Finding the Right Gift

by Daniel Post Senning on May 6, 2013

Q: I am a student research assistant and I’ve worked with my professor for about a year and half on his book which he recently just published. I was wondering is their a traditional gift someone give to a scholarly person who has just published their first book? Where might I look to find such information on finding this sort of tradition?

A: There’s no one traditional or appropriate gift to give someone who has just published his first book. Every situation is different. Nonetheless, since you have worked with your professor, you might consider a reference book or a desk accessory or a book he would enjoy reading, a CD, DVD or even something related to a favorite interest. The possibilities are endless. You might also consider asking one of his colleagues for ideas, but this is only a suggestion.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

M May 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

Two thoughts- 1) get a copy of his book bound in leather (may be prohibitively expensive, I’m not sure). 2) Have a copy of his book donated to a library. When you do this, you can sometimes include an note on the donation plaque like “In honor of a wonderful professor.” Depending on the nature of his book, it might be nice to donate it to a high school library or some other place that may not be able to afford lots if new specialty books. Or maybe your high school’s library or his high school’s library.


Former grad student May 7, 2013 at 9:15 am

If money is a concern, an engraved pen would be a thoughtful gift that would be cherished and that would probably fall within your budget.


Alicia May 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

I would not think that a gift is required at all. But what you may consider doing is getting a bunch of the department together for a cake and get a cake at the grocery store with a picture of the book on top of it. Most grocery stores now have this thing where they can make a picture cake.


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