthly spotlight on an “age friendly” initiative at WSU and work to banish ageism wherever you find it. Learn more on our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage.

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