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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