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.”
(Cliff Moore/PAW Archives)
In the spring of 1975, Princeton women’s rowing finished strong, placing second in the varsity eight at Eastern Sprints and fifth at the National Women’s Rowing Championships, above, held on Lake Carnegie. PAW’s season wrap-up also noted that four Princeton women were competing for spots on the U.S. national team, in advance of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where women’s rowing would be part of the program for the first time. Carol Brown ’75 and coxswain Mimi Kellogg ’76 made the team for Montreal, and Brown won bronze in the women’s eight, becoming the first Princeton alumna to earn an Olympic medal. Continue reading
Forty-five years ago today, President Richard Nixon announced the U.S. invasion of Cambodia in a televised address. The speech set off a wave of protests at college campuses, including Princeton, where the response began one of the most tumultuous months in University history.
Hundreds of students handed in their draft cards at protest meetings in the University Chapel. Nearly 4,000 students, faculty, and staff attended a May 4 assembly at Jadwin Gym and voted to approve a strike against the war in Vietnam, postponing the remaining academic work in the spring semester. Students protested at the Institute for Defense Analyses on campus and firebombed the Army ROTC headquarters at the Armory.
The activism continued through Reunions and Commencement: Members of the Class of 1970 boycotted the alumni P-rade and wore “Together for Peace” armbands at graduation. (Priscilla Read ’70, one of the first eight women to earn a Princeton undergraduate degree, was pictured on PAW’s cover, right, wearing the armband.) Continue reading
(Elizabeth Menzies/PAW Archives)
For more than 100 years, the Mather Sundial — a replica of Charles Turnbull’s Pelican Sundial at Oxford’s Corpus Christi College — has been a recognizable campus landmark and gathering spot for students like the ones pictured above, between classes in 1950. At the time, only seniors were allowed to sit on the sundial’s steps. That tradition faded in the 1960s.
As PAW contributor W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 wrote in 2013, within a few years of its 1907 dedication, the sundial “quickly became a Princeton icon, much photographed and filmed, from a 1925 home movie showing students scurrying to class to a 1977 television commercial starring Joe DiMaggio.”
John Peale Bishop, Class of 1917, devoted his class poem to the spring, his favorite season on campus:
… Princeton is the place of places
Where first she lingers in her traces.
Flowers are many and grass is deep,
And all the ways are calm as sleep
And rich as a dream. There she stays
And half forgets to count her days.
The University owes much of its springtime appeal — what Bishop’s classmate F. Scott Fitzgerald called its “lazy beauty” — to famed landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand, whose work at Princeton began in 1912 and spanned more than three decades. The pink saucer magnolia featured on PAW’s June 11, 2008, cover was a Farrand favorite. A bench outside the University Chapel honors her contributions with a simple, grateful inscription: “Her love of beauty and order is everywhere visible in what she planted for our delight.” Continue reading