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.

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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.

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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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