From Rec Ball to Navy Seal: Memorial Day 2020

Woodrow Wilson coined the phrase “Princeton in the nation’s service” while he was president of the university, a motto later recast to “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” That call to moral and proper action is carved into stone, on the approach to Nassau Hall, where you have to look askance to miss it.

Despite the regular repetition while on campus, the motto never really registered with me as an engineer until 1991 when I was asked to literally hack a device driver for the US Air Force at the outset of the first Gulf War…