Quinnipiac math professors share their 50-year hidden formula of friendship

This story was originally published in QU Today on November 27, 2023


QU Professors, Mike Nabel and Stan Rothman

Stanley Rothman and Michael Nabel, mathematics and statistics professors at Quinnipiac, recount their journey from sharing an office to becoming business partners.

Since meeting each other at Quinnipiac in 1971, Rothman and Nabel have been working together for over five decades. As some of the first professors in the mathematics and statistics department, Rothman and Nabel quickly became friends and opted to share an office. In this day in age, sharing an office may seem unrealistic, but Rothman and Nabel believe that their friendship is what makes work so enjoyable.

“I can’t even begin to describe what a wonderful person Michael is,” said Rothman “We have been so fortunate because in all of the years that we’ve been together in this office, we’ve never had a bad word towards one another.”

In addition to academics, Rothman and Nabel decided to take their partnership to the business world. Together they founded Acc-U-Data, a computer company specializing in software and consulting services. The two of them continued to chase their dreams developing software programs for medical practices, law offices, and schools. As the company grew, Rothman and Nabel began hiring Quinnipiac seniors to join their workforce.

After years of success, the pair sold their business and now reflect on their journey together as business partners. Looking back, the professors credit their success to their contrasting personalities and expertise.

“We had it figured out down to a science,” said Nabel. “I built the computers while Stan spoke to the customers.”

As they adjusted and re-focused on their careers at Quinnipiac, Rothman and Nabel created a special bond. Even down to their neighboring parking spots, most of the university students and staff recognize them as a ‘dynamic duo.’

What once started as an office has now become a home for the professors. Rothman shared that he only teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays but that doesn’t stop him from coming into the office at 6:30 a.m. to join his partner.

“When we’re not home, we’re here,” said Rothman. “We don’t do this because we need the money, we do it because we genuinely enjoy it.”

Now at the ages of 80 and 84, Rothman and Nabel still spend their days teaching, spending time in the office, and enjoying the little moments. Rothman currently teaches three courses including SPS-176 and MA-176 Baseball and Stats. Channeling his passion for baseball and statistics, Rothman references his textbook “Sandlot Stats: Learning Statistics with Baseball” to further educate students in the world of sports. Nabel also plans to bring a new course to Quinnipiac related to statistics and gambling. He is currently in the process of publishing his own textbook and using the course for student feedback.

When asked about their futures, Rothman and Nabel have different retirement plans. Nabel hopes to spend a few years traveling while Rothman has no plan of leaving Quinnipiac.

“I can’t leave this,” said Rothman. “The reason why I don’t retire is because this is a hobby, not a job.”

As they look towards a bittersweet farewell to their shared time in the office, they are confident that their friendship will endure forever.

“I don’t think our dynamic will ever change,” said Nabel. “This is a friendship that will last a lifetime.”

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