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More letters from alumni about Princeton gets bigger

I've just been reading the May 16 PAW with its report of 1,675 admission letters having gone out for the '05 Class.

In comparing that to about 2,000 who made up the entire student body in the early '40s, I have to assume the community character to be vastly different. We knew, at least by face if not by name, most of the members of our class.

That can hardly be true today.

Whether the change is good or bad, I hesitate to guess. But it must be different.

F. Hayden Bradford '44
Highland Park, Ill.

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I couldn't agree more with Jack Huyler '42's letter regarding the risks that Princeton loses some of its unique character by going for growth. I wrote a letter, which appeared in your May 2000 issue, critiquing the Wythes Report conclusion to increase the size of the university. I predicted they'd use this mandate and the growing endowment to "pave over the entire campus with new architectural monstrosities."

Now I read that they are going to build the new college in place of one of the most beautiful parts of campus; the tennis courts and the surrounding space.

With all the people like Ben Kessler (Shaping the Campus, May 16) who believe in "well conceived planning" or with all the alum (and non-alum)  architects on the university dole coming up with grand plans to expand to Route 1, doesn't anyone on the Board of Trustees ask the more basic, aesthetic questions?

What a joy it was to have dozens of tennis courts in the middle of campus. What hell it will be to see that space and that luxury destroyed with yet another travesty a la Butler College or Scully Hall.

Andrew M. Keller ’87
Geneva, Switzerland

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Princeton gets bigger

The Great American Fallacy: "Bigger is better." Rarely is it so, yet most institutions, education or business fall for it. All of us have seen fine restaurants, stores, and communities ruined by growth.

Perhaps I missed them, but I think the Trustees should list side-by-side in PAW the reasons for and against the proposed growth. They must have considered the cons as well as the pros.

I tip my hat to Williams College which has made the decision to cut back the number of students matriculated.

Do I sound like an old fuddy-duddy? Well, I'm old - old enough to have watched institutions I respected lose their character through growth.

Jack Huyler '42
Ojai, Calif.

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The Class of 2005 admission letters are intended to yield a class of 1,165, the same class size as my class of 1976 was 25 years ago. Some of the admits decline their offers of admission. In my day there were over 2,000 letters of admission, but the yield was a smaller percentage, which resulted in a coed class of 1,170.

The first class to reflect the increased size voted on by the trustees this part year should be the Class of 2008, according to the Wythes Report.

Rosalie Norair ’76
Bethesda, Md.

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