The book: During his time at Princeton University, first as economics professor, then as provost, and finally as president, William G. Bowen *58, who died in 2016, left indelible mark on the University — overseeing the establishment of the residential colleges, increasing diversity on campus, creating new deparments, etc. — all during times of great change in the country. After leaving his post as president, he took his lessons from academia to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where worked to address broad problems in higher education.

Ever the Leader: Selected Writings, 1995-2016 (Princeton University Press) is a collection speeches and writings from of Bowen’s late years, addressing everything from university values to educational opportunity, college sports, technology, and his peers in higher education leadership.

The author: Bowen was president of Princeton University from 1972-1988. Afterward, he served as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and as the founding chairman of ITHAKA a nonprofit that works with higher-education communities worldwide through digital technologies.

Opening lines: “The title I have taken for this lecture, ‘At a Slight Angle to the Universe,’ is taken from E. M. Forster’s description of the Greek poet Cavafy. I will return to the title at the end of the talk, when it will be clearer, I think, why I have chosen it. My purpose today is to consider the implications for the university of two powerful intersecting forces: the revolution in information technology that is so pervasive (on which I will concentrate) and the associated, but separate, increase in the reliance on the market to solve problems of all kinds.”

Reviews: “This book captures the essence of William Bowen — his brilliance, wisdom, wit, and humanity. It is a worthy tribute to one of the most visionary and inspirational leaders in the history of American higher education.” — Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University