Tag Archives: Reunions Guide 2011

EcoReps aim for a cleaner, greener Reunions

EcoReps at Reunions 2010. (Courtesy EcoReps)

Decked out in neon green T-shirts and carrying placards to match, the handful of undergraduate EcoReps roving around the P-rade last year did not exactly blend into the crowd – and that was the point. By drawing attention, they were able to spread the word about their goal of increasing recycling at Reunions tents and along the P-rade route.

“We’re not crashing the party,” EcoReps leader Jennifer Yeh ’12 insisted, with a laugh, when she talked about the glowing shirts and signs. The students work closely with the University’s Office of Sustainability throughout the year, and reducing and recycling waste has been a primary focus of their efforts.

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Class of ’76 service initiative finds its niche

When the Class of 1976 sponsored its first service-themed event in 2006 – a Reunions colloquium titled “Passion to Profession” – more than 100 people participated. According to Illa Brown ’76, the strong attendance and excitement in the room made organizers believe there was a chance to build on the class’s interest.

Brown and Mimi Murley ’76, with backing from classmates, founded Spirit of Service ’76, an initiative that has evolved and grown in the past five years, finding a niche in the areas of environmental and social entrepreneurship. Projects include a speaker series and a green business plan competition for undergraduates. Last year, Spirit of Service ’76 earned the Alumni Council Award for Community Service.

The project draws at least 90 volunteers and donors from the class each year, and according to Murley, the group’s neutrality has played a role in its broad appeal. “Though we may differ in our approaches, these issues affect us all and the future of our children,” she explained. “In an interesting way I also see it as an outgrowth of our stewardship and deepening compassion.”

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Things to see and do: Reunions exhibits and performances


During Reunions, the Princeton University Art Museum continues its three-month exhibition of sculptures, collages, and other assemblages from German avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters. It is the first overview of his work in the United States since his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1985.

A selection of visual works by students in the Lewis Center for the Arts are on display at two sites: the Lucas Gallery (185 Nassau Street) and the James S. Hall Memorial Gallery (Butler College, lower level between Building A and Bogle Hall).

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Society of the Claw: An honor revived

When Adam Sorensen ’01 began researching past traditions for the Alumni Council’s Committee on Reunions (COR), he hoped to find a link to the deep history and customs of Princeton that he so admired.
An example of the original gold-mounted tiger claw, left, and the new Society of the Claw pin. (Photos courtesy Adam Sorensen ’01)

Sorensen, who has chaired the COR since fall 2008, was reading William Selden ’34’s book Going Back: The Uniqueness of Reunions and P-rades at Princeton University when he found just what he had in mind: the Society of the Claw, an organization tied to Reunions but lost over time.

Founded by the Class of 1894 around 1912, the Society of the Claw had a short but notable life. Members, who pledged to attend Reunions for one year, five years, or for their lifetimes, received a gold-mounted tiger’s claw (1,000 genuine tiger claws were imported from India) and certificate. Some high-profile honoraries (including Andrew Carnegie and Woodrow Wilson 1879) also were elected to the society for “rendering exceptional service to Princeton.”

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Goin’ back, by bicycle

Don Carey ’51 and his wife, Barbara. (Courtesy Don Carey ’51)

Don Carey ’51 and his wife, Barbara, were not outdoors enthusiasts until they moved to New Hampshire in the early 1970s. But in the last 40 years, they’ve more than made up for lost time.

The Careys discovered a healthy appetite for adventure, climbing all of the 4,000-foot peaks in New England, hiking trails in England and Africa, running the New York City Marathon together at age 70, and biking back to Princeton Reunions three times, most recently in 2001.
The first three rides to Old Nassau drew little fanfare, but when the couple decided to make the trip again this year, the East Coast Greenway Alliance invited all alumni to follow their example. “I guess when you get to be 81 or 82,” Carey said, “people pay more attention.”
It also helps to have an alumni connection: Dennis Markatos-Soriano *08, who studied climate and energy policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, is the executive director of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, which is working develop a trail system that links the major cities of the eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.
Markatos-Soriano said that the group encourages people to think of cycling “not only as recreation, but transportation as well.” Longer trips like the journey from New Hampshire to Princeton can help to raise awareness of other cycling options, like biking to work.
The idea of a reunion-themed cycling initiative seems to be generating some interest, said Markatos-Soriano, who plans to ride with a small group of cyclists from New Brunswick, N.J., to Princeton on May 26. “As an alum, I’d love for Princeton to be a pioneer,” he said.

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Inside Princeton’s closet of stripes, patterns, and plaids

Bob Rodgers ’56 has been working to add jackets to the Princetoniana Committee’s collection. (Brett Tomlinson/PAW)

In a Princeton warehouse just across Route 1, behind a doorway marked “Do Not Enter,” a trove of Reunions garb compresses a full P-rade of colors into two neatly arranged coat racks. Stripes, plaids, patterns, and logos represent classes that span more than a century, from 1904’s Reunions blazer to 2010’s beer jacket. It is the archival equivalent of that closet space alumni reserve for their favorite orange-and-black gear.

The collection, managed by Bob Rodgers ’56 and the Alumni Council’s Princetoniana Committee, includes blazers and jackets from nearly 50 classes and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni. The committee also draws on the personal collection of Kirk Unruh ’70, the University’s recording secretary, to produce an annual exhibit of Reunions costumes in display cases on the 100 level of Frist Campus Center.
This year, John Wriedt ’85, a local architect and Princetoniana fan, is designing the Reunions exhibit. He plans to spotlight some of the collection’s beer jackets, from the days when designs were stenciled on the backs of plain white denim coats. The designs are quite clever, Wriedt says, but “the stories behind the stencil are often very interesting as well.”

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Reunions 2011: Highlights for this year’s major reunion classes

Compiled by Briana N. Wilkins ’12
Click the numbers to skip down to your class:
1946195119561961196619711976198119861991199620012006Graduate alumni 

Class of 1946

The Class of 1946 is looking forward to reuniting and celebrating its 65th reunion with a theme of “Thanks for the Memories.” The costume will be the traditional reunion jacket from previous reunions, khaki pants, white bucks, white shirt, and 1946 reunion tie. Thursday dinner will be a buffet held at the Nassau Club, with Friday dinner at Springdale Golf Club. The Blawenburg Brass Band will accompany the class during the P-rade. Dinner on Saturday will be at Forbes College and feature a musical jam session—any musicians are welcome to bring their instruments.

Class of 1951

The class theme is “Going Back … Old Friends, New Vistas,” based on the premise that classmates come back to see old friends, the alumni-faculty forums, and what is going on at the University, and their conversations with friends open new vistas. Headquartered at Forbes with ’46 and the Old Guard, ’51 will be wearing its traditional orange-and-white seersucker jackets embellished this year with new black ’51 baseball caps and orange ties.
The well-known New York musician Dan Levinson will bring his jazz group to Forbes Thursday evening for a night of Dixieland and New Orleans jazz and his swing band on Friday night to play danceable music of the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. On Saturday evening the class will have cocktails at the Lewis Library followed by dinner at Cap and Gown’s new dining facility that will provide a grandstand view of the fireworks.

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 celebrates “The Fullness of Time” with an extremely full schedule. On Thursday afternoon, the class will host “A Conversation on China,” between Stape Roy ’56, a former U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state, and Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80, who served as director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department in the first two years of the Obama administration. That night, there will be a buffet dinner and music provided by the Freund Family Trio. A class memorial service will be held Friday morning at the University Chapel, and a tour of Princeton Battlefield and a forum on Reach Out ’56-’81-’06 will take place in the afternoon.
Friday evening there will be a class reception at the Art Museum, with a welcome by director James Steward and greetings from President Tilghman. Dinner on Friday night will feature the introduction of new class officers and music by Stan Rubin ’55’s big band. On Saturday morning, there will be a reception for the artists who are part of the class art exhibit, which will run all weekend. Saturday night will feature a buffet dinner, accompanied by the Boilermaker Jazz Band and culminating with fireworks. Rounding out the schedule is a farewell Sunday brunch at the Class of 1956 Lounge in Princeton Stadium.

Class of 1961

The 50th reunion for the Class of 1961 begins Thursday with a reception and dinner, followed by entertainment from the Neil Wright Trio. Friday is full of forums — those in the morning include the future of health care, civil rights and liberties, and the role of American power, while those in the afternoon will look at the new India, college admissions, and chemistry in action. In the evening, there will be a reception with the Footnotes, followed by dinner and entertainment. On Saturday, the class will participate in the P-rade, and the class memorial service will follow. The evening will feature a reception with the J.J. Keyser Trio, dinner, and the Party Dolls, followed by fireworks. The weekend will culminate in style, with Sunday brunch at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s residence, down the road from campus.

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Talking gargoyles, ‘weretigers,’ and a magical side of Princeton

Sarah Beth Durst ’96’s latest work of fantasy fiction for teens is set at Princeton Reunions. (Adam Durst ’96)

A Princeton connection turned out to be key to launching Sarah Beth Durst ’96’s writing career. She had penned drafts of novels and shopped them around for about 10 years, collecting a slew of rejection letters. But her luck changed when she connected with Andrea Somberg ’01, a literary agent, in 2006. Within weeks of signing with Somberg, Durst had secured offers from several publishers for Into the Wild, a novel about a girl who must battle witches and fly griffins to rescue her mother and save her town from becoming a fairy tale kingdom. They got the news of the offers the week before Reunions.

Since then, Durst has written three other novels — all fantasy fiction for teenagers. Her latest, Enchanted Ivy, published last fall by Margaret K. McElderry Books, is set at Princeton during Reunions.
The coming-of-age novel follows Lily Carter, an eleventh-grader who attends her grandfather’s 50th reunion. His friends tell her that if she passes a secret legacy test, she will win automatic admission to the University. Lily takes on the challenge and quickly stumbles on an alternate Princeton — a magical and dangerous place where gargoyles come to life and “weretigers” and dragons roam.

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