Zachary Squire '08, alumnus

“Princeton’s classics department is phenomenal,” exclaims Zachary Squire ’08. “The professors are not only eminent scholars, but they’re really good teachers — extremely open and friendly.”

Squire, who now works for Bridgewater Associates of Wesport, Conn., is an investment associate focused on trading global currencies.

He had several opportunities to live and breathe the languages and cultures he studied during his four years at Princeton. For example, the classics department gave him funding to spend a summer in Greece studying civic architecture.

“It’s one thing to study the disembodied literature and culture,” says Squire, “but to actually go and see and feel and walk around in the context of all the literature and art that you know, it really brings you a new understanding.”

One of Squire’s favorite classes was “Latin Composition.” Rather than simply parse Ovid, Squire’s assignment was to translate given passages of English into stylistically elegant passages in the ancient tongue.

For Squire, the valedictorian of his class, some of the most memorable classes were outside the classics department, in fields ranging from economics and electrical engineering to geosciences and physics. One was an elementary engineering course called “New Eyes for the World: Hands-on Optical Engineering.” Squire loved that even an introductory course for nonscience majors still had a world-renowned professor and access to the best equipment.

“Everything they say in the admission literature about the focus on undergraduates is really true,” says Squire. “Professors are very much focused on undergrads, to an extent that I didn’t even expect.”

When asked to name a professor or faculty member who became a mentor to him, Squire is stumped. “There are just so many,” he says. “The idea of having just one mentor doesn’t happen around here.”

Outside of class, Squire was a member of Tower Club, an eating club, and was active in the Undergraduate Student Government. He felt that it was his responsibility to give back to the Princeton community. “It doesn’t make much sense for me to take part in campus life without trying to reciprocate in some way,” he says.