I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago. For those of you unfamiliar with my alma mater, it is an elite, private college of about 5,000 undergraduates that has a reputation of devotion to academic scholarship and intellectualism. If you know me and you're wondering how on earth I ever fit in at such a high brow institution, the simple answer is "I didn't".
I once took a class in the symbolism of gestures and non-verbal communication. While others focused on serious subjects like children with autism and adults with multiple personality disorder, I based my research on different types of beauty queen waves.
The University of Chicago claims the most Nobel Prizes awarded to faculty, former faculty, and alumni of any university. Affiliates of the University of Chicago have won Nobel Prizes in every field except Peace, with the highest number of laureates in physics (one of my worst subjects). Last I heard, there were seventy-nine Nobel Prize laureates (Saul Bellow and Milton Friedman to name a couple) with ties to the University of Chicago, thus its nickname: “Nobel Alley.” Bon bons could do a lot for world peace---maybe I could help round out that record!
All kidding aside, you can't spend four years at the University of Chicago and not have a little bit of "geek" rub off on you. I'm still a "student of life" and most people would say that I exhibit more than my fair share of nerdy tendencies. For one, I like to read the New Yorker. I think their cartoons are funny and I think being the subject of a New Yorker cartoon would be the ultimate compliment. (It's always been a secret desire of mine....)
Richard Adams of the United Kingdom Guardian said of their high brow cartoons: The New Yorker is famous for its cryptic cartoons, which seem to require at least two decades of residence in New York City plus a diploma in Woody Allen Studies before a reader can stroke his or her chin and think "Ah, I see why that's funny."
That's exactly what makes them so appealing. It's like sporting a Hermes Birkin or Kelly bag--only a select percentage of the population would even recognize one and even fewer get the privilege of owning one.
Well, folks, it ain't New York, but The University Chicago Press is close enough. In fact, the university is home to the largest university press in the United States, with more than 130,000 alumni receiving its monthly magazine.
I was nearly speechless (which is so unlike me!) when a representative of the magazine contacted me with an incredible opportunity. The Balvenie, a single malt scotch whisky distillery, wanted to honor craftsmen who handcraft products just as they do. South 'n France had been identified as a great match....
I'm delighted to announce that in the current issue of the University of Chicago magazine, you will find a profile of our company, along with the most intellectual quote I've ever given about bon bons:
"We believe people can taste the difference between machine-made and handmade: the palette can recognize real ingredients; the mouth can feel subtle variations in texture that come from chopping and mixing by hand; the spirit can sense the energy, passion and patience that we infuse into the process." To see the full profile, visit our press page.
But the best part of being singled out by The Balvenie? Our product (and my name!) actually made it into their high brow New Yorker-esque cartoon. I couldn't be more flattered (or proud). Even Nobel Peace Prize winners don't get an honor like this: