Department of Psychological + Brain Sciences

UPDATE Newsletter

Paying It Forward

Jim Sherman’s So-Called Retirement

“I resisted having any public recognition of my retirement and thought I had succeeded,” said Professor  Jim Sherman. But on April 8 Sherman’s colleagues, students and friends defied his wishes and held a surprise “purple out” reception to mark his retirement, after a 49-year career as a PBS faculty member. (Yes, he was surprised and yes, it was purple—in honor of Sherman’s well-known proclivity for purple.) The “Most Interesting Man in the University,” as one colleague called him, was not going to leave his current post unnoticed.

A memory book, created for the occasion, a collection of letters and photographs provided by his many close friends and colleagues across Bloomington, captured the extraordinary breadth and influence of his life and work on the department, the university and the city of Bloomington.


As PBS chair Bill Hetrick summed up its contents, Sherman was no less than


"the 'heart and soul' of PBS; a wise and sensible voice in city, university and departmental governance; a source of great support, edification and amusement to friends and colleagues alike; a standard bearer of human decency; code-breaker of indecipherable puzzles (among them, IU health insurance); die-hard Red Sox fan; and one whom, amidst endless interests and occupations, still has an infinite capacity to inspire and support his students and make major path-breaking contributions to his research and the profession."


“I never could have imagined a better life than the one I have had.”


Yet, Sherman reminded us, he is “not about to leave anyone alone” just yet. He has assumed a new role with the IU Foundation as a liaison to faculty during the ongoing Bicentennial Campaign, a role which, he explains, he has taken on out of his attachment to the department and the university.


“I never could have imagined a better life than the one I have had,” he wrote following the reception. “Of course, my nuclear family had a major role in that. But the city, the university, and especially the department have made my life what it is and any success that I may have had professionally is really due to factors outside of myself. I am forever grateful and thankful to have been a part of PBS for all these years.”







Psychological + Brain Sciences