Tag Archives: 1966

Freshman journalists connect with alumni professionals

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Journalists Landon Jones ’66, Griff Witte ’00, and Jim Merritt ’66 shared their experiences with students from the Class of 2016 at a recent reception in Princeton. (Photo: Courtesy Charles R. Plohn k’66)

“I can’t believe they let me do this and pay me for it.” That’s how Landon Jones ’66 described his career in journalism to a group of 20 Princeton freshmen who gathered at his home April 7. 

Jones, a former managing editor of People (and former editor of PAW), said journalism has allowed him to satisfy his curiosity about virtually any subject. His speech kicked off “An Evening of Journalism and Writing,” organized as part of an ongoing effort to create a special relationship between the Class of 2016 and its “grandparent class,” or the class that will have its 50th reunion when the freshmen graduate.

Previous events have included a Campus Club pizza party and an oyster-eating contest at Blue Point Grill (during which Dominique Ibekwe ’16 ate 65 oysters in two minutes). “Tonight’s event will have a somewhat higher intellectual component … but the same spirit,” Class of ’66 president Charles Plohn Jr. said in his introductory remarks.

The evening’s speakers were generally encouraging about the journalism profession, despite its financial challenges. Washington Post deputy foreign editor Griff Witte ’00, son of Michael Witte ’66, said he appreciated the opportunity to be “constantly discovering” as a foreign correspondent. “Your preconceptions about the world are almost always wrong,” said Witte, who is teaching a course at Princeton this semester.

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Meet the grandparents: Classes of ’66 and ’16 bond over pizza

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In four years, the classes of ’66 and ’16 will celebrate together at Reunions. Last week, they introduced themselves over pizza. (Photos: Courtesy Marguerite Vera ’79)

Members of the Class of 1966 might want to know that they have just adopted 1,364 grandchildren, thanks to several members of their class who made an early effort to foster a relationship with the Class of 2016.

This year’s freshmen met with their “grandparents” — members of the class that will have its 50th reunion when the freshmen graduate — at a pizza party during intersession Jan. 30. The event began with opening remarks from Class of ’66 President Charles Plohn, after which the two classes shared 60 pizzas in Campus Club.

“Everyone loved meeting the grandparent class,” class council member Gwen Lee ’16 said. She added that many of the freshmen also appreciated the opportunity to meet other members of their own class who were on campus during the week after fall-term exams.

According to Plohn, little seems to have been done to encourage the grandparent-grandchild class relationship in the last few years. “[The pizza party] is certainly the first event of this nature that any grandparent class has done for any grandchild class,” he said. “We decided ‘let’s make something of this.’”

Lee and other ’16 classmates hope to continue the connection. A tentative plan is underway to meet in smaller groups with local members of their grandparent class, class council member Molly Stoneman ’16 said.

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Class of 1966 leaves its mark on Nassau Hall

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Classmates and family members gathered on Alumni Day to dedicate the Class of 1966 ivy. At Reunions in May, the class will return to the same spot before taking its place in the P-rade. (Charles R. Plohn k’66)

For Princeton graduates, the tradition of planting class ivy dates back to the 1870s, when seniors would gather before Commencement for the ivy oration and reflect on their time at Old Nassau. In the decades following World War II, though, the tradition lapsed, leaving many classes without a permanent presence on the walls of Nassau Hall.
 
Last year, Jim Parmentier ’66, secretary for his class, asked fellow class leaders why they’d never had an ivy ceremony. No one could recall the idea being raised before, but once it was mentioned, classmate Charles Plohn said, “it took us about a nanosecond to approve it.”
 
On Alumni Day Feb. 26, an audience of about 50 classmates and family members gathered to dedicate the Class of 1966 stone and plant the ivy. More ’66ers will be able to see the ivy in May, when the class holds its 45th reunion. The plaque is on the west stairwell of Nassau Hall, not far from the class’s staging area for the P-rade.
 
Plohn joked that the class was “a mere 45 years” late in its installation, but Robert Rawson ’66, a former University trustee who delivered the ivy oration, said that the unintended delay allowed classmates “to apply a longer and deeper perspective concerning the meaning of this significant ceremony.”
 
“We can now reflect on the reality of who we have become, both as individuals, but importantly, as a class maturing together,” Rawson said in his address. “Individual and unique as we are, this great University has nurtured us and molded us into a singular unit.”
 
Below, view images of the Feb. 12 stone installation, captured by Plohn’s son, Charles R. Plohn k’66. The elder Plohn is pictured in the orange cap. Installing the granite plaque are two masons from the University Mason Shop, Carmine Fiocca, in the white sweatshirt, and Richard LaMothe, in the blue jacket.

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