IMAGE:  February 2003 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
 
APRIL 2003
Volume 95, Issue 4
 
 
   
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Letters

…getting pleasure from reading the obituaries…

Dead Equal
Surely I sound morbid when I say that I have been getting pleasure from reading the obituaries in each issue of the Magazine.

For threescore years I have been reading of the accomplishments of my classmates and those from nearby classes in the “Alumni News” section. It has made me feel a failure. In my career I wasn’t made a chancellor, not even a dean or department head; not a CEO, not even a CFO; never made it to assistant or deputy cabinet secretary in Washington, not an adviser to even one president; made no major scientific discoveries; published no books; received no outstanding awards; and so on. But a large fraction of my classmates seem to have done so.

Now the years I was on campus are a big section of the obituaries. Death alone makes us eligible to be listed there. There are still some shown with really major achievements, but on average they are much like me: used the knowledge and the thinking ability gained and honed at the University; led relatively normal, useful lives rearing families and with reasonable achievements recognized at a local level; contributed to society in a way that didn’t make headlines in the major newspapers; and so on.

I am enjoying it.

Eugene Pomerance, SB’42, MBA’47
Elmhurst, Illinois



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