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.
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.