Name Dropping: A list of famous Commencement Week speakers at Princeton

In a previous post we discussed the history behind commencement at The College of New Jersey and Princeton University. Here, we highlight the individuals and include links to video and news articles.

For the years 2009- 2012 each name will link to an individual flash based streaming video courtesy of Princeton University WebMedia. These are mobile friendly as well.

Years 1998-2008 can be viewed through this link to WebMedia. Scroll to the appropriate year and download you preferred version to your computer. To view via mobile you will need to open in dropbox.

2012

Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite (2012)

Michael Lewis – Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite (2012)

Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Steve McDonald (2012)

Steve Carell – Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Steve McDonald (2012)

2011

2010

2009

2008-1998 Can be downloaded for viewing here.

2008

  • Baccalaureate - Paul Farmer
  • Class Day – Stephen Colbert
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2007

  • Baccalaureate - John Fleming
  • Class Day – Bradley Whitford
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2006

2005

2004

2003

  • Baccalaureate – Fred Hargadon
  • Class Day - Jerry Seinfeld
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2002

  • Baccalaureate - Meg Whitman
  • Class Day – James Baker
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

2001

  • Baccalaureate – Emma Bloomberg
Bill Cosby - 2001 Class Day Speaker Photo Courtesy: Princeton Weekly Bulletin

Bill Cosby – 2001 Class Day Speaker
Photo Courtesy: Princeton Weekly Bulletin

  • Class Day - Bill Cosby - This marks the first Class Day Speaker from outside of the University. 
  • Commencement – Shirley M. Tilghman

Previous to 2001 many infamous persons took the podium during the Baccalaureate Ceremonies. The following highlight a few of those. During this time the president of the University presides over commencement and typically gives the commencement address as well as speaks at Class Day.

2000 Baccalaureate  - Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, formerly Lisa Halaby ’73

1999

  • Baccalaureate Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund
  • Class Day/Commencement Harold T. Shapiro
  • The Latin Salutatory speaker Thomas Wickham Schmidt broke tradition by including a marriage proposal to Anastacia Rohrman at the end of his speech. WHT_RohrSchmidtThe event was also covered by NBC’s Today Show where Rothman and Schmidt were interviewed.
  • According to the June 6th, 2007 edition of the Princeton Alumni Weekly, “The two were married in August 2000, after Wick’s first year at Yale Law School.”

WHT_RohrSchmidt2

1998  Baccalaureate: Senator Tom Harkin and wife Ruth Harkin, senior VP at United Technologies Corporation. Parents of Amy Harkin. Both husband and wife spoke to honor 25 years of coeducation at Princeton. This is the first time that there has been two baccalaureate speakers.
1997 – Baccalaureate: Senator William Frist ’74

1996 – Princeton University’s  250th Anniversary

1995 Baccalaureate: Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

1994 Baccalaureate: Wynton Marsalis

1993 Baccalaureate: Garry B. Trudeau, Cartoonist. You may view the commencement in its entirety in an upcoming blog post.

1992 Baccalaureate: Rt. Reverend Dr. Frederick H. Borsch ’57
1991 Baccalaureate: William Crowe Jr. *65, retired chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff
1990 Baccalaureate: Johnetta Cole, President of Spelman College
1989 Baccalaureate: Honorable Andrew Young
1988 Baccalaureate: Representative Patricia Schroeder
1987 Baccalaureate: George E. Rupp ’64
1986 Baccalaureate: Governor Thomas H. Kean ’57
1985 Commencement: William Bowen. Baccalaureate: Ira D. Silverman (Fun Fact: Theodore Seuss Geisel aka ‘Dr. Seuss’ was given an honorary degree this year.)

1984 Baccalaureate: Honorable Paul Sarbanes ’54 P’84, (Maurice Sendak received an honorary degree this year, author of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’)
1983 Baccalaureate: The Rev. Dr. Homer U. Ashby Jr. ‘68
1982 Baccalaureate: The Honorable Charles B. Renfrew, ’52. (Stephen Hawking received an honorary degree)
1981 Baccalaureate: Dr. Sissela Bok,
1980 Baccalaureate: Michael M. Stewart, M.D. ’57, Commencement: William Bowen Minutes from the Senior Class Committee from January 13th, 1980 mention a sub-committee had been formed to find ways to expand Class Day.
1979 Baccalaureate: Redmond C. S. Finney ’51,
1978 Baccalaureate: Gerson D. Cohen
1977 Baccalaureate: Theodore M. Hesburgh
1976 Baccalaureate: James I. McCord
1975 Baccalaureate: Professor Gregory Vlastos, Ph.D., B.D., D. D., LL.D., (Princeton University Philosophy Department)
1974 Baccalaureate: The Reverend Thomas P. Stewart, ’51.
1973 Baccalaureate: The Reverend Dr. John B. Coburn ’36, Charter Trustee

Until 1972, the baccalaureate speaker was the current President of the University. Beginning in 1973, outside speakers were invited.

1969: Representative from the Class Day Committee asks President Goheen to approve the re-institution of planting ivy with class year stone markers around Nassau Hall rather than the previous (expensive) tradition of breaking $200 worth of clay pipes. The representative also suggested that the message of planting rather than destroying is better for Class Day. Commencement: Unlisted. Baccalaureate: President Goheen.

1968: Many of this year’s events were modified due to the Assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy on June 4th. The Alumni parade was smaller and within campus, the baseball game and Triangle Club performances were cancelled. Commencement/Baccalaureate and Class Day President Goheen.

1949 Baccalaureate: Harold Dodds

1945

  • February 22nd 1945 – Winter term exercises held again in Nassau Hall. This also marks the first graduation in two years where honorary degrees have been given. The address was given by the Head of the Faculty Robert K. Root and the benediction was given by the Dean of the University Council.
  • June 23rd 1945 – Spring term exercises held on front campus. Address is given by Dean Christian Gauss. Benediction is given by Dr. Arthur L. Kinsolving.
  • October 22nd 1945 – The smallest number of graduates have commencement held in President Harold Dodds office. 20 students are candidates for degrees. Only 11 are present for the conferring of the degrees.

1944

  • January 5th 1944 – 26 members of Class of 1944 graduated in brief ceremony in Nassau Hall
  • February 22, 1944 – 35 degrees given. Dr. Charles G. Osgood gives the commencement speech. Students in armed forces were instructed to wear uniforms while others wear the traditional cap and gown.
  • April 4th 1944 – 36 degrees given in Nassau Hall.
  • June 24th 1944 – Special Convocation for the Navy V-12 Unit was held on front campus. James V. Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, receives an honorary degree. President Dodds also gave an address to the graduating members.
  • The 24th also included regular commencement exercises with the address given by Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen ’19. President Dodds gave concluding remarks.
  • September 19th and October 19th held additional Special Convocations for the Navy V-12 Unit
  • October 25th a small regular ceremony took place in Nassau Hall.

1943

  • On January 29th and 30th Princeton observed its first winter commencement in almost 200 years. This was due to the 315 members of the 1943 class that sped up their courses so they could report to active duty.
  • Commencement was combined with the baccalaureate address took place in the university chapel. Charles Scribner Jr. gave the Latin Salutatory and President Dodds gave the commencement speaker.
  • Joseph C. Grew, former Ambassador to Japan spoke at the Princeton commencement luncheon
  • The spring commencement was held on May 28th and 29th and would be the last formal commencement for the duration of the war. The class day customary exercises were condensed into one ceremony. President Dodds gave his address at commencement as usual.
  • On September 29th the University held its 3rd commencement ceremony of the year for undergraduates a the end of the current quarter. The ceremony was held in the Faculty Room of Nassau Hall
  • The 4th and final commencement occurred on October 28th for 26 members of the Class of 1944.

1942 The University’s 195th ceremonies took place against a background of total war. A new event was introduced into the commencement season because of this. A Service of Dedication “a dedication of all that we have and all that we are, with no counting of the cost.”

1929 – View scenes from the Class of 1929′s commencement activities in this complimentary blog post.

February 21st, 1920 86 Members of the Class of 1918 & 1919 graduates returning from War Service. Informal exercises were held in the Faculty Room of Nassau Hall. “This was the first time in in the recollection of alumni that graduation exercises were ever conducted at any other time than the spring of the year” The Daily Princetonian Feb 23, 1920.

From 1792 to about 1918 the Valedictory, Salutatory and other speeches were given by students and members of the college. While details are few, the programs still include photos, schedules and class roll. These can be viewed here at the archives at Mudd Library and are located in the Commencement Records collection.

The history of Princeton University Commencement Ceremonies

Every year leading up to the final weeks of classes, commencement and reunions, we receive questions related to the history of commencement activities. In this post we dive right into that subject!

The original commencement of the College of New Jersey was held in Newark, New Jersey on November 9th, 1748. There was a procession, an address from President Aaron Burr followed by graduate disputations, and finally, the awarding of the degrees. You can read more in this Princetionian article from 1932 and this satire, The First Commencement by Lewis Morris Jr.

Nathanial Scudder's College of New Jersey - Master of Arts Degree from 1759 - from the Princeton University Diploma Collection (AC138)

Nathanial Scudder, 1751, College of New Jersey – Honorary Master of Arts Degree from 1759 – from the Princeton University Diploma Collection (AC138)

The Commencement Records (AC115) has a rich description of the history of commencement addresses. One of the earliest Valedictory addresses was given by Ashbel Green’s address in 1783.  These addresses were first given in 1760 by a high ranking student. Through the years valedictory addresses have tried to sum up the experience of college life in relation to the world the seniors were about to enter.

Salutatory addresses date back to the first commencement in 1748. Though no actual addresses appear in the files until 1903, newspaper articles occasionally elaborate on them. This address was traditionally delivered by the highest ranking member of the senior class and is Princeton’s oldest student honor. The salutatorian delivered this half-hour address in Latin, in keeping with the serious tone of the formal proceedings of commencement. Today the Salutatory, while still in Latin, is quite short, and each student receives the speech (with prompts in it for laughing and exclamations), in hopes that the audience will be suitably impressed with their Latin skills.

Class Day exercises are held by the students on Cannon Green and are generally filled with wit and wisdom, mocking both faculty and students alike. The earliest “program” can be found in 1856, though as the years go by the programs become much more colorful and elaborate. By 1913 they are bound in leather and contain numerous photographs, a schedule of commencement events and cannon exercises as well as the class roll.

The baccalaureate service is one of Princeton’s oldest traditions, and the earliest program dates from 1889. The earliest recorded address was delivered by Samuel Davies in 1760 entitled “Religion and Public Spirit.” Baccalaureate is held the Sunday before commencement. Also included are printed programs to senior dinners and balls which were given during commencement celebrations. In Box 1, Folder 1 of the Commencement  Records (AC115), you can find more about Baccalaureate sermons in the paper by Daniel Edward Sack titled, The Last Lecture: Baccalaureate sermons at Princeton University, 1876-1969.

Commencement programs themselves appear in 1792 with a schedule of the day’s events.

Here we see one of the earliest programs in our collection from 1844 when students completed degrees in 2 years.

AC115_1844 Program 1AC115_1844 Program 2

As the years advance the programs grow in length and scope. In 1913 they expanded to several pages giving greater detail to the exercises and listing all graduates and prize winners. Today the program runs some 48 pages and contains the names of graduating seniors and advanced degree recipients. Also included are the names of the processional participants, honorary degree recipients, lists of students earning departmental honors, undergraduate awards, prizes, and commissions, fellowships, retirements, and winners of the President’s distinguished teaching awards. Background information on the history of the trustees of the university, the Commencement Committee and the Senior Class Steering Committee is also provided.

 

A Princeton Companion, by Alexander Leitch explains more about the changes of commencement.

“Princeton held its first commencement in the Newark, New Jersey “meetinghouse.“ Upon moving to Princeton in 1756 commencement services were held in Nassau Hall until 1764 when they were moved to the First Presbyterian Church. In 1892 they were moved to Alexander Hall and in 1922 moved a final time to outside the front of Nassau Hall, where they are still held today. In the event of rain, commencement is moved to Jadwin Gymnasium. Observed in the fall until 1843, the celebration was moved to the spring in 1844.

Commencement activities continue for nearly a week, beginning with alumni returning to campus for alumni/faculty forums on the Thursday afternoon before commencement. Saturday afternoon the annual alumni P-Rade occurs, as well as class reunions usually held outdoors under tents. On Sunday students and their families attend a baccalaureate service in the morning, the president’s garden party in the afternoon and a concert in the evening. Monday is devoted to Class Day exercises, departmental receptions and a senior dance. Formal commencement exercises occur on Tuesday. An academic procession to Nassau Hall begins the festivities, followed by an invocation, the conferring of bachelor degrees, recognition of honors graduates, the valedictory speech, the conferring of master, doctor and honorary degrees, remarks by the president, and the singing of “Old Nassau.”

(From http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2009/07/15/pages/9577/)

The tradition of short, typically lighthearted speeches from two or three graduating seniors at Class Day began in 2001, when class president Justin Browne ’01 added them to the program, along with a “celebrity” guest speaker. “A lot of the [Commencement events] are just pomp and circumstance,” Browne said, “so we wanted to make Class Day speeches something fun that students get to do for themselves.”

In the coming weeks we will be posting a number of complementary posts related to Commencement Week activities, including a number of newly digitized items that will be posted on our Reel Mudd Audiovisual Blog.

Mudd Library Awarded Grant to Provide Global Access to Records of the Cold War

by: Maureen Callahan

The historian John Lewis Gaddis, author of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of George Kennan, has stated that the Mudd Library holds “the most significant set of papers for the study of modern American history outside of federal hands.”

This may be true, but is often only relevant to researchers who have the resources to access them. We have worked diligently to make sure people could find information about our collections, but until now, there were only a very few ways to actually study these records – come to Princeton, New Jersey and access them in the reading room, or order photocopies of what you think you might be interested in, based on descriptions in our finding aids (we also have a few collections digitized and online, and some microfilmed collections of our records may be in your local library).

We want to change this to make it easier for everyone to access our materials. Thanks to the generosity of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a taxpayer-funded organization that supports efforts to promote documentary sources, over 400,000 pages of records from six of our most-used collections will be digitized and put online for anyone with an internet connection to access. We hope that our records will become newly accessible and indispensible to international researchers, high school and college students, and anyone else with an interest in the history of the Cold War.  As Gaddis wrote in a letter of support for our grant, this kind of access “has the potential, quite literally, to globalize the possibility of doing archival research. That’s no guarantee that this will produce a greater number of great books than in the past. What it will ensure, however, is a quantum leap in the opportunities students and their teachers will have to bring the excitement of working with original documents into all classrooms.”

Collections include:

John Foster Dulles Papers

John Foster Dulles (1888-1959), the fifty-third Secretary of State of the United States for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had a long and distinguished public career with significant impact upon the formulation of United States foreign policies. He was especially involved with efforts to establish world peace after World War I, the role of the United States in world governance, and Cold War relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Dulles papers document his entire public career and his influence on the formation of United States foreign policy, especially for the period when he was Secretary of State.

We plan to digitize the following:

Series 1. Selected Correspondence 1891-1960

Series 3. Diaries and Journals 1907-1938

Series 5. Speeches, Statements, Press Conferences, Etc 1913-1958

 

George Kennan Papers

George F. Kennan (1904-2005) was a diplomat and a historian, noted especially for his influence on United States policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War and for his scholarly expertise in the areas of Russian history and foreign policy. Kennan’s papers document his career as a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study and his time in the Foreign Service.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 1A, Permanent Correspondence 1947-2004

Subseries 4D, Major Unused Drafts 1933-1978

Subseries 4G, Unpublished Works 1938-2000

 

Council on Foreign Relations Records

The Council on Foreign Relations is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and national membership organization dedicated to improving understanding of international affairs by promoting a range of ideas and opinions on United States foreign policy. The Council has had a significant impact in the development of twentieth century United States foreign policy. The Records of the Council on Foreign Relations document the history of the organization from its founding in 1921 through the present.

We plan to digitize the following:

Studies Department 1918-1945

 

Allen W. Dulles Papers

The Allen W. Dulles Papers contains correspondence, speeches, writings, and photographs documenting the life of this lawyer, diplomat, businessman, and spy. One of the longest-serving directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (1953-1961), he also served in a key intelligence post in Bern, Switzerland during World War II, as well as on the Warren Commission.

We plan to digitize the following:

Series 1, Correspondence 1891-1969

Series 4, Warren Commission Files 1959-1967

 

Adlai E. Stevenson Papers

The Adlai E. Stevenson Papers document the public life of Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), governor of Illinois, Democratic presidential candidate, and United Nations ambassador. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, writings, campaign materials, subject files, United Nations materials, personal files, photographs, and audiovisual materials, illuminating Stevenson’s career in law, politics, and diplomacy, primarily from his first presidential campaign until his death in 1965.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 5D, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 1946-1947

 

James Forrestal Papers

James V. Forrestal (1892-1949) was a Wall Street businessman who played an important role in U.S. military operations during and immediately after World War II. From 1940 to 1949 Forrestal served as, in order, assistant to President Roosevelt, Under Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Navy, and the first Secretary of Defense.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 1A, Alphabetical Correspondence

Subseries 5A, Diaries

 

Digitization will occur over the course of two years, and materials will be added to the web as they are digitized. Please be in touch with us if you have any questions about any of our materials.

 

Penumbral Eclipse of the Heart

by: Amanda Pike

A penumbral lunar eclipse took place earlier this morning, the last of four eclipses observed this year. Unfortunately, here in Princeton, the eclipse was not visible since it began after moonset. However, there is still an opportunity to observe an eclipse at the Mudd Library!

waynesboro_expedition_1

The Princeton University Archives houses the Princeton Scientific Expeditions Collection, which includes a series specifically on astronomical expeditions from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. This collection documents the work of various scientific expeditions conducted under the aegis of Princeton University, though the history of these expeditions is fragmentary. From the information within the collection, it appears that the earliest such enterprises were astronomical, as the college’s professor Stephen Alexander journeyed to Georgia in 1834 to observe an eclipse of the sun. While no notice of this has been found in the trustees’ minutes of the time, at least two of three subsequent eclipse expeditions (in 1854, 1860, and 1869) were official college investigations, duly authorized and funded by the trustees. Alexander’s successor, Professor C. A. Young, led his own eclipse expeditions to Colorado in 1878, to Russia in 1887, and to North Carolina in 1900. An 1882 journey to observe the transit of Venus is, so far, the only other identified astronomic expedition of the 19th century.

The images below document a solar eclipse observed in Wadesboro, North Carolina in 1900, as well as the equipment used to capture the images.

waynesboro_expedition_2

waynesboro_expedition_3

waynesboro_expedition_4

Further information on the Princeton Scientific Expeditions Collection can be found using the collection’s finding aid online.

Bonfire!!!

UPDATE!! Following the Princeton Victory over Yale this weekend we will have yet another BONFIRE this Sunday, November 24th at 7pm. In the meantime, check out our blog from last year about the history of the tradition. Plus, we have added a few “new” archival photos!

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On Saturday, November 17th at 7:00 pm, we went back to Cannon Green to re-light a fire that has been dormant for six years, the BONFIRE!

AC112.3536

Timeframe unknown

The bonfire is one of the oldest traditions at Princeton University. The Princetoniana Committee, part of the Alumni Association, describes the fire as “one of the most memorable– and sporadic– of all traditional Princeton activities.” The celebratory fire occurs only after the Princeton football team has defeated both Yale and Harvard.

“According to tradition, the construction of the Bonfire rested with the Dink Wearing Freshmen. It was their responsibility to gather wood from the surrounding area, often aided in large part by townspeople and campus construction workers. Once a tall pyre had been placed in the center of Cannon Green, the final adornments usually included an outhouse and an effigy of John Harvard or a Yale Bulldog, or both.” – Princetoniana Committee

Here we showcase just a few of the many historical photographs of bonfires that are in the Princeton University Archives, housed here at the Mudd Manuscript Library. The following reside in the Historical Photograph Collection: Campus Life (AC112)  and the Office of Communications Records (AC168).

AC112_MP130_5961_1897

Remnants of the 1897 bonfire

AC112_MP130_3489_1901

Gathering the materials for the 1901 fire.

AC112_MP130_3495_1914

A large pyre for the 1914 fire

Students turn away from the heat of the flames during the 1946 fire.

Students turn away from the heat of the flames during the 1946 fire.

AC126_B37.Bonfire1946
AC112_MP130_3514_1948

From 1948: the outhouse is shown with Yale Bowl painted on the side

AC112MP130_3521_1950

Football coach Charlie Caldwell ’25 and team captain George Chandler ’51 lighting the bonfire in 1950.

A closer look at the outhouse from the 1952 championship event.

A closer look at the outhouse from the 1952 championship event.

 

Huge flames during the 1981 bonfire.

Huge flames during the 1981 bonfire.

 

AC168_B169_11_24_92bonfire

Students watch the 1985 fire from the trees.

 

AC168_B169_11_17_94bonfire

The Princeton Tiger lights the 1994 bonfire.

2006

The most recent fire in 2006. Photo courtesy: John Jameson, Office of Communications

PAW Photo from 2013 - Credit - Beverly Schaefer

PAW Photo from 2013 – Credit – Beverly Schaefer

Princeton Pause also compiled a video from the 2006 fire featuring items from our archives.

More photographs can be viewed in person by visiting the Mudd Reading Room. Digital copies of photos are also available. Start your search with our Historical Photograph Database. 

If you are attending and sharing photos using Twitter or Instagram, please use the hashtag #bonfirePU and contribute to documenting the history of this wonderful event!

Please also feel free to leave a comment about your bonfire memories!

Before Sandy, there was Gloria and David: Hurricane damage on campus.

As many are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy here at Princeton and throughout the east coast we take a look at how the University survived past super storms and hurricanes.

Within the Princeton University Archives and the Office of Communications Records (AC168) we found a number of photos from Hurricane David ,which unleashed its fury on campus on September 8, 1979. These photos were taken the following day.

DavidDamage9_6_79.2_AC168_box142

Ten years later, Hurricane Gloria caused damage yet again. These photos are dated September 27th 1989.

GloriaDamage.2.9_27_85_AC168_Box142

GloriaDamage9_27_85_AC168_Box142

For more information about the archives search our Finding Aids here.

The following article offers information if you would like to help with relief efforts.

Hurricane relief efforts being organized at Princeton

 

 

 

Editing the world’s online encyclopedia: Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Three

On October 19th, 2012 staff members of Mudd Manuscript Library once again opened the doors and archives for the purpose of composing and  editing Princeton University-related articles on Wikipedia.

For this third event of its kind, we decided to hold it during our normal business hours during volunteer weekend with the focus of enhancing Princeton athletics information.

We had a total of 11 attendees with 3 new user names created.

Here a new user learns how to create and edit articles from a Wikipedian

A number of articles were created and are still being edited.

  1. Princeton Cannon Song
  2. Class of 1952 Stadium
  3. User:Undead q/Karl Langlotz
  4. List of Princeton University Olympians
  5. Hollie Donan
  6. User:Lmd08/sandbox (Princeton Tiger Mascot)
In addition a number of articles were expanded.
  1. Lisa Brown-Miller Coaching details added
  2. The Princeton Tigers page gained the addition of:
  • Women’s Golf
  • Golf
  • First football game

Two photos from the editing were also added to Wikimedia Commons

We count this edit-a-thon as yet another success and plans are being made for future events that will include undergraduates in learning more about Wikipedia and editing.

Princeton Alumni Weekly writer Brett Tomlinson was a participant in our event and has also written here about his experience.

Access to Higher Education: A National and Princeton Timeline

In light of the Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity that is working to develop recommendations for strategies to attract and retain more diverse campus community members, (including people of color and women, in areas where the University’s efforts to advance diversity have had more limited success), we offer this historical timeline.

The mid to late 19th century sees the first wave of democratization of collegiate education, including creation of the land grant universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), women’s colleges, and early coeducation.

1837: Cheyney University of Pennsylvania founded as the nation’s first HBCU.  In the same year, Mount Holyoke College opened, making it the oldest remaining higher education institution for women.

1856: The African Methodist Episcopal church founded Wilberforce University, which is the first black school of higher learning that was owned and operated by African Americans. Records suggest that Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. church in Princeton, NJ, was involved in fundraising efforts for Wilberforce.

1862: The Morrill Land Grant Act authorizes states to use the proceeds from the sale of public lands to establish state colleges of agriculture and the mechanical arts.

1865: The Freedman Bureau—initially known as the Federal Bureau of Refugees, Freedman and Abandoned Lands—was created. The bureau  was instrumental in founding a number of HBCU’s  in 1867, including, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina, Atlanta University in Georgia, and in 1868, Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia.

1876: Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, opens the first medical school in the South for African Americans.

1881: Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, became the first college formally founded for African American women. In the same year, Booker T. Washington founded The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama, now known as Tuskegee University.

By the early 20th century, higher education leaders assume roles as “social regulators” between socioeconomic classes and ethnic groups, rationing access to undergraduate degrees. 

1900: A consortium of colleges and universities develops the Common Entrance Exam, which will evolve in 1926 into the SAT.

1909: Woodrow Wilson protects Princeton’s racial homogeneity, writing that it would be “altogether inadvisable for a colored man to enter.”

1922:  Princeton changes undergraduate admissions procedures to include greater consideration of subjective non-academic criteria, largely in order to limit admission of Jewish applicants.

Mid-century, there is renewed national movement toward democratization of access to higher education.

1942: Princeton belatedly admits its first African American undergraduates in conjunction with the Navy’s V-12 program. This federal government program was designed to select and train highly qualified men for commissioning as officers in the Navy.

1944: Congress passes the GI Bill of Rights, which provides WWII veterans with benefits including education grants. This year also marked the establishment of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) by Frederick D. Patterson, for which was organized to help support African American college students. At Princeton, John Leroy Howard is the first to graduate from the Navy’s V-12 program.

1948: James Everett Ward and Arthur Jewell Wilson, Jr. both admitted to the Navy’s V-12 Program in 1945 graduate from Princeton.  On August 24th, Princeton issued a statement to the Judiciary Committee on the Assembly of the State Legislature in response to the Proposed Act Assembly 512, legislation that challenged discriminatory practices in institutions of higher learning in NJ: “It is, however, the position of Princeton University that discriminatory practices in a private educational institutions cannot be corrected, in any fundamental or long-range manner, by police legislation. The only sound prescription for their eradication is to provide a climate in which they cannot thrive. No punitive law can create such a climate.”

1951: Princeton University conferred the Doctor of Laws honorary degree upon activist, intellectual, and politician Ralph Johnson Bunch, making him the first African American to receive such an honor from the college. In addition, Joseph Ralph Moss was the first African American admitted after the war in the fall of 1947. He graduated on June 12, 1951.

1954: Brown v. Board of Education decision holds that racially segregated schools are inherently unequal.

1955: Princeton appoints its first African American professor, Charles T. Davis.

1957: The “Little Rock Nine” integrates Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.

1958: In response to the Cold War, Congress authorizes the National Defense Education Act, which provides federal aid to improve the teaching of math, science and foreign languages and creates the first federal loans for higher education.

1959: Princeton University conferred the Doctor of Humanities honorary degree upon opera singer Marian Anderson, making her the first African American woman to receive such an honor from the college.

1960: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed by an interracial group of college students. SNCC was instrumental in helping to energize college students and encouraged their involvement in the Civil Rights movement, particularly sit-ins and freedom rides.

1962: James Meredith was the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

1963: The Princeton Cooperative School-College program was established, aiming to “enlarge the pool of qualified Negro candidates for higher education.” It later sought to include students from other socio-economically disadvantaged groups from area public and private schools.

1964: Princeton awards a Ph.D degree to a woman, T’sai-ying Cheng, for the first time.  In the same year, Princeton ends compulsory chapel for freshmen.

By the mid-1960s, access to higher education is increasingly viewed as a social justice imperative and corrective “Affirmative Action” measure for under-represented populations.  Major federal legislation expands protections for a variety of populations. Private colleges and universities begin to redefine their role as the educators of societal leaders to include women and members of minority groups in the leadership cadre.

1965: The Higher Education Act increases federal funds for colleges and universities, creates scholarships, and provides low-interest loans for students.

1968: Carl A. Fields is appointed as assistant dean of the college, becoming the first African American to serve as dean at an Ivy League institution.  In the same year, Suzanne Keller becomes the first tenured female member of the faculty and Henry and Cecelia Drewry were hired to teach Princeton’s first courses in black history and culture. In October and November, the Committee for Black Awareness submitted proposals pertaining to improving the recruitment efforts, admission and experience of African American graduate students at the college.

1969: Princeton trustees vote to admit women to the undergraduate student body.  In this same year, the Ford foundation donated $1 million dollars to Howard University, Yale, and Morgan State University to help prepare faculty members to teach African American studies courses.

1971: Third World Center (now Carl A. Fields Center) and Women’s Center founded. This same year, Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg (1971) made the busing of students for the purpose of promoting integration in public schools constitutional. This case was suggestive of how the nation was still grappling with the implementation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

1972: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans discrimination on the basis of gender.

1974: A group of Princeton’s Puerto Rican and Chicano students, which included Sonia Sotomayor, petitioned the Office of Health, Education, and Welfare to review the college’s Affirmative Action policy, particularly, what the students charged were Princeton’s deficiencies in addressing the concerns of Puerto Rican and Chicano students. Thereafter, Sotomayor went on to propose the first student initiated seminar on the history and politics of Puerto-Rico to be administered in the spring of 1974.

1973: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act guarantees civil rights for people with disabilities in the context of federally-funded institutions.

1978: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision condemns use of quotas in college admission but concludes that it is permissible to take race into account, as one among several factors, in seeking to secure the educational benefits of diversity.  Justice Powell’s decision quotes President William Bowen’s writing on the value of diversity.

During the 1980s and 1990s, definitions of diversity in a higher education context broaden to include a wider range of difference in experience and background, including disabilities, religion, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, national origin, etc.  Workplace conceptions of diversity as a form of competitive advantage, particularly in a globalized world, enter the national dialogue.

1992: Tiger Inn becomes the last Eating Club to accept women.

1993: On March 1st, Vice Provost Ruth Simmons issues “Report on Campus Race Relations.”

1994: Center for Jewish Life established.

1995: Ethnic studies protest waged by students at Princeton culminated with a sit-in at Nassau Hall. The students were calling for a more diverse liberal arts curriculum that would include Asian and Latin American studies.

1998: Princeton takes first major steps to transform its financial aid policies, followed in 2001 by the ground-breaking “no-loan” policy.

2002: Princeton’s Office of the Vice President for Campus Life launched the Bildner Fund for the Advancement of Diversity on Campus. These funds were used to support programming and projects dealing with race, ethnicity, gender, faith, class, social justice, among others issues.

2003: Supreme Court upholds the affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan in Grutter v. Bollinger.

2005: Princeton launches the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center.

2006: Princeton launches the Office of Disabilities Services.

2007: Princeton announces a strategic plan to expand its international initiatives. In addition, the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) opens in Stanhope Hall.

2009: Princeton hires the country’s first full-time college Hindu Chaplain. Also, the program in Latino Studies is established during this year.

2011: Princeton’s Program in Women and Gender Studies changed its name to the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies to “reflect the new development and changing focus of scholarship in the field.”

Oldest Living Princeton Undergraduate Dies

Malcolm Warnock, the oldest known living Princeton undergraduate alumnus of all time, has passed away at the age of 107. Malcolm Roe Warnock was a part of the Class of 1925.

MalcomWarnock2008Reunions
Malcom Warnock at Reunions 2008.
Photo Courtesy Princeton Alumni Weekly

The unofficial distinguished title of the Oldest Princeton Undergraduate was designated to Mr. Warnock after a search of the index of PAW Memorials published between 1894 and 2012 for undergraduate alumni who died 80 or more years after graduation.
The following list shows other than Mr. Warnock, the ten oldest Princetonians:
Steven Hirsch ’1917, who died in 2000 at the age of 105
Leonard L. Ernst ’1925 ,who died in 2008 at the age of 103.
Elijah V. Gordy ’1912, who died in 1993 at the age of 103

Arthur Cort Holden ’1912, who died in 1993 at the age of 103

Robert R. Lester ’1916, who died in 1997 at the age of 103

Harold R. Medina ’1909, who died in 1990 at the age of 102. (Medina’s Papers are housed at Mudd Manuscript Library.)

Alison Reid Bryan ’1913, who died in 1992 at the age of 101

George E. Strebel ’1914, who died in 1995 at the age of 101

Carl Bischoff ’1916, who died in 1991 at the age of 100

Charles “Cupid” E. Whitehouse Jr. ’1915 , who died 1995 at the age of 100

Walton Clark Jr. ’1908, who died in 1987 at the age of 99

Carl F. Hinrichsen ’1907, who died in 1985 at the age of 97

While a student at Princeton, Warnock was listed as a member of the Key and Seal Club.

In addition to the honor of being the Oldest Princeton Undergraduate, Mr. Warnock was also the first person to return for his 87th Reunion, as well as having been given the 1923 Class cane a record number eight times in 2012.

Malcolm Warnock is survived by his two daughters, Margaret Carlough and Elanor Warnock.

Additional reporting by: Christie Peterson

Fidel Castro visits Princeton University

Daily Princetonian photo of Castro on Washington Street.

In 1959, not even three months after he came to power, Fidel Castro was invited to speak to a small group of undergraduate students and faculty members of the Woodrow Wilson School. In a recent donation to the University Archives, we received some key items related to Castro’s visit, including this letter of invitation.

Letter sent to Castro. March 5, 1959

This telegram response to the initial letter is also part of the donation, which was added to the American Whig-Cliosophic Society Records.

Ultimately, Castro did accept the invitation and spoke for the Woodrow Wilson School’s Special Program in American Civilization. Admission to the program was by invitation only, and it was held in Wilson Hall, now known as Corwin Hall.

These materials were donated by Ambassador Paul D. Taylor ’60 and include a carbon copy of three pages of notes of excerpts from Castro’s speech taken by Taylor.

The rest of Castro’s visit included a tour of campus with President Goheen ’40 as well as being the guest of honor at the Present Day Club in town.

During his visit, Castro stayed in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Roland T. Ely ’46. Below is a piece of biographical information that is included in the Historical Subject Files: Box 309, Folder 20.

If you would like to learn more about Castro’s visit, please search the digitized archives of The Daily Princetonian.

The following links are just two of the articles related to Castro’s visit.

Castro Violates Security Regulations

The Story Behind Castro’s Visit

There is also this piece in the Princeton Alumni Weekly online edition.