President Bowen was a wonderful president and an even better person. Back when I was a freshman at Princeton, as many know, Bilbo stayed in touch with students by teaching a discussion section of Introductory Economics. I was lucky enough to be a student in his discussion section, and it was extremely worthwhile and rewarding.
At the end of the semester, he invited the entire section over to the president’s house for dinner, and I had the best lemon pound cake ever. I asked his wife, Mary Ellen Bowen, for the recipe, and a few days later, she sent it to my mom — with a handwritten note about how she enjoyed meeting me. This really endeared not only President and Mrs. Bowen to me, but also reinforced what I’ve learned over 30 years — namely, that Princeton truly is a family.
RIP Bilbo — you will be missed.