Alumni usually grab their few minutes of fame in PAW when there is good news to report: a wedding or birth, a new book, a scientific discovery. Not so for the four alumni who spoke to PAW senior writer Mark F. Bernstein 83 for this issues cover story.
In this, our annual business and economics issue, Bernstein has written about Princetonians who recently have confronted unemployment, including some alumni who remain jobless.
Certainly, Princetonians are not immune to the tremors that have shaken the U.S. economy. To people who are accustomed to achievement, being laid off and having nothing urgent to be accomplished in the office each day can have a special sting. Some of the alumni interviewed acknowledged that they had mixed feelings about speaking to PAW about this difficult time in their lives. But their stories speak to anyone who has faced or may face difficult times. Thats all of us.
I was struck by the strength and good nature demonstrated by these alumni, especially by two Jack Moore 62 and Jeff Hosterman 71 older workers with family obligations and retirement considerations, and perhaps fewer opportunities to relocate and change course. Despite the great stress that unemployment can bring, these men showed no anger, and continued to persevere despite long periods of frustration, drawing on the same skills that made them successful in the workplace. Im not bitter, Hosterman told Bernstein. Im disappointed that all those things we do to have a nice career didnt work out, but a lot of stuff is out of your hands.
A second feature in this issue describes the lost, then found, friendship between two alumni, John Bogle 51 and Philip Bell 46 *56. Many readers will know Bogle as the creator of Vanguard mutual funds. Far fewer will recognize Bells name.
Bell was Bogles thesis adviser, on a project that ultimately set Bogle on his course in the financial world. At the time, Bell was a graduate student, just a few years older than Bogle. Over the years, while Bogle made headlines, Bells most publicized achievement was admission into the Accounting Hall of Fame, for work he did while pursuing his doctorate. Here, PAW associate editor Brett Tomlinson writes of the mens reunion after half a century apart. When they finally met, Bogle and Bell spoke little about economics or accounting and much about life.
PAW thanks all the alumni who responded to our survey about the special December 17 issue and about the magazine in general. We also appreciate the many comments and suggestions we have received from those who did not receive our questionnaire. The results are being compiled, and we will share major findings with you. Your responses will help us improve PAW in the months to come.