New Report Finds Prof. Warren Ewens Was Benjamin Franklin's First Hire
Photo from Archives of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach / CC BY-SA 2.0 DE
February 26, 2020 at 10:28 pm
Earlier this week, the investigative reporting team at Under the Button unearthed a previously unconfirmed finding: Professor Warren Ewens was hired shortly after Penn's founding by Benjamin Franklin himself.
While most of the school’s earliest records have not been preserved, our team found a letter from Franklin written in 1749 to his friend Bartholomew Octavius:
I hath just made up a new saying. It goes, ‘this is the best thing until sliced bread.’ I anticipate that bread shall one day be pre-sliced and it shall be glorious, so that is why I created the saying. Let me know if I should make it one of those sayings that stays famous for hundreds of years.
Oh and also I have just hired the first professor for my new university,
Penn State The University of Pennsylvania. He is from the strange land of Australia but should make a fine professor of statistics. He’s kind of old but I think he’ll give us a good ten to twenty years.
Sorry I can’t write more, I have a meeting with some friends about trying to not be one of Britain’s colonies or something like that. Ttyl!
This incredible letter confirms what many in the Penn community have long thought: Warren Ewens has been working at Penn for hundreds of years, and has been alive for who knows how many hundred more than that. We wish him luck for the rest of his career and hope he retires with at least 500 years of teaching under his belt.