“Tradition is like a river, it must constantly be renewed, or it grows stagnant.” Frederic E. Fox ’39, one of the original coauthors of this booklet, often expressed this sentiment about his beloved alma mater’s practices. Most assuredly, he would be pleased with the reissue of this history of Princeton’s presidents, which has been revised and expanded to include the presidential tenures into the 21st century.
Fox’s original intent was not to write the definitive history of each president’s term at the University’s helm, but to remember the challenges they faced and highlight their defining moments. As their service now spans four centuries, this booklet reminds us that Princeton’s virtue is the accumulation of many individual efforts.
— Dan Linke, University Archivist
Portraits of the presdents
The paintings of Princeton's presidents presented here, part of the Princeton Portraits Collection, hang in the Faculty Room of Nassau Hall and are maintained by the Princeton University Art Museum.