November 8, 2000
print or not to print
nothing but a mouthpiece
for a course
matches gifts once more
for riot stories
PAW welcomes letters.
We may edit them for length, accuracy, clarity, and civility. Our
address: Princeton Alumni Weekly, 194 Nassau St., Suite 38, Princeton,
NJ 08542 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
print or not to print
I was ashamed to be a
Princetonian on Friday, October 6. When I awoke to that morning's
Wall Street Journal, I found an op-ed piece by Professor Robert
P. George entitled, "The Clinton Puzzle: Why Do Liberals Love
Him So?" The Journal prefaced it by writing that "conference
planners" had "prevailed upon the editors of the Daily
Princetonian not to publish" the piece on the day of President
Clinton's visit to campus. Editor-in-Chief Richard Just '01 replied
that Professor George's column was meant to be published as a companion
to a pro-Clinton piece by Professor Sean Wilentz, apparently the
"conference planner" in question. Upon learning that his
column would be printed next to Professor George's, Professor Wilentz
withdrew his contribution. In response, Mr. Just decided not to
run Professor George's.
Whether one agreed with
it or not, Professor George's essay was an elegant, cogent critique
of President Clinton. It would have made fine reading whether standing
alone or in a point-counterpoint format, as Mr. Just had intended.
But for the many who
recall Professor Wilentz's tireless and tiresome opposition to impeachment,
they also remember that Professor Wilentz garnered himself enough
media attention to fill several hundred issues of the Prince. Rather
than capitulating to Professor Wilentz by withdrawing both articles,
Mr. Just should have told the weak-kneed professor to take a hike.
We've already heard his opinions.
Instead, Professor Wilentz
scored a victory over the Prince. He accomplished his objective
of producing a conference cleansed of dissent, and demonstrated
once again that no task is beneath him in playing the president's
The Prince's decision
to omit Professor George's essay not only represents a betrayal
of the First Amendment, it also exemplifies the degradation of dialogue
that has plagued colleges for nearly a decade. Only five years ago,
Princeton and its slick marketing team took pride in fostering "Conversations
That Matter." Now I guess the only "Conversations That
Matter" are those that matter to Professor Wilentz.
Andrew J. Dubill '96
See related story on
I would like call an
important issue to the attention of alumni: the Millstone Bypass.
I was raised in Princeton,
earned a degree in architecture in 1996, and currently reside in
Princeton Borough. This decade-old issue, and the university's current
position, is of great concern to me and many other alumni.
In order to remove three
traffic lights on U.S. Route #1, the New Jersey Department of Transportation
(NJDOT) plans a two-lane (but four-lane-wide) highway that runs
directly alongside the Millstone River and the Delaware and Raritan
Canal. The unique peaceful quality of the canal towpath and Lake
Carnegie would be lost to the smells, noise, and lights of passing
traffic. The alignment also bisects five historic districts, major
archaeological sites, and extensive wetlands.
The most important loss
would be the grand elm allée entrance to Princeton along
Washington Road. The elms form a majestic gateway, physically representing
a university and town that respect both history and the environment.
The current Millstone
Bypass alignment would destroy all that magic - homogenizing Princeton
into yet more New Jersey sprawl.
There are lower-impact
alternatives to the bypass, and the sacrifices are minor compared
with the benefits. The NJDOT presented one such alternative to the
university that required a few additional acres of land. The university
refused to make this small sacrifice even though a larger contiguous
parcel for future campus development could be preserved, and the
NJDOT could not pursue the plan.
Both Princeton Township
and Princeton Borough strongly oppose the current NJDOT alignment
and are calling for a study of alternatives along with a comprehensive
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It is surprising that the
university has not joined these efforts.
The university is standing
in the way of a plan of preservation that would benefit students,
alumni, and the surrounding community. I know no alumnus who supports
this roadway, nor the loss of the elm gateway.
I encourage you to speak
with university planners and urge them to withdraw their support
of the current Millstone Bypass alignment. It is time to join with
the surrounding community and pursue low-impact, effective alternatives.
This would repair our relations with the community, protect our
precious natural resources, and save the cherished entrance to our
Adam Bromwich '96
The From the Editor column
of September 13 was sophomoric and self-congratulatory to a new
standard, but you guys gulped, cutely no doubt, out the wrong side
of your mouths in going with your "renowned-designer"(cuneiform?
hieroglyphic?) logo and with one gush disguising the fact that the
magazine, while available to sophomores, is aimed principally at
If PAW is different from
other alumni magazines, as Princeton is different from other universities,
is it not the very name that best symbolizes that distinction? If
so, why sacrifice it at the twin altars of hip design and change
for the sake of change? What did need attention is the claim to
"weekly" status for a publication that appears, according
to your small print, only 17 times over an 11-month period.
As for the rest, which
you report was easy, your guru almost matched the proverbial small
print with his custom-tailoring, foisted off laughable pagination,
and came close to oranging out the identification of hardworking
class secretaries. All in all, the new format stinks. As you almost
say, the new look is a spectacle.
Alan Berlind '56
Rarely would I take time
to write you, however, although perhaps not tsunamic, my reactions
were so strong that I felt they should be shared. This is regarding
your September 13 issue, which I just received.
If PAW were one of my
normal magazine subscriptions I would not renew because I find the
new format totally unappealing, even though I am still interested
in the content. Does that statement more or less summarize my general
The new logo: Is there
a reason all the other alumni magazines have the institution's name
front and center on the cover? I believe it is because they are
going for clarity, for they believe their alumni will want to turn
the page to find out what is inside. Your graphics, type, etc. are
more powerful than the content. The front photo is great, but the
logo seems to be a trendy western ranch brand of PAW . . . you don't
need it. Think of Coca-Cola Classic. Why change what works? You
are not appealing to a buyer in front of a magazine rack at the
Layout/Type: The font
you have had created is supposed to be more readable. Than what?
I find it squat and cramped. I also dislike the lack of justified
columns and the way the titles are almost off the pages. Visually
from a distance it looks great, but close up it just seems disorganized.
Your final Snapshot page is trite, very National Geographic (which
is known for its photographs so there it makes sense). Do you think
Princeton alumni don't read? An article on the New York Film Academy's
summer program at Princeton would have been more interesting. Why
not put the Letter from the President on the Snapshot page? A nice
place for those of us who have a habitual tendency to read our magazines
back to front.
Princeton Exchange: You
seem to have the classifieds in a larger font size than the class
notes. It doesn't make sense, although perhaps this is just a visual
illusion. People wanting to read the classifieds (personally, I
always do; it's a compulsion) will do so. You don't need to space
the ads so much. When flipping the pages from classifieds to Class
Notes I get the impression of flipping through the white and yellow
pages, with about the same degree of excitement.
At least if you wanted
to hear from alumni who don't normally correspond with you, you
have hit upon a sure winner. With each issue in the new format,
I am sure this urge will surface again.
Julie Foyer '78
St. Loup de Fribois, France
We won't really know
if it's "tinkering" or a "thorough overhaul"
until we see what the next editor says about it. As to the renowned
designer responsible, apparently I am not well enough informed to
be familiar with alumni magazine designers, even those of renown.
What is the APW? Or is
it the upside-down VPW? Compositionally it worked better without
the black-and-oranged-out corner (October 13). Even though you managed
to get the name of the publication in the little tab at the top
(September 13), it would be a better photo full width and shortened
to make room for a banner. Most pictures will not be even this amenable
to the odd shape (unless creative strictures laid on the photographers
I am no fan of the redesign.
However, I no longer worry that PAW is not standing as a bastion
of the classy, the classical even, in a world given over to the
new and the trendy. Now I'm counting on our friends in Cambridge.
Charles Rissel '75
New Hope, Pa.
nothing but a mouthpiece
I don't understand why
the June 7 cover concerns as many readers as it apparently does.
Get a grip, old-timers and old-thinkers. Do you actually expect
that PAW would not be a mouthpiece for the university and the pervasive
rah-rah mentality that oozes from the pores of virtually all Princeton
materials? We live in an age in which the news media have become
an endless tedium of talking heads and "spinning" and
are now commonly referred to as the "info-tainment" industry.
Wake up, high and mighty
thinkers who read PAW and expect it to compete with Foreign Affairs
or the Economist for objectivity and incisive reporting; this is
a magazine that costs readers nothing if they choose not to donate
to class dues.
Kevin P. Warner '71
That other Ivy League
alumni magazines are said to be editorially controlled, financed,
and published by their respective universities is one of the best
reasons why Princeton's alumni magazine should not be. The PAW staff
are now university employees. The allegedly independent board, because
of the affiliation of its members and staggered tenures, seems also
de facto under university control. With adroitness bordering on
subterfuge, the university has thus obtained yet another medium
for management of alumni relations and for the promotion of fundraising.
(It already has made use of other media, university staff, and organized
alumni volunteers for these purposes.) With the university's takeover
of PAW, alumni have lost their independent medium for exchange of
information and the only effective forum for candid discussion of
the university's plans, policies, operations, and future - including
the ongoing and continually changing relationships between the university
and its alumni.
The university should
be willing and able to pay for its new piper. Advertising revenues
are expected to be much increased. Editorial chores can be minimized
and editorial costs reduced by the use of already prepared public
relations material and enlargement of the class notes compiled by
volunteer class secretaries. Thus it should be possible to reduce
or eliminate the assessment of alumni class budgets to pay for PAW
Charlton R. Price '48
Kansas City, Mo.
Editor's note: As has
been reported twice in PAW (February 23 and September 13), the funding
structure of the magazine changed in August. Whereas before the
budget came 60 percent
from the class budgets, 30 percent from advertising, and 10 percent
from the university, now each area funds one-third. Editorially,
PAW remains independent.
for a course
Every day of my Princeton
undergraduate days, it seems, was perfect. Yes, I worried about
upcoming exams, imperfectly prepared precepts, and "bad days"
on the soccer field or squash courts, but those anxieties and disappointments
really were nothing as I took stock at the end of each one of those
Last spring, when I visited
Princeton for a day of lectures, culminating a 15-week Alumni Studies
course on religious poetry, was another one of those perfect days.
While I had missed earlier
campus visit days in the Alumni Studies curriculum, the lecture
tapes had prepared me well, and I felt right at home with the vocabulary
of "poetry and humanism," the "spirit and the flesh,"
and "Romantic alignment with a close observation of the natural
world." Dr. John Fleming was a fabulous lecturer - witty, urbane,
patient, brilliant (all the characteristics we undergraduates 30-plus
years ago thought we possessed!), and my preceptor, Harold Ramdass,
was so good at comparing Eliot's "Ash Wednesday" with
Auden's "Shield of Achilles" that I attended his class
I know that these alumni
courses have been in place for several years, but for one reason
or another they missed my radar screen until now. They really do
afford a great way for alums to reconnect in a meaningful way with
Princeton, so I hope the university keeps them coming.
Walter Smedley III '66
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
matches gifts once more
On December 31, 1998,
the chairman of Citigroup, Sanford I. Weill, eliminated matching
gifts from the company's philanthropic programs. Since the cost
to the organization was only 0.12 percent of its profits, I felt
it was unjust, unwise, and unfair.
I began a campaign to
restore the program. Initially, I submitted a shareholder proposal.
Citigroup's general counsel wrote to the Securities and Exchange
Commission requesting permission to omit my proposal from the proxy.
The SEC denied the request.
At Citigroup's annual
meeting in April 2000, my proposal received 5.13 percent of votes
cast. Subsequently, Mr. Weill restored a matching gift program for
My reason for bringing
this to your attention is to alert present Citigroup staff who are
Princeton graduates to take advantage of this opportunity to support
I would like to add that
my son Tim '79 played a significant role in the success of our efforts
to restore the matching gift program. Tim wrote the letters to the
SEC that helped.
Clinton Weiman '47
for riot stories
I am writing a book about
the demonstrations at Princeton during the 1960s and '70s and I
would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who recalls those
Any written materials
would be returned, and permission would be requested to publish
any recollections you would be willing to share.
I am especially interested
in the ways people and institutions were changed by those events.
Please send them to me at email@example.com; or at 144 Prospect Ave.,
Princeton, NJ 08540.
Lee Neuwirth '55
am writing to you concerning the January 26 From the Archives. I
believe that the young man who is looking to his right in the front
row at the left side of the picture is Greg Hess and that the young
woman in front of him is his wife. Greg was a member of the Class
of 1968, and this would presumably have been one of the events like
Junior Prom. I don't remember being at the event, although I attended
several such events that year. Undoubtedly, Greg could tell you
exactly when that event occurred and maybe some anecdotes about
it. In fact, his wife would probably have a better memory.
Alan V. Pavilanis '69