Life at 19 University Place, one of the University residences for married students, in 1946. (PAW Archives, Feb. 22, 1946)
Many Princeton students who served in World War II returned to the University not only as veterans, but also as husbands and fathers. The influx of married students in the postwar era put a big strain on campus housing.
“For better or for worse, all married couples have a roof over their heads,” PAW reported in February 1946. However, finding adequate accommodations for all 77 families was not an easy task. The University had to locate places in town for some of the married students and their families.
The living situation within these residences was by no means luxurious. There was a limited space for cooking, which required families to share kitchens, sometimes in shifts and sometimes in a free-for-all. The lack of space also afforded little privacy to the newlyweds, but they didn’t seem to mind. As one veteran reported, “Privacy is something this generation doesn’t know anything about.”
This campus climate stands as quite a contrast to the present. Because of the relatively small number of married couples and families at Princeton today, the modern-style Spelman Halls suffice in housing married couples on campus. And, of course, it’s not just the husbands who can be students anymore!
If you walk around the Princeton campus this Saturday, you likely will cross paths with the crowds of students and alumni flocking to Princeton Stadium for the Tigers’ home football finale against Yale.
Though Princeton fans have always been loud and proud, game day in 2015 looks a little bit different than it did 45 years ago. An October 1970 issue of PAW featured these photos of the Princeton cheerleaders — men and women, in the second year of coeducation — trying to rally the Palmer Stadium faithful.
The 1970 Tigers finished 5-4 overall, and running back Hank Bjorklund ’72 became the first Princeton player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Bjorklund would later play for the New York Jets.
The 2015 Tigers are 5-3 heading into the Yale game and have been led by junior quarterback Chad Kanoff (1,731 passing yards, five touchdowns, and four interceptions) and junior running back Joe Rhattigan (524 rushing yards, seven touchdowns).
(PAW Archives, Oct. 12, 1945)
The Oct. 12, 1945, cover of PAW featured this photo of Pfc. Norman D. Weir Jr. ’46 perusing his favorite alumni periodical at the U.S. Army base on Okinawa. “It isn’t a flattering picture,” Weir wrote, “but at least it’s accurate.”
The address department of alumni records had a monumental task during the war years but did its best to keep mailing “the Weekly” to its loyal readers. The magazine was not the only printed material from Princeton that found its way into the hands of students serving abroad. In 1943, President Harold Dodds *1914 shared presents from the University with each student in the service, as Gregg Lange ’70 explained in a 2006 PAW column:
Approaching Christmas of 1943, the country and Nassau’s sons faced the certainty of an impending year bloodier than any since the Civil War. In the teeth of this, rather than despair, Dodds chose to send Christmas gifts. Each of the 1,300 Princetonians in the service received three books of his own choosing, each with a personal bookplate, delivered wherever he might be. With apologies to Dickens, Dodds brought the Best Damn Place of All to the Worst Damn Place of All. Alumni of the 1930s and ’40s speak about the gesture to this day.
(PAW Archives, June 11, 1979)
Before the creation of the Lewis Center for the Arts — and before the groundbreaking for its future home, now under construction near McCarter Theatre — creativity took root at Princeton in a converted school building known simply as “185 Nassau.”
A 1979 PAW article detailed the remarkable accessibility of professional artists to Princeton undergraduate students in their visual-arts classes. Sean Scully, whose work is now part of permanent collections in the Guggenheim and Smithsonian, commuted from New York to Princeton a few days a week in 1979 to advise and instruct students in painting. Scully’s instruction went far beyond canvas and brush, however, as he pushed students to confront the theoretical issues that influenced their work.
Scully was one of many instructors hired on a part-time basis to allow them to continue as practicing artists with interests in contemporary art. Program director Jim Seawright told PAW he was interested in accumulating artists with diverse points of view who were more motivated “by the challenge of working with bright students and by the freedom to try innovative teaching techniques” than by advancing their academic careers. Continue reading
“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.”