40. The art of learning to live together… is the most important of all the
      liberal arts. 
      –Christian Gauss

 


Photo provided by University archives


Photo by Dino Palomares

Christian Gauss came to Princeton as one of the youngest of President Wilson’s 50 original preceptors in 1905 and stayed at the University for 41 years, becoming a beloved campus icon.  He quickly moved from assistant professor to full professor, then Chairman of the Department of Modern Languages.  A remarkable teacher who could recite Dante’s Inferno in its entirety, Gauss was also appointed Dean of the College in 1925.  Firm but fair in his discipline, he inspired great affection in the student body.  Articles in the Saturday Evening Post, New York Times, and his book Life in College made Gauss a well-known figure, in addition to a leader in higher education.  He also served as literary mentor to F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17 and critic Edmund Wilson ’16, and more than 40 books were dedicated to him by former students.  After retiring in 1946, he regularly attended Princeton football games until his death in 1951.

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