B Y T H E N U M B E R S
Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, which was the site of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit on Sept. 26, has hosted many important events in Princeton's history.
• Construction on Alexander Hall began in 1892 and was completed two years later (though carving of the exterior sculpture continued long after the building was opened and dedicated on June 9, 1894). Harriet Crocker Alexander donated the money for the building, which was named in honor of her husband Charles B. Alexander 1870, his father Henry M. Alexander 1840 and his grandfather the Rev. Archibald Alexander, founder of the Princeton Theological Seminary.
• During its early years, Alexander Hall was used for many lectures, mass meetings and various assemblies, such as the University's 150th anniversary celebration and Woodrow Wilson's inauguration as University president.
• For 30 years, freshmen were welcomed and seniors graduated in Alexander, but by 1922 commencement exercises had outgrown the building and thereafter were held in front of Nassau Hall. When the Marquand Chapel burned in 1920, Alexander was used for religious services until the new University Chapel was completed in 1928.
• In 1984-85, Alexander Hall was extensively renovated and the auditorium was renamed as a result of a major gift from David A. Richardson '66 in memory of his father, David B. Richardson '33.
• As one of the most historic and recognizable structures on the campus, Alexander Hall was chosen by the U.S. Postal Service to appear on a postcard commemorating Princeton's 250th anniversary in 1996. In 2000, President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address in Alexander Hall at an academic conference on "The Progressive Tradition: Politics, Culture and History."
• Today, Richardson Auditorium is the site of many official University ceremonies, lectures and assemblies, from freshman orientation to Reunions activities. It also is the University's premier performance venue for a wide variety of events presented by the Department of Music as well as student and community organizations.
Source: Richardson Auditorium Web site <www.princeton.edu/richaud/>.