February 7, 2001:
sub numine viget
with the coed
Ill-gotten flag comes home
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).
You did a great service
to the university and its alumni in publishing selections from Charles
Blackmar 42s collection of stories submitted by members
of the Class of 1942 recounting their experiences during World War
(cover story, December 6). One reads the stories with feelings of
the greatest admiration and gratitude, not only toward members of
that class but toward the members of all the other classes who gave
of themselves unreservedly during the war years. Their accounts
and reflections made for riveting and compelling reading. Would
that the Blackmar collection could be serialized in your pages!
Gordon W. Daiger 53
The inclusion of Charles
Crandall 42s brief comments of personal experiences
in the Navy during World War II serves to remind many of the additional
activities in which he was engaged. Of course they do not comment
on Charlies valor or the indebtedness of the people of a free
nation to him. The action that Charlie performed was legendary to
his comrades, and the lives he has saved are innumerable. To these
are added those of his postwar practices of medicine, changed from
engineering because of his association with suffering and death.
And Charlies wife, Dr. Elizabeth Crandall, has in her own
right been a wonderful contributor to the lives of many. Forget
not son Steve, who pitched a no-hitter against Yale.
Few sons of Nassau have
provided such honor as an alumnus. I have reminded the peoples of
the nation many times and do so again. Hail.
Raoul Nehr 36
Im a member of
the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Seeing the war stories
piece, I couldnt help but wonder about the experiences of
alumni who have been conscientious objectors to war. For example,
did any alumni serve in a Civilian Public Service camp in World
On a different note,
it might be interesting to research other Quaker connections to
Princeton. One that immediately comes to mind is Joseph Taylor,
dean of the faculty, Nobel laureate in physics, and member of Princeton
Friends Meeting. (Quakerbridge Mall doesnt count!)
Christopher Mohr 88
San Francisco, Calif.
Thank you for the cover
story about our Class of 1942 Book! It is far and away beyond our
fondest dreams! My pride and joy in being a part of the marvelous
Class of 1942 is very considerable indeed. So is my feeling for
being able to participate in a very minor way in the most important
event in the history of mankind. Needless to say, reading your wonderful
coverage was truly an emotional event. Please let your readers know
they can order the book directly from me, 843-671-2161.
Tex Farrington 42
Hilton Head Island, S.C
of War Stories may be interested in my modern-day story.
A few weeks ago I was early for a movie and so walked down to a
nearby bookstore to pass the time. I looked over the remainders
table, glancing at a Time-Life book about World War II. I started
to walk away, then stopped and went back. Staring up at me from
the cover of the book was a picture of myself from my days as a
Marine Corps pilot in the Solomon Islands.
I remember the photo
being taken, although I have no idea how it ended up on the cover
of that book out of the thousands they might have chosen.
I did buy the book, and
my daughter is investigating the path of the photo.
Bill Sloane 43
Editors note: In
response to the war stories, Richard Davis 47 wrote in to
expand on the account of the war hero Alexander Sandy
Bonnyman 32. His fuller account can be found on our here.
I was amazed to read the letter from Marc W. Murphy 73, who
fervently believes that the next president of our university
should be William Jefferson Clinton (December 6).
Without even getting into the scandal-ridden administration of the
Clinton presidency, the mans personal lack of character, ethics,
integrity, morals, and truthfulness should automatically exclude
him from consideration! How can an institution like Princeton, with
its honor system, have a liar as its leader?
Walter G. Smyth 60
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Clinton for president?
No. This will record my revulsion at the thought of Bill Clinton
occupying Nassau Hall. I strongly hope that early on the search
committee will declare itself opposed to such consideration.
Joseph C. Cornwall 39
Basking Ridge, N.J.
I daresay that the suggestion
made recently that Bill Clinton might make a successful next president
of our beloved university is at best comical. Clinton surely would
be anathema to any liberal arts college, let alone one which has
struggled to make the appearance, at least, of admitting women as
social and intellectual equals. Employing Bill Clinton in any capacity
on campus would put a stamp of approval on his free-willy,
put-out and shut-up approach to employee relations. Really!
I had hoped that we laud people of integrity and honor, not any
who so obviously feel entitled to prey on subordinates. As for the
professor who was too intimidated to argue the issue, I suggest
he quit his day job and study the campus architecture, for starters,
if he doubts the validity of a good old-fashioned debate at Princeton.
Katherine L. Kerr 91
Redwood City, Calif.
I am glad to read the
letters of Kent Young, Max Maizels, and Dial Parrott defending the
honor of Princeton by calling for Bill Clinton to be kept off campus.
God forbid that Princeton should invite, much less honor, a man
who has shamelessly lied to the American people on national TV!
Oops! Whats this,
on the same page James Baker 52? Is this the James
A. Baker III who was George W. Bushs spokesman in Florida
after the election? The one who every day on C-SPAN said (so many
times) there are no uncounted ballots? Sure enough,
there he is in the Alumni Directory. And an honorary Princeton LL.D.
In the words of Mr. Parrott, How can a university honor a
notorious liar as a distinguished public servant without undoing
the very reason for its existence?
Im sure that Messrs.
Young, Maizels and Parrott will join me in calling for Baker to
be banned from campus, and for his honorary degree to be rescinded.
We must be consistent, gentlemen!
James R. Paulson 72
I am reading the December
20 issue, which has three letters criticizing the visit of President
Clinton to the Princeton campus and the perhaps tongue-in-cheek
writing of Jason Brownlee suggesting Clinton would make the ideal
19th president of Princeton.
I have not read the original article, nor did I follow the visit
of the president. However, I am stunned at the one-sided criticism
of the current president. University presidents are selected by
different criteria than those used for political office, and by
most of them, Bill Clinton would not be a likely candidate. However,
as Kent Young, Max Maizels, and Dial Parrott allege, is the telling
of truth the only criterion by which candidates are
selected? While in office, President Reagan led the nation through
a series of falsehoods culminating in the Iran-contra scandal. Yet
no one will judge his presidency on that single score. Similarly,
Clintons actions in office regarding Monica Lewinsky are condemnable,
and he has several times offered his deep regrets about it. It is
a shame that people with the finest tradition of a liberal Princeton
education cannot see past their conservative ideology and give Clinton
credit for leading the nation in its longest economic expansion.
Many actions taken by Clinton and Treasury secretaries Rubin and
Summers were in the face of serious opposition from the Republicans
(the Mexican and Asian monetary crises, for example). He has shown
exemplary leadership in bringing warring parties to the table in
Northern Ireland and the Middle East. He has cemented great friendships
between the people of the U.S. and the people of several African
and Asian countries. One expects that Princetonians will be able
to be objective and give credit where it is due, even if they are
not in agreement 100 percent.
I am on a different campus
right now California Institute of Technology. President Clinton
visited this campus earlier in 2000 to unveil his new science and
technology policy. He was a welcome guest to this campus. I suspect,
notwithstanding the true meaning of the word is, he
will be welcome on most campuses throughout this country and abroad.
I hope the vast majority of Princetonians can rise above partisan
feelings and give him credit where he deserves it, evenhandedly
with the opprobrium that he also deserves.
Siddharth Dasgupta *86
Your From the Editor
in the November 8 PAW about the Yale game in 1930 brought back memories.
As football manager, I was sitting between Bill Roper and Keene
Fitzpatrick for most of that game. I doubt if anyone now living
remembers the tensions that built up in the last minutes of that
game as Trix Bennett completed his over-the-line passes to the Yale
I remember the referee
downed the ball with the ends of the ball pointing to the sidelines
and then carefully turned it so the ends were pointing to the goal
lines. The measurement showed us a few inches short. Tears were
in the eyes of all three of us.
After lo these many years, I still feel the shock of that measurement
and still remember Bill Roper as one amazing individual.
George H. Shields III
Any player in that game
knows that Trix Bennett, who was carrying the ball in the last drive,
went over the goal! On 4th down.
Pendennis W. Reed 31
Vero Beach, Fla.
The chart in the December
20 Notebook purports to show that increasing numbers of Princeton
students are studying Spanish, and it does make this point well.
Yet the chart offers a broader point as well the study of
most modern languages at Princeton is on the decline. In some cases,
the decline is quite dramatic.
According to the chart,
the number of Princetonians taking French has dropped 36 percent
over the past nine years. Taking the other modern languages in order
of their 19901991 enrollment, German (43 percent), Italian
(12 percent), Japanese (49 percent), Chinese (32
percent), Russian (29 percent), and Arabic (58 percent)
are all down as well.
The ancient languages
Latin and Classical Greek are holding their own, and
Spanish is up, but virtually all of the other modern languages have
dropped significantly. The total enrollment line in
the chart shows an overall decline of 16 percent. If Spanish, Latin,
and Classical Greek were excluded from these figures, the decline
would be 32 percent overall.
PAW has described in
recent issues how the percentage of international students has increased
over the last decade. It is probably not too much of a stretch to
assume that these students are more likely to be enrolled in modern
language classes than are American-born Princetonians. For American-born
Princeton students, the decline in the study of modern languages
is probably even more precipitous.
Princeton may seek to
offer service to all nations, but that service cannot
just be one way. It is fine to bring international students to Princeton,
but Princetonians must also be prepared to go out into the world.
Without a little more emphasis on modern languages, it is difficult
to see how that will happen.
Josh Libresco 76
San Rafael, Calif.
Regarding Bailey Browers
letter (November 22), he makes some good points, especially about
the number of legacy admits. I hope his letter is read by members
of the search committee!
As a matter of interest
the Freshman Herald for the Class of 1946 indicates that 19.88 percent
of the class were sons of alums.
David Nimick 46
sub numine viget
While it is hoped that
one flourishes under the watch of Gods name and that in the
name of God there is His power, the translation of the university
motto used by PAWs editor is not supported by the words quoted
(From the Editor, December 20). Is there no Latin professor to assist
a publication affiliated with the university?
Kenneth Alonso 64
Holmes Beach, Fla.
Editor's note: The translation
used came from the Princeton Companion, by Alexander Leitch '24.
Nollner knew notes
The late Walter Nollner,
professor, emeritus, of music, was gifted with perfect pitch, an
extremely rare asset for a musician. He could, at any time, sing
or hum any given note with mathematical accuracy. This allowed him
to stand in front of his group and vocalize the start notes for
every musical section in every movement to be performed in a concert,
whether it were to be in four-part, six-part, or eight-part harmony.
The singers had only to listen carefully to his indications. It
also meant that the ever-present piano accompanist, who was at the
keyboard only to give those very same start notes, was out of a
job and thus could join the group and sing, thereby giving the chorus
another talented voice.
Ray F. Fitzsimmons 55
with the coed
In the December 20 issue,
you write about an incident at Forbes College wherein there was
a sexual and criminal assault on a female student. I quote as follows:
the victim, who was asleep at the time, did not wake up. Her
boyfriend, however, did awaken and confronted . . .
This seems like rather
cavalier treatment of a situation apparently involving boyfriend
sleeping with girlfriend. Is this sort of thing going on all over
the place all the time at Princeton? Im a very old grad whose
standards are long past being realistic. I wonder, however, if were
now at a point where its just accepted that unmarried male
and female students sleep together at Princeton as a general thing,
or was it just too much booze in this one unusual incident. Can
you enlighten me?
Edgar A. Spencer 36
Only Princeton alumni
wouldnt need an explanation why removing the clapper from
a bell would be a safety issue! Using a virtual bell in Nassau Hall
an E-clapper if you will wont preclude stealing
it. I expect some enterprising electrical engineering or computer
science freshman will replace the simulated bell with a simulated
clunk symbolic of stealing the simulated clapper.
Bob Flavin 77
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
I have watched the transformation
of what once was a handsome and serious university store into a
catchall convenience store with a minor interest in books and none
in music. The words The Music Shop are engraved on both sides of
the U-Stores University Place entrance; however, inside there
is hardly any serious music. The attractive assortment of classical
CDs and tapes that had its own area in the back of the second floor
is gone. Similarly, an alcove on the first floor that housed all
kinds of musical scores and classical sheet music is now devoted
to other purposes. The first floor once looked like a bookstore.
On entering the store now, one no longer sees an abundance of interesting
books. In their place there is a pharmacy and tables with all manner
of dry goods and sundries, as well as some computers and attendant
computer books along the north wall.
Fortunately things can
be put right relatively easily. The general books can be returned
to the first floor where they made such a fine display for browsers,
customers, alumni, and students. The classical music sections could
be reestablished, emphasizing the universitys interest in
fine music. The third floor, now enlarged, serves an excellent function
as a center for textbooks and course-related books and, perhaps,
could be put to further academic uses.
The availability of serious
books and music is part of the educational process. The necessary
changes to reconstitute and improve the University Store are not
complex and would be well worth doing.
Henry C. Maguire Jr.
Merion Station, Pa.
As an artist and instructor
at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston you have no idea
how heartened I was to see the photo of the three young artists
drawing in Prospect Garden (Snapshot, November 22). So many in art
schools think it no longer necessary for artists to learn to draw!
Im gladdened to know that my university still offers a class
in an eternally fascinating activity of mind, hand, and eye.
Joel Babb 69
Ill-gotten flag comes home
Earlier this fall the
university received a package from an anonymous alumnus from the
Class of 1972. That package contained an obviously old but well-preserved
university flag. To quote from the accompanying letter from that
alumnus: Now that I have become a man, I have given up childish
things. These include ill-gotten items such as the University flag
that, in a fit of youthful folly and exuberance, I liberated
from Pyne Hall Tower back in the early 1970s.
We would like to thank
our anonymous alumnus for his gift to the university
and for his late but still greatly appreciated confession. We assure
Anonymous 72 that the statute of limitations on this offense
has passed and the Discipline Committee will take no action if and
when he decides to fess up in person. In the meantime, his
flag will be sent to the University Archives, where it will assume
a position of honor.
Richard R. Spies *72
Vice President for Finance and Administration
I was disappointed to
see ill-informed attacks by fellow alumni on Professor Chous
hard work to keep Princetons Chinese language study program
going in Beijing, amid trying circumstances (Letters, September
Professor Chou and those
like him who sustain foreign academic programs in China deserve
our support, not armchair quarterbacking. As for who really cares
about academic freedom in China those who stay away, just
stay away; those who come and engage and communicate, make a difference.
Kurt W. Tong 87
Editors note: A
conversation with Professor Chou about academic freedom and the
Princeton in Beijing program is on our Web site, www.princeton.edu/~paw.
William A. Rusher 44
rightly cites the inadequacy of the description your October 25th
Talks On Campus gives to Angela Daviss curriculum vitae (Letters,
You might also have mentioned the fact that Ms. Davis was peremptorily
dismissed, in 1970, from her teaching position in the University
of California system, because of her membership in the Communist
She was later tried on
capital charges in a transparently politically motivated frame-up
trial of star-chamber proportions.
These events transpired
in a country that ceaselessly lectures the whole of humanity in
the name of its vaunted defense of freedom and loudly proclaims
that no American citizen is subject to persecution for his or her
political beliefs or affiliations.
of the theme of human rights echoes ever so hollow when one considers
the myriad cases of political prisoners, such as Leonard Peltier
and Mumia Abu Jamal, who are still languishing in this free
Wayne Watkins 76
White Plains, N.Y.
The November 8 issue
of PAW succeeded in making me feel like an old man. Although I always
enjoy the From the Archives photographs, I never expected at age
31 to be able to offer any useful information. The Wall of Fame
in question is, without a doubt, located in 43 Blair Hall, which
was home to Spencer J. Reynolds, Jr. 92, Peter J. Offringa
91, Jason A. Ritter 91, and me during the 1987-88 semester.
Spencers artistically carved name can be seen in the middle
of the mantel, while my amateur work is hidden by the American flag.
I cant offer any information about subsequent residents, but
I apologize to them for the damage left behind.
David Pertsemlidis 91
New York, N.Y.