Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

The James W. and Ruth B. Pennebaker Social Psychology Endowment for Excellence

The James W. and Ruth B. Pennebaker Social Psychology Endowment for Excellence was established by Jamie and Ruth Pennebaker to promote graduate training in real world social behaviors. 

Jamie and Ruth Pennebaker

In the 1970s, Ruth graduated from UT Law School and Jamie received his Ph.D. in UT's social psychology program. From the beginning, Jamie was broadly interested in the biological, cognitive, developmental, and personality factors that influence the ways people behave with others.  Both Jamie and Ruth believe that psychology must understand social processes, as well as use this understanding to make people's lives better.

Jamie and Ruth have roots in Midland and since completing graduate school have lived in Virginia and Dallas. In 1997, they returned to Austin where Jamie was hired as a professor in his old department.  He was department chair from 2005 to 2014 and is currently the Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts.  Ruth is a writer, has published several novels, has been a columnist for the Dallas Morning News and The Texas Observer, and is a well-known blogger.

The Pennebaker Endowment was established with the help of sales from Jamie's text analysis program LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) and from colleagues and friends.  Money from the endowment helps to fund graduate students in any area interested in social behaviors.

To make an online pledge that can be paid out over a period of five years, or to donate a single payment online, click HERE.

For mail-in options, please see the Pennebaker Donate page.


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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157