Freddie Fox ’39 about old and new: “A Walk in the Springtime,” 1974

After last week’s film about living and learning at Princeton in 1962, it is interesting to watch “A Walk in the Springtime,” created only twelve years later. The film features the legendary Frederic C. Fox, ’39, whose love and knowledge of Princeton’s history and lore made him the first and only Keeper of Princetoniana in 1976. Helped by his classmate Sandy Maxwell ’39 and Arthur (Buz) Schmidt ’74 (“He looks like a radical but he is only just the son of a classmate” 0:18) Fox reaches out to the many alumni who were uncomfortable with the rapidly changing face of campus.

As with other colleges, the civil rights movement and American involvement in Vietnam had sparked political activism at Princeton, including student demand to be part of campus governance. In addition, the traditionally all-male primarily white, Protestant, private-school educated student body had diversified.  Of particular concern for conservative alumni was the introduction of coeducation in 1969. In the film Fox, Maxwell, and Schmidt, take viewers on a tour, with the aim to show that although some things have changed much is still the same.

The film opens with Freddie Fox in front of Nassau Hall’s two bronze tigers, pointing out that one is male and the other female (1:25). After a brief visit to Firestone Library, Fox, Maxwell, and Schmidt sing Princeton songs at the piano in Prospect (8:38). The last part of the film, shot from the top floor of Fine Hall (11:56), contains extensive shots of the old and new buildings on campus.

Outtakes are shown below. Frederic C. Fox died in 1981 at age 63.

These Umatic UC-30 videos are part of the University Archives’ Historical Audiovisual Collection (items no. 0516 and 0528).

These Umatic UC-30 videos are part of the University Archives’ Historical Audiovisual Collection (items no. 0516 and 0528).

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