Author Archives: Marilyn Marks

In Memoriam: Merrell Noden ’78

We are heartbroken to report the death from cancer May 31 of our colleague and friend, Merrell Noden ’78, a longtime PAW contributor. For about two decades, Merrell wrote the stories of some of Princeton’s most captivating people and programs, always with eloquence and heart.

Merrell Noden ’78 (Frank Wojciechowski)

Merrell Noden ’78 (Frank Wojciechowski)

You could tell a lot about Merrell from his articles. He was as curious as they come, happily taking on any topic we could throw at him — from word puzzles to Vietnam to mathematics geniuses. He loved running and literature and brought them together, once writing a piece for Sports Illustrated about Charles Dickens’ obsession with race-walking. He was full of good will, gratitude, and wonder, peppering his drafts with exclamation points that sometimes were deleted during editing, lest all that enthusiasm boil over.

About Professor Simon Morrison *97’s research on the composer Sergei Prokofiev, Merrell wrote: “Lucky Prokofiev! Few geniuses have had the good fortune to be served by someone as diligent and honest as Morrison.” In another piece, Merrell recalled the famous math-department teas: “What teas those must have been! It wasn’t just professors and grad students who came, but undergrads, visiting fellows, and brainiacs from the Institute.” He wrote about the digitization of books, noting that some people were questioning why we needed a bricks-and-mortar library at all. Merrell needed two exclamation points to comment on that prospect. “Aaaaarrhh!!” he wrote. “If, like me, you recall the libraries of your childhood as magical places, this comes close to sacrilege. Those libraries were warm and safe; you could spend entire afternoons opening books onto worlds you never knew existed, with the only threat being the sharp tongues of zealous librarians.”

As I re-read his emails and stories to write this note, I kept smiling.

Over the last few years, as Merrell endured the energy-sapping ups and downs of cancer treatment and it became harder for him to get around, he continued to take on PAW articles, saying they helped him feel connected to the campus and people he cared about. He submitted two pieces, well done as always, for our June 3 issue, then followed up with a warm note about the interesting assignments. His wife, Eva Mantell, said later that Merrell was quite ill when he was working on the last piece but cared deeply about completing it.

There is no number of exclamation points that can capture how much Merrell will be missed.

READ MORE: A selection of Merrell’s stories for PAW Continue reading

New at PAW Online: Remembering Dean Fred; Alumni Day; Jeopardy! Champ

What's new @ PAW ONLINE
What once was called the Letters section of PAW is now known as Inbox, a nod to the fact that readers contact us through various channels: online comments, Facebook, Twitter, email, and yes, letters too. The recent outpouring of remembrances following Dean Fred Hargadon’s death illustrated this point. We invite you to read an expanded selection of the messages we received.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor

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New at PAW Online: Tigers in Hollywood; Remembering Princeton-Georgetown; Alumni Books

What's new @ PAW ONLINE
PAW readers may be familiar with alumni Oscar winners like Ethan Coen ’79, José Ferrer ’33, and Jimmy Stewart ’32, but how many remember Julian Krainin and DeWitt Sage? They were the directors of Princeton: A Search for Answers, a 1973 recruitment film that won an Academy Award for documentary, short subject. Our resident historian, Gregg Lange ’70, tells the story in his latest column.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor

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What’s new at PAW Online: July 8, 2013

During the festive week of Reunions and Commencement, Princeton was particularly photogenic, as you may have noticed from our July 10 cover and the dozens of images inside the magazine. There are even more photos available online, including a gallery of selections from PAW’s annual reader-photo contest. Many thanks to all who participated and contributed to our colorful coverage of these memorable events.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor

– Browse more than 50 images of the major-reunion classes.
– Watch P-rade highlights and a time-lapse view of the procession.
– View additional photos submitted by PAW readers.
What is the most important thing you learned at Princeton? What was your best day? Who had the greatest influence on your experience? Listen to what 15 graduates had to say. WATCH
Also online: More photos from Commencement. VIEW
Members of the Class of 1978 spoke with PAW at Reunions and recalled their student days, both good and bad. Excerpts from each interview are posted at PAW Online. VIEW 
Richard Etlin ’69 *72 *78 writes about “the subtle but profound rapport between a professor and his or her students in the context of a lecture,” an element that may be lost if more colleges adopt online learning. READ MORE
In the final Rally ’Round the Cannon column of the 2012-13 publication year, Gregg Lange ’70 looks at the seven undergraduate alumni who preceded Christopher Eisgruber ’83 as Princeton presidents. Also available as a podcast. READ MORE or LISTEN
Our PDF version is a great option for tablet users. DOWNLOAD
Follow us on Facebook @pawprinceton at Twitter
Follow PAW on Facebook and Twitter
A list of graduate and undergraduate alumni deaths recently reported to the University. READ MORE

Highlights from the July 10 issue:

Reunions! Reunions! Reunions! Princeton’s big bash.

Words to live by During Commencement week, the messages can be humorous or serious.

A wonderful life For nearly seven decades, Butler Tract has formed a happy domestic ­backdrop for ­students — not bad for “temporary housing.”

Eight selected as trustees New additions include alumni from education, finance, law, medicine, and nonprofits.

What’s new at PAW Online: June 3, 2013

For many of the alumni in attendance, Reunions 2013 provided an opportunity to bid farewell to President Shirley M. Tilghman, who will leave Nassau Hall at the end of this month after 12 eventful years in office. With that in mind, PAW has devoted much of the June 5 issue to exploring what the Tilghman years have meant for Princeton, in everything from academics to architecture. We invite readers to add their views to the conversation in the comments at PAW Online.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
See our first look at the colorful P-rade in four galleries from student photographer Lizzie Martin ’14, and share your own images in our reader-photo contest. VIEW
Gregg Lange ’70’s column strolls on the four campus walks named for Princeton presidents. Also available as a podcast. READ MORE or LISTEN
Charles Scribner III ’73 *77 examines a life and career that alternated “between success and setbacks like the alternating current of major and minor keys in a Mozart symphony.”  READ MORE
Our PDF version is a great option for tablet users. DOWNLOAD
Follow us on Facebook @pawprinceton at Twitter
Follow PAW on Facebook and Twitter
A list of graduate and undergraduate alumni deaths recently reported to the University. READ MORE

Highlights from the June 5 issue:

The Tilghman years PAW looks back at what has changed.

A moment with … Curator Don Skemer on F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17 and Gatsby.

Asian-American studies Backers see hopeful signs.

Live, from Princeton, it’s Friday night! David Drew ’14 hosts a late-night talk show.

Perspective Jeff Chu ’99’s journey of faith and humility.

More reader favorites: Multimedia archive | Princeton authors | Letters

What’s new at PAW Online: May 13, 2013

What could be better than seeing your picture in PAW? Seeing your picture in PAW — that favorite photo you snapped at the P-rade, a sentimental shot of your roommates returning to your freshman dorm, or maybe an image of the Saturday fireworks. Share your Reunions 2013 photos with us for the chance to see them in the pages of our July issue — and win prizes. For more information about our annual reader photo contest, click here.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
From combing through reference materials to crafting a piece of performance art, the senior thesis offers challenges and rewards, along with a few rituals (such as growing a “thesis beard”). WATCH
Columnist Gregg Lange ’70 explains how a century-old statue — Daniel Chester French’s “The Princeton student,” also known as the Christian Student — found its place on campus. Also available as a podcast. READ MORE or LISTEN
Our PDF version is a great option for tablet users. DOWNLOAD
Follow us on Facebook @pawprinceton at Twitter
Follow PAW on Facebook and Twitter
A list of graduate and undergraduate alumni deaths recently reported to the University. READ MORE

Highlights from the May 15 issue:

Agony! Ecstasy! The thesis is a senior’s final lonely journey.

The future of education? As the world gets a taste of Princeton through online education, Princeton gets ideas to improve at home.

LGBT conference welcomes ‘every voice’

When girls were women: Reflections for a reunion

Class begins to paint picture of Princeton’s ties to slavery

More reader favorites: Multimedia archive | Tiger of the Week | Letters