Is a Retired Professor Still Professor (Name)?
I know I am still Dr. (Full Name). But am I still ‘Professor (Name)’ now that I am retired?
The short answer is yes. Here are some observations on the question:
—-#1) In the U.S., use of ‘Professor (Name)’ as a form of address is most often tied to the teacher-student relationship. Address as Professor (Name) rather than Dr. (Name) is a courtesy acknowledging the role in the relationship. It is most frequently used with one’s teachers: a former student can still greet a former professor as Professor (Name).
On an envelope or a letter’s address block a retired professor with a doctorate is addressed as Dr. (Name) and when identification is warranted (like in an introduction) he or she is identified as a ‘retired professor of ABC at XYZ university’.
—-#2) It’s done differently in Commonwealth countries and where British styles holds sway. There, one’s name is like a resume/curriculum vitae. The formal forms of the names include every honorific, courtesy title, honor, rank, and degree the person has ever been awarded. Names get very, very, very long.
—-—–His Excellency Ambassador Professor Dr. (Full Name)
In may cultures, if an individual ever taught a course – they like to be addressed as Professor or Professor (Name) for life. You see this most often in cultures where marks of status (special forms of address) are very important. Everyone is trying to present themselves as elevated. They also use specialized honorifics, not limiting themselves to just Mr./Mrs./Ms. You will see – Lawyer (Name), Engineer (Name), Architect (Name) and Accountant (Name). A retired professor with a doctorate might want to be addressed as Professor Dr. (Name).
– Robert Hickey