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Two Nobel Prizes in Haverford Class of 1963

The Haverford Fall 2018 Alumni Magazine arrived today. The cover story was a generic women in tech article with the trite subtitle: “In an industry that celebrates rapid change, gender barriers are slow to crumble.” The piece is entirely predictable and –you guessed it– unscientific. Every piece of evidence offers suggests very rapid change, consistent with the drive of the women profiled.

Meanwhile, they squeezed in the news that George Smith, class of 1963, oh, by the way, was one of the 2018 winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

More remarkable, for a class that had less than a hundred people in it (maybe fifty?) was he was the second classmate to win a Nobel. Joseph Taylor, Jr. won the 1993 prize in Physics.

What the hell was in the water. Apparently Taylor and Smith did not know each other. Too busy studying?

This news isn’t the entire edition of the magazine? It isn’t the cover story? Not front and center on Haverford’s website? Chances of future Nobel laureates at Haverford – or even employable graduates – take a beating with this sort of celebration of politics over academics.

Published inEducation


  1. Michael Weber Michael Weber

    I am a Haverford grad, class of ’63, and also am stunned that the College has not celebrated the fact that ~1% of my class of ~108 has won the Nobel prize. Is there any other university or college in the world where that happened?
    If my memory is correct. Joe Taylor and George Smith of course knew each other, but even at a small school, lived in different social sets. Taylor was a jock (soccer) and George was definitely not.

  2. Richard Richard

    It is extraordinary and at the very least Haverford could have some markers on campus. If there are some I don’t know it.

    I’ve wondered what CCNY’s 1937 class size was — I believe they hold the crown with 3 nobel laureates but I have not been able to find the class size!

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