“Hitting the hay” had a less-than-restful connotation for this unnamed Princeton tackler, shown with assistant coach Keene Fitzpatrick during preseason football practice in 1928. The Tigers, under the direction of head coach Bill Roper, went 5-1-2 that fall, including a 12-2 victory over rival Yale and a 6-6 tie at Ohio State in Princeton’s first and only trip to the famed “Horseshoe.”
This year’s Tigers kick off practice today (on artificial turf, not grass and straw) and begin the season Sept. 19 at Lafayette. Princeton was picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League’s preseason media poll, behind Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale.
PAW’s January 30, 2002, cover featured Laura Smith ’05 at the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, taking notes during a class trip for Jason Morgan *64’s “Active Geologic Processes,” one of 67 freshman seminars offered at Princeton that year. An accompanying feature story called the program “Princeton’s most successful curricular innovation in a generation, and the most popular.”
This year will be the 30th for freshman seminars, and the classes remain popular. There are 39 in the fall-semester catalog, including Joshua Katz’s “Wordplay: A Wry Plod from Babel to Scrabble,” and former University president Harold Shapiro *64’s “Science, Technology and Public Policy.”
(PAW, Sept. 21, 1965)
This summer — like most — is a busy season for construction and maintenance across campus, stretching from the Arts and Transit Project to the Lake Carnegie dam. Fifty years ago, one building’s demolition was the “principal event” of the summer, at least in PAW’s telling. Reunion Hall, a 95-year-old former dormitory used for administrative offices, was torn down. Alan Richards captured this cover image of the work in progress, including a “Funeral, No Parking” sign in the foreground.
Built in 1870 and named to commemorate the reunion of the Old and New Schools of the Presbyterian Church, the dormitory was situated between Nassau Hall and Alexander Hall. While one University official quipped that its passing “would not leave a wet eye in the house,” the building had one claim to fame: In the fall of 1935, it was home to freshman John Fitzgerald Kennedy during his lone semester at Princeton.
READ MORE: Demolishing Dorms: A Delicate Decision (Rally ’Round the Cannon archives)
Click to enlarge. (From the PAW Archives, Oct. 5, 1928)
From PAW’s Oct. 5, 1928, issue:
“An arresting view of the University campus, showing the handsome group of newer dormitories which have sprung up during the past decade at its southwest corner — Lockhart, 1905-Foulke, 1904-Henry, Laughlin, 1901, and Pyne Halls.”
Can any alumni spot their old rooms?
In 1950, station manager James Leslie ’52, pictured above, hosted an open house at the recently refurbished studios of WPRU, the student-run radio operation then in its 10th year. Broadcasting at 540 AM, the station adopted the slogan “the bottom of the dial for the tops in style.”
WPRU’s successor, WPRB, moved to the FM dial (103.3), but the student DJs still have the lofty aspirations of their predecessors. Later this year, the station will celebrate the 75 years on the air, and to mark the anniversary it has launched a new website, WPRBHistory.org, highlighting stories, recordings, and memorabilia from the past. The site includes an audio archive drawn from an eclectic mix of programming: an irreverent station ID from John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), recorded in 1986; a 22-minute Q&A with composer Leonard Bernstein; and a pair of interviews with men’s basketball coach Pete Carril and senior star Bob Scrabis ’89 previewing the Tigers’ 1989 NCAA Tournament game against Georgetown.
Some of the most compelling content appears in a series of testimonials from station alumni such as Moe Rubenzahl ’74, who writes, “I told my parents I was majoring in engineering. Truth be told, I majored in Radio Station.”
The June 16, 1915, issue of PAW featured this photo of Saturday evening at Reunions — the first of its kind in the magazine. Then, as now, alumni were eager to come back to Old Nassau. William H. Vail 1865 walked a symbolic 50 miles from his home in Newark to celebrate his 50th reunion. (“His story is attested by numerous automobilists who offered him a lift at different points along the journey,” one reader wrote in a letter to the editor.)
In the P-rade, the younger classes wore creative costumes — the Class of 1912 in artists’ smocks and berets, the Class of 1910 in Greek garb — while the older classes donned blazers and straw boaters. And the seniors were on hand to witness it all. Dean Christian Gauss relayed the story of one graduate in an essay for PAW. “It makes me feel pretty blue to think that very soon this class, with which I have spent the best four years of my life, will break up and never meet again with all present,” the senior told Gauss. “It sort of breaks you up — you can’t help it. I hate to think of leaving them, but I am anxious to get started.”