Dr. William A. Sadler (’56): Making the Most of the Third Age

William SadlerAt a time when many look eagerly toward their own retirement, Dr. William A. Sadler (Class of 1956) has written three books in the past 12 years on the possibilities of growth and renewal in what he has dubbed “the third age.” Based on 25 years of research about the lives of those individuals who found ways to defy the stereotypical role of "senior citizen," his work shows us how to replace the old paradigm of aging with one that is filled with the excitement and optimism which comes with the realization that we have unprecedented options and opportunities. In his book, The Third Age: Six Principles for Personal Growth and Rejuvenation after Forty, Sadler summarizes his findings and explains the Six Principles of Growth and Renewal that he has identified. The book led to the creation of the Center for Third Age Leadership, a consortium of former corporate executives, trainers, and professionals who spent their Second Age careers helping leaders guide organizations through turbulent change.

Dr. Sadler is also still teaching, at Holy Names University in Oakland, California, as well as the OLLI Senior College of University of Southern Maine. His rector at St. John’s Oakland invited him to do a series last spring on “Principles of Positive Aging,” which led to an invitation from The Very Rev. Mark Richardson (former GTS Professor, now Dean of CDSP) to do a three-part series in the Fall on the same subject.

Sadler reached out with a tip for the current GTS community: “Aging just isn’t what it used to be,” he said. “Clergy and seminarians should know what the new paradigm of aging looks like and how to support it.”

For more information on Dr. Sadler's work, click here.