Author Archives: Brett Tomlinson

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton’s Proctors

Proctor “Axel” Peterson, with pipe, looks on as students interview Dr. Timothy Leary. (George Peterson ’69/PAW Archives)

Proctor “Axel” Peterson, with pipe, looks on as students interview Dr. Timothy Leary. (George Peterson ’69/PAW Archives)

For generations of Princeton alumni, PAW contributor George Peterson ’69 wrote in 1967, “memories of undergraduate years invariably include the proctors.” At the time, the men in suits and hats had been charged with maintaining order on the campus for nearly a century. They filled other roles as well, like transporting ill students to the infirmary or delivering urgent messages. By 1967, there were seven proctors, working with a growing campus security department that employed 63 uniformed officers.

Proctor Mike Kopliner, left, in 1937. (PAW Archives)

Proctor Mike Kopliner, left, in 1937. (PAW Archives)

The Office of the Proctor, created by President James McCosh in 1870, began as a department of one — Matt Goldie, who held the post for 22 years. Goldie was well respected and had a reputation for being “square and honest,” according to A Princeton Companion. The reputations of his successors were mixed. There were some who earned affection from the students — the Princeton University Band paid tribute to one, Mike Kopliner, by forming a giant K in his honor during a halftime show. Others were labeled “the Pinkertons of Princeton” in a popular student song from the 1930s and ’40s.

One memorable proctor, the 6-foot-7-inch Herbert “Axel” Peterson, explained the group’s philosophy in a 1967 interview with The Prince: “We treat the boys like they want to be treated. If they don’t give us trouble, we won’t give them any.”

“Axel” Peterson tones down a party in Holder Hall, circa 1967. (George Peterson ’69/PAW Archives)

“Axel” Peterson tones down a party in Holder Hall, circa 1967. (George Peterson ’69/PAW Archives)

Tigers of the Week: William Hudnut III ’54 and Steve Adler ’78

Our Tiger of the Week honors this week go to two big-city mayors, one former and one soon-to-be: William Hudnut III ’54, Indianapolis’ longest-serving mayor, who was honored last weekend with a statue that commemorates his contributions to the city; and Steve Adler ’78, the mayor-elect in Austin, Texas, who won a Dec. 16 runoff election for the post.

A clay model of the “Mayor Bill” sculpture. (Courtesy Alan Mayers ’54)

A clay model of the “Mayor Bill” sculpture. (Courtesy Alan Mayers ’54)

Hudnut, the Indianapolis mayor from 1976 to 1992, oversaw an era of remarkable growth in the city. Last year, officials announced the creation of Hudnut Commons, a downtown park refurbished in his honor, and on Sunday, with help from private donors, the city unveiled a final addition: a sculpture called “Mayor Bill,” which depicts Hudnut on a park bench, in a relaxed, affable pose. “I’m grateful that this is a recognition ceremony, not a memorial service,” Hudnut said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I’m embarrassed to get so much credit for this and have this unveiled to me. This should be unveiled to the staff who helped pull this off.”

The ceremony preceded a home game for the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL team that Hudnut lured to town in 1984. “Mayors tend to do some gutsy things,” current Mayor Greg Ballard said, according to FOX 59. “Some are risk adverse, some are gutsy, but I am here to tell you that the gutsiest thing I ever knew of was building a stadium without a football team. … Holy cow! But it worked.”

Adler, a lawyer and longtime Austinite, is a relative newcomer to electoral politics. He served as chief of staff for a state senator in the 1990s and has been a member of civic and nonprofit boards. He received the endorsement of outgoing mayor Lee Leffingwell and earned the most votes in a crowded November election, falling shy of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

On Tuesday, Adler received two-thirds of the popular vote and defeated City Councilman Mike Martinez. The mayor-elect delivered a message of unity in his victory speech, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “If there is a city that is positioned to get out ahead of poverty, and to get ahead of gentrification, it’s Austin, Texas,” Adler said.

WATCH: Video coverage of the “Mayor Bill” unveiling and Adler’s election victory

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#ThrowbackThursday: Santa Claus, Honorary Princetonian?

121990_coverFrom the Dec. 19, 1990, cover of PAW:

“It’s not all gimme, gimme, gimme! Here’s one from Princeton University. They want to confer an honorary degree on you — Doctor of Humanitarian Service.”

The cartoon and the imaginary letter from Nassau Hall are creations of longtime New Yorker cartoonist Henry Martin ’48, a prolific artist who got his start at The Princeton Tiger. Martin has contributed dozens of drawings to PAW’s pages over the years, including wry takes on Reunions and thumbnail sketches that still find their way into the Class of ’48’s notes column. In 2010, he donated nearly 700 drawings to the University Library.

READ MORE: Gregg Lange ’70’s column about Henry Martin and the Class of 1948

Tiger of the Week: Golf Pro Kelly Shon ’14

Kelly Shon ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Kelly Shon ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

After finishing her senior season at Princeton, golfer Kelly Shon ’14 decided to test herself against a new level of competition in pro tournaments on the Symetra Tour, a minor-league circuit for the LPGA. Last weekend, she earned a promotion: With a top-10 finish in the LPGA’s qualifying tournament, she earned her LPGA Tour card for 2015.

Shon will be the first Princeton woman — and third Ivy League alumna — to play regularly on the LPGA Tour. At Princeton, she was one of the most accomplished players the women’s golf team has ever seen — a two-time Ivy Player of the Year and three-time All-Ivy competitor who earned the league’s best-ever individual finish at the NCAA Championships in 2013 (tied for 37th).

Shon’s recent success came in her second pass through the marathon five-day tournament known in golf circles as “Q-School.” Last year, she played well enough to gain entry on the Symetra Tour but fell short of the LPGA cutoff. This time, Shon carded a 6-under-par 354 to graduate in a class of 20 tour qualifiers, including 14 rookies. She completed the weekend with a tap-in for an even-par 72 on Sunday.

“All the weight on my shoulders just dropped right there,” the Port Washington, N.Y., native told Newsday. “Making it on the tour was my next goal and now I have bigger goals.” Continue reading

Books by Fishman ’01, Galchen ’98, Goffman *10, and Sharma ’92 Featured Among New York Times Notables

Three books by Princeton alumni were featured in The New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2014: A Replacement Life, by Boris Fishman ’01; American Innovations, by Rivka Galchen ’98; On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, by Alice Goffman *10; and Family Life, by Akhil Sharma ’92. Emeritus professor James McPherson also made the list with his biography of Jefferson Davis, Embattled Rebel.  Times Book Review editors also named Sharma’s novel as one of the year’s 10 best.

PRINCE-RRjacketRead more about the authors in the PAW Archives:

Boris Fishman ’01: Immigrant Experiences Inspire a Debut Novel

Fishman, who was born in the former Soviet Union and came to the United States at age 9, told PAW contributor Maria LoBiondo that the immigrant experience has played a key role in his writing. “Outwardly I’m very American, but inwardly I’m Russian,” he said. “The conflict is very rich for writing. Honey for art, but vinegar for life.”

Tiger of the Week: Author Rivka Galchen ’98

goffman-coverGalchen’s fresh, innovative short-story collection earned high marks from reviewers.

Life on the Run

Goffman, a rising star in sociology, chronicled the human costs of America’s penal system after spending her 20s immersed in fieldwork with wanted young men.

Tiger of the Week: Novelist Akhil Sharma ’92

Sharma’s semi-autobiographical second novel was the result of a sometimes painful writing process that took nearly a decade. He wrote about the experience in a personal essay for The New York Times.

For the record: This post has been updated to include Akhil Sharma ’92’s novel Family Life.

#ThrowbackThursday: Pearl Harbor Remembered

120491_coverThe latest episode of our oral-history podcast, PAW Tracks, features alumnus and Army Air Corps veteran Herb Hobler ’44 speaking about the moment he first heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the ways in which that news shaped his life in the years that followed. Classmate Donald Voss ’44 *49 explores the same topic in a new online essay. But these additions are just the tip of the iceberg: PAW published a vast and vivid collection of memories from that day in the Dec. 4, 1991, issue, just before the 50th anniversary of the attack. The cover story, “Pearl Harbor Remembered,” included first-person recollections from 26 alumni, including the late Yeiichi Kuwayama ’40, a Japanese-American graduate and Army quartermaster at the time of the attack, stationed in Vermont:

“We didn’t believe it at first when the radio announced the attack on Pearl Harbor, but as the radio blared on, we became convinced that this wasn’t some prank by Orson Welles. Most of my fellow enlisted men were of Polish or German descent and came from around Buffalo, New York. I was the only one from New York City and the only Japanese-American. Continue reading