A closer look at those who picked the top 25

The panelists: from left, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97, Todd Purdum ’82, David Spergel ’82, William Russel (standing), Sean Wilentz, Elizabeth Bogan, Emily Thompson *92, and Michael Wood.
The panelists: from left, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97, Todd Purdum ’82, David Spergel ’82, William Russel (standing), Sean Wilentz, Elizabeth Bogan, Emily Thompson *92, and Michael Wood.
Ricardo Barros

Elizabeth Bogan has been a senior lecturer in economics at Princeton since 1992, teaching introductory and upper-level courses including “American Economic History.” Bogan, who has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, has contributed to academic and mainstream media on economics and economics education.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97, the William S. Tod Professor in the Department of Religion and the Center for African American Studies, joined Princeton’s faculty in 2002. He has written several highly regarded books relating to the black experience in the United States, including “In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America” (2007).

As a former White House and diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times and current national editor for Vanity Fair magazine, award-winning journalist Todd Purdum ’82 has covered many of the leading figures in contemporary American life. Purdum served recently as chairman of PAW’s advisory board.

William Russel, the Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Chemical Engineering and dean of the Graduate School, brought to the panel both perspective on scientific and technological advances and an awareness of Princeton’s graduate alumni. Russel earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University and has received many honors in his field.

Astrophysicist David Spergel ’82 – whose academic interests range from searching for planets around nearby stars to studying the shape of the universe – was named a MacArthur fellow (the so-called genius award) in 2001. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard and joined Princeton’s faculty in 1987.

Emily Thompson *92 is a historian of technology who studies early 20th-century America. As an undergraduate at the Rochester Institute of Technology, she studied electrical engineering and physics; her Princeton Ph.D. is in history. She was named a MacArthur fellow in 2005.

Sean Wilentz, the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era, studies the social and political history of the United States. His honors range from the Bancroft Prize for his book “The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln,” to a Grammy nomination for writing the liner notes to a Bob Dylan album.

Michael Wood, the Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, is a widely published author and essayist on literature and film. His most recent book is “Literature and the Taste of Knowledge,” and he edited Edward Said ’57’s “On Late Style,” which came out in paperback last year.