19 May 2005

Good old days

Do you think grad school is too hard? Oh, for the glorious fifties:


I arrived with my wife, Helene, in August 1951 from the University of
Alberta, to try for a Ph.D. in chemistry. The Butler Tract was filled
with veterans from WWII, so we had to seek housing elsewhere. Our
first room was with a family on Ewing Street and later with another
family on Princeton-Hightstown Road. My assistantship paid $1,200 from
which $700 was deducted for tuition. Health care? Dental care? Never
heard of them.

Helene is a nurse and worked at the Princeton Hospital for $120 per
month, meals included. We had to buy an ancient Buick so that we could
get from our quarters to work – thank goodness insurance was not

And the Castle on the Hill – after about a year or so I heard of it
but never during my three years was I so much as invited to share a
meal, let alone to be immersed in a Princeton experience. I did have
many rewarding experiences with undergraduates in my laboratory

We had our first child in 1952 and got a discount from the hospital
because Helene worked up to her final day, and walked down the hall to
deliver. A kind obstetrician also gave a discount. Helene continued on
the night shift while our daughter and I burned the midnight oil.


G. William Goward *54

Clinton, Conn.

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