First Annual Bernie Saffran Lecture

Bernie Saffran, Franklin and Betty Barr Professor of Economics

This lecture honors the memory of Bernie Saffran, who taught and mentored generations of Swarthmore students until his sudden death in 2004. He was the Franklin and Betty Barr Professor of Economics, served as economics department chair from 1978 to 1983, and was actively involved in teaching and faculty governance at the time of his death.

Bernie was widely known in the economics profession as the author of the regular column "Recommendations for Further Reading" in the Journal of Economic Perspectives; the column highlighted articles on an astonishing range of topicsĀ­related, but not limited, to economics and reflected Bernie's own wide ranging interests. Before coming to Swarthmore, Bernie was a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served as a Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisors, and as a consultant to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Treasury Department, and the Senate Budget Committee.

Bernie's contributions to the College community grew out of his excellence as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. He combined intellectual rigor and challenge with great personal warmth and generosity which led students, long after leaving Swarthmore, to think of him as a guide and friend. He made significant contributions to college governance and had a particular interest in mentoring junior faculty, both within and outside of the Economics Department.

This inaugural lecture is the first in what will be an annual event and we anticipate that, for many years to come, the speaker will be a former student or friend of Bernie's.