Princeton Diary - October 6, 1999


When God applied to Princeton

Tiger Park gets a new walkway, but mothers still do laundry on Parents' Weekend

by Janice Harayda

University officials urged students to avoid taking showers and to "flush only as necessary for proper sanitation" during a water crisis in late September. The water shortage occurred after Hurricane Floyd flooded a local water-treatment plant and led many schools to adopt their own versions of Princeton's "use twice; flush once" rule . . . As Freshman Parents' Weekend approached, Anna Humphreys '02 recalled a common sight during the same weekend last year-mothers doing laundry in laundry rooms . . . Ty Co. announced the cancellation of all Beanie Babies, but Tiger beanbag animals abounded at the University Store and at Great Impressions on Nassau Street, which sell variations on the stuffed toys for about $7 apiece . . . bared the reading habits of Princetonians in one of its controversial new "purchase circles," which show what people of similar demographics are buying. A visit to the "Princeton University" circle showed the top 10 titles bought by people with that affiliation: 1) Core Web Programming, 2) The Fast Track, 3) Midnight's Children, 4) Understanding Electronic Commerce, 5) Our Dumb Century, 6) Liar's Poker, 7) Guns, Germs, and Steel, 8) C++ Programming, 9) Cryptonomicon, and 10) A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Michael Lewis '82 wrote book No. 6 and Burton G. Malkiel *64, No. 10 . . . Two Princetonians competed in the Miss America Pageant: Jennifer Caudle '99 as Miss Iowa and Victoria Andrews Paige '01 as Miss New Jersey. Paige said that she hoped to win partly because "it's time to have someone from an Ivy League school become Miss America." She became one of 10 semifinalists but lost the title to a fashion design major from the University of Cincinnati . . . The University Press Club invited potential members to apply by writing four stories based on information supplied by the club. One assignment handed down from earlier years: Assume that God applied to Princeton. Write a 300-350 word story about a candidate who gave "B.C." as a date of birth and listed extracurricular activities such as "turning night into day" and "arranging weather and listening to prayers." The undergraduate journalists' club also asked aspiring members to assume that God sent in an application for financial aid that said: "I do not know if I even have parents, so naturally I cannot expect them to contribute anything to my education. Having no physical body, I am unable to work and it would take too much explaining to get a job. . . . Furthermore, if I took a job, it would take a job away from someone who undoubtedly needs it more than I do. With no sources of income, and not qualifying for any state or federal funds, I will need financial aid to attend Princeton" . . . Phyllis Lee Levin wrote in The New York Times that before there were F.O.B.'s, there were F.O.W.W.'s. Levin said that the Friends of Woodrow Wilson 1879 gave the U.S. president gifts that included a Rolls Royce and a yearly annuity of $10,000. "If the Democratic party had the perfect coordination and harmonious force which that car has," Wilson wrote, "it might alter and dominate the political action of the whole world" . . . New York music lovers awaited one of the signal events of the winter season-the latest work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison *63. Harbison's adaptation of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald '17 makes its debut at the Metropolitan Opera on December 20 . . . The Princeton Borough Council approved the creation of a brick walkway in Palmer Square inscribed with the names of people who have lived or "lived or worked" in Princeton in the 20th century, including resident university students. Bricks cost $100 each and may bear the names of famous or ordinary people with proceeds to benefit the Spirit of Princeton Committee, which sponsors the Memorial Day parade and the Fourth of July fireworks display. The walkway will replace the current flagstone pavement in Tiger Park, situated between Nassau Street and the entrance to Palmer Square. For information write to The Spirit of Princeton, 40 N. Tulane St., Princeton, NJ 08540, or call 609-921-3800.

Princeton Alumni Weekly welcomes contributions to Princeton Diary, a compendium of offbeat, unusual, or newsworthy items from the campus and beyond. Send items to Janice Harayda, Editor, Princeton Alumni Weekly, 194 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08542 or e-mail them to

GO TO the Table of Contents of the current issue

GO TO PAW's home page