Mike ate lunch almost every day at the student center… I made a habit of joining him whenever I was there. It’s a tough place now to enter.
Although we had known each other well since 1986, I got to know Mike very well this past year. We hoped to write a history of Princeton computing together and, towards that end, we shared wonderful stories.
Many of you may not know or recall that Mike was a Faculty Fellow at Forbes College during the mid 1980s. He was excited by a $6M grant that the University got in 1984 from IBM. Of course, Mike recognized before most of us that the students would use the machines almost exclusively for word processing. The papers looked fantastic, Mike recalled… they just didn’t read that way.
Mike was a finalist for the position of VP for Computing here at Princeton, the job that Ira Fuchs took in 1986. It’s hard not to imagine how different life might have been here had Mike gotten the job. He wasn’t in love with technology for its own sake, far more for the promise of how it could help us.
The fact is that he knew the history, and knew the institution. An irreplaceable combination. As a friend, a colleague, a lunch companion, I miss him profoundly.