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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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Robert F. Goheen, Princeton president emeritus, dies


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Goheen, president from 1957 to 1972 during a period of transformative growth and change, died March 31. Read Story


Video Closed Captions

(music)

Daniel Linke:
Can you tell me what was there to love about Princeton?

Robert F. Goheen:
Oh, how can you ask? It's been part of my life since I was a kid

Robert F. Goheen:
and a tremendous feeling to have responsibility for a place as important as Princeton.

Narrator:
For much of the 20th century, Bob Goheen's life was at Princeton,

Narrator:
and for a good portion of that time, the life of Princeton depended upon Bob Goheen.

Narrator:
During his presidency, the world's issues became Princeton's issues.

Narrator:
He became, at 37, the third-youngest president in Princeton's history.

WPRB announcer:
Professor Goheen's election was announced by Harold H. Helm, chairman of the executive committee of the University Board of Trustees.

Robert F. Goheen:
There were five trustees, the senior-most of the trustees.

Robert F. Goheen:
We chatted a little while, they gave me a glass of sherry,

Robert F. Goheen:
and they said they wanted me to be president of the University.

Robert F. Goheen:
And I almost went through the floor, but I said yes, I would try it.

Edward R. Murrow:
He was described by his predecessor as an intellectual who could hit 225-yard drives down the fairway.

Robert F. Goheen:
If one believes as intensely in the importance of a liberal education for our times as I do, then Princeton is a wonderful place to work for.

Robert F. Goheen:
I asked Harold Helm, the ranking trustee, the chairman of the executive committee,

Robert F. Goheen:
if he would head a committee to study the issue of coeducation.

Robert F. Goheen:
And Harold said, "But I don't believe in it."

Robert F. Goheen:
And I said, "Harold, I didn't ask you to believe in it. I asked you to study it."

CBS reporter:
Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, today announced the end of its all-male educational tradition.

Student:
It's like making history. I'm a pioneer.

Daniel Linke:
In retrospect, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

Robert F. Goheen:
I hate to sound like President Bush, because I think things went well.

Singers: We like ... co-education.

Robert F. Goheen:
Diversity -- pushing the effort to get more blacks and other minorities into the University body,

Robert F. Goheen:
whether it be the student body or faculty. And then the women.

Robert F. Goheen:
I think both of those changed the character of Princeton for the better. Those are the things I'd be most proud of, I think, yeah.

Robert F. Goheen:
I, for one, today feel full of good hope.

Robert F. Goheen:
I, for one, today feel full of good hope.

Robert F. Goheen:
I don't know what my legacy is, but I might say that I was able to start a process of change in the University,

Robert F. Goheen:
creative change, which has been carried forward by each one of my successors.

Robert F. Goheen:
I don't know if that's a legacy or not, but anyhow, it's very gratifying to see that

Robert F. Goheen:
the University has not stopped and said, "Now we've, you know, we've done it, we're there. Let's just continue to do what we're doing."

(music)

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