In the service of ...

Published on April 6, 2011

The recent insert of EQuad News (Jan. 19 issue) troubled me, due to the slogan that it featured: “Princeton Engineering in the Service of All Nations.” I do not believe that being in the service of “nations” is what the aspiration of Princeton engineering should be. The Princeton I attended taught me to distinguish between the peoples of the world and the nations of the world, as they are not one and the same.  

My engineering career has been oriented to be in the service of all peoples. As the latest news from Egypt points out, there is a vast difference between the peoples of the world and the nations that govern them, only a fraction of which serve at the peoples’ will. We can still embrace the global attitude and diversity key to our moral and economic leadership by being of service to all peoples. But if we serve all nations, we will serve some who are antithetical to all that is good about Princeton and Princeton engineering. Dean Poor and the faculty of the SEAS need to rethink and recraft their slogan.

Owen P. Curtis ’72 *75
Alexandria, Va.

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