September 12, 2001: Letters

President Tilghman

Reunions reflections

The thesis thrives

Boy Scout apology

Of the Graduate School

Paw Online

Nader, Bush, and Gore


P.U. Sports News

P.U. Credit Card

About letters to PAW

From the Archives

PAW misnomer

PAW Letter Box Online
PAW has expanded its Web site to include a feature called Letter Box, where many more letters than can fit in the print magazine are published. Please go to Letter Box to read and respond.

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 (

President Tilghman

I was distressed to read that Shirley Tilghman was named Princeton’s 19th president. My distress came not just from the fact that a female president is out of place with the lengthy male traditions of the university, but primarily from several other factors. After all, a qualified, ethical female should make a qualified, ethical president. And that is what everyone should want. It is certainly what I want.

Shirley Tilghman is not a native U.S. citizen. She was not educated in the U.S. Furthermore, she is not a graduate of Princeton and thus cannot ever fully comprehend the student experience at Princeton — something that is essential to the qualifications of a Princeton University president. Being a professor is not the same as being a student.

I have read the background information on Shirley Tilghman and fail to find anything that qualifies her as a candidate for president of Princeton. She may be an outstanding researcher and/or professor, but being a professor does not qualify her for this office. I know of many graduates of Princeton who are much more qualified than she is, and they are not qualified for this position either.

However, the most disturbing thing about her appointment is the fact that she was a member of the original search committee. It seems at the least to be unethical for a committee that was formed to find qualified candidates for some position to recommend one of its members as a candidate for that position. And if the member who was recommended is an ethical individual, that individual should decline the recommendation, not resign from the committee in order to be a candidate.

Stephen R. Dartt ’72
Lilburn, Ga.


I believe that, since Princeton is an institution devoted to undergraduate education, it would have been most fitting for the next university president to have been an undergraduate alum. At the very minimum, the president should hold a Princeton degree. The last time Harvard had a non-Harvard educated president was 1672. Apparently the Harvard trustees think more highly of their university than the Princeton trustees think of ours.
Steven M. Warshawsky ’90
Silver Spring, Md.

President Tilghman’s personal life, and why she and her husband “split up” when their children were infants, is certainly none of my business. But to headline that unfortunate event in your Notebook story June 6 as a point of pride and evidence of her accomplishment is, in my opinion, wrongheaded and screwy. When Shapiro became president, I do not recall PAW praising him in its headline for making his marriage and family work.

Donald W. Fish, Jr. ’90
Los Angeles, Calif.


Why did I not see a quiz in PAW regarding Shirley Tilghman?
What other Ivies have had a woman president?
What other Canadians have served as Ivy presidents?
Name the other non-alum P.U. presidents.
How many past incoming P.U. presidents have been single?
What year did John Fleming *63 learn the word “mensch”?

Ira Kaplan ’83
Stamford, Conn.


I read with interest Peter Moyers ’00’s letter in the July 4 PAW regretting the trustees’ choice of Shirley M. Tilghman as Princeton’s 19th president because she lacks experience as a Princeton undergraduate. Amazing, I thought on first glance at his class numerals, that there’s still someone living from the Class of 1900! Then I realized that Mr. Moyers had graduated barely a year ago.

None of Princeton’s first six presidents was a graduate of it. The first to claim that distinction was Samuel Stanhope Smith 1773, who took office in 1795. Six of the 12 presidents who followed him were alumni of the college and three of the graduate school (one, Robert F. Goheen ’40 *48, had degrees from both). Since the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson 1879, in 1902, only three of Princeton’s seven presidents have been undergraduate alumni. Among those lacking a degree from the college was the venerated Harold Willis Dodds *14, who served from 1933 to 1957.

With the exception of Harold T. Shapiro *64 (1988—2001), every Princeton president of the last 113 years — eight in all — has come from the faculty, so has entered office thoroughly familiar with Princeton’s culture, including (albeit at second hand) its undergraduate culture. By no means is faculty experience an essential criterion for choosing a president, but it’s probably at least as important as having an apostrophe after one’s name.

J. I. Merritt ’66
Pennington, N.J.

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Reunions reflections

My family and family friends were just tickled to see a whole page dedicated to my grandpa John Sease ’41 (Snapshot, July 4). The photo spurred Nicholas Apostolakis ’55 to contact me regarding my other grandfather, Dimitrios Monoyios, a professor at Athens College in Greece. As it turns out, my grand-father was a great source of support for Mr. Apostolakis while he adjusted to life at Princeton, so it was good to establish a connection with him. Neither my father nor I were aware that Mr. Apostolakis had known my grandfather at all.

The picture of our dogs was also great (page 27, top, July 4). They’ve been a regular fixture at the P-rade since I arrived at Princeton in 1997. This year, the oldest dog, who is 13, was having a little trouble walking and was dragging behind . . . that is, until we hit the classes of the 1980s! Suddenly, the sides were lined with little kids who were ooh-ing and ahhh-ing and petting her as she walked by. She perked up right away as if to say, “HEY, NOW! I kind of like this!”

Kalliopi Monoyios ’00
Chicago, Ill.


Your reunion edition is the best I have ever seen! Makes me wish that I had attended! Keep up the good work.

Frank Schaffer ’45
Greenwich, Conn.

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The thesis thrives

Your issue of June 6 was one of the best ever. I am referring to the cover story “From Thesis to Reality: the Scholarly Effort.”

I was particularly impressed that most of the six seniors mentioned were concerned with issues dealing with the disadvantaged or ill — people who are too often forgotten and neglected by society.

No doubt the choice of their work was the result of each one’s own interest — possibly encouraged by an adviser. In any case, they are all to be commended.

I am certain that there are many other Princeton students who are similarly involved with the disadvantaged but could not be included because of lack of space.

Congratulations to PAW, Princeton University, and most of all to the involved students.

Forrest C. Eggleston ’42
Mechanicsburg, Pa.


Re: the senior thesis. Sunday following this year’s reunions, I was driving south on Interstate 95 and stopped at a rest area. As I sat at a table, two delightful young gals seated nearby noticed I was still wearing my Class of ’36 name tag button, and motioned to me. They were in the Class of ’91, returning from their 10th reunion. In the ensuing conversation, I asked them to tell me about their senior theses, and I reported on mine. Unfortunately, my atrophied ears failed to record their names.

Later, as I was returning my rental car at the Philadelphia airport, Christopher Beiswenger ’93 noted the same button and helped carry some baggage with which I was struggling. Again there was an exchange of senior theses subject matter.

Sharing these encounters, covering a 65-year time span, is an exhilarating memory for this antique Tiger.

John Paul Jones ’36
La Jolla, Calif.

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Boy Scout apology

I am writing to retract my letter to the editor published in the October 27, 1993 issue, apologize, and attempt to rectify the situation. In my 1993 letter, I defended the Boy Scouts’ policy of excluding gay scout leaders (I did not realize they also banned gay children), and attacked Princeton’s cutoff of funding to the Boy Scouts. Since the time it was published, I’ve had second thoughts about my letter, because it didn’t reflect the mixed feelings I had, even then, about the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy.

Upon re-reading my 1993 submission, I was shocked at how bigoted and “holier-than-thou” my words sound now. I apologize to those I must have offended when I wrote, “Princeton may tolerate immorality in the name of political correctness, but the Boy Scouts strive to set a higher standard.” In my defense, in 1993 I was a recent convert to the Mormon Church, which bans homosexuals, and had just been appointed by my bishop as a Boy Scout leader. I was writing as a good Mormon, repeating Church terminology (“immorality,” to Mormons, is a sexual term referring to any act outside marriage, including homosexuality).

As I pointed out in my 1993 letter, the Mormon Church is by far the largest sponsor of the Boy Scouts. They threaten that if the Scouts accept homosexuals, they will withdraw all support, leading to the collapse of the Boy Scouts. I now disagree with my Church’s doctrine that homosexuality is immoral, as well as its threat to destroy scouting, and my 1993 letter compels me to state this publicly.

Coincidentally, as I was writing this letter today, 60 Minutes came on with a segment about the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy. It told of a town where 60 parents from eight scout troops wrote a letter to Boy Scout headquarters saying that if a qualified gay man applied as a scoutmaster, they would accept him. The Boy Scouts of America, in another heavy-handed punishment of free speech, sent letters expelling all those troops from scouting, giving the boys in that town no place to go. The letters from Scout headquarters said they had to comply with the wishes of their religious sponsors, specifically mentioning my Church.

The Supreme Court may have narrowly ruled that the Boy Scouts have the legal right to discriminate against gays, but that does not make such discrimination morally right.

David L. Harten ’84
Avenel, N.J.

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Of the Graduate School

This is to heartily endorse the excellent letter from Dennis Beatty ’42 *49 (April 18) suggesting the inclusion of architect and professor Anderson Todd ’43 *49 in your list of notable Princeton alumni. I know that I join thousands of fortunate architects who cannot imagine their lives without his influence.

Nicholas D. Davis *57
Auburn, Ala.


The list of omissions grows longer. I was president of Salem College (North Carolina) from 1982—1990.

Thomas V. Litzenburg, Jr. *65
Lexington, Va.


I lived in the Graduate College while earning a master’s of public affairs degree at the Woodrow Wilson School from 1976—78. The Wilson School was a wonderful place for graduate students to learn, and its faculty and administration did a superb job of helping its graduate students form a strong identity within the Princeton community.

Sadly, the university did not seem to share the Wilson School’s enthusiasm for graduate students. As a graduate student, I felt unrecognized at best and, more frequently, isolated and overlooked within the larger Princeton family. Sports, clubs, social life, and campus activities focused almost exclusively on the undergraduate population. The relatively remote location and austere character of the Graduate College didn’t help matters, either. Finally, I received the distinct impression (how, I can’t say) that undergrads perceived grad students as, well, oddities — people you really wouldn’t want to bring to your eating club.

Having since received a second graduate degree from Penn, I can state with authority that at least one other Ivy League school maintains more active contact with its graduate students than does Princeton. I have interviewed high school seniors for admission to Penn and been an active member of my local alumni association. By contrast, Princeton did not invite me to join my local alumni club until 22 years after I graduated (an invitation that I accepted), and I have yet to be asked to participate in screening potential students in my area.

While justifiable pride was and is taken in Princeton’s standing as a undergraduate institution, it would enhance Princeton’s stature to more fully integrate graduate students into the Princeton family.

Leanne Tobias *78
Bethesda, Md.

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PAW Online

I am delighted to discover that I can rendezvous with PAW online. Now, if I can only find the time to look up the many things that seem likely to be interesting! But that is my objection to all publication of a journal on the www: to rummage through even one good one is time-consuming in the extreme. This is not a justification for reducing journals to squibs. Yet is there some other answer?

Harvey Kerpneck *56
Willowdale, Canada

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Nader, Bush, and Gore

Princeton may have poorly prepared some of us for the 2000 election. In the May 16 PAW, a classmate of mine extols his and other Nader voters’ “right to vote for a candidate to our liking” and asks, “Are we less worthy of democracy than other voters?” Undergraduates of my era were spoiled in university elections by a system that allowed voters to rank candidates in order of preference. “Single transferable vote,” I think it was called. Alumni trustee ballots also use preference ranking. Current proposals for U.S. election reform speak of “instant runoff voting,” but for now each American can only vote for one presidential candidate at a time.

Foreign democracies are often led by coalition governments formed when no party wins a majority of seats in parliament. Although the U.S. has no formal structural equivalent of the parliamentary system, modern media offer a functional analog to seats in parliament: percentage points in the polls. To form a “coalition government” in the U.S., you must use your percentage points before an election. Because no party’s candidate had a majority in the polls last year, Ralph Nader ’55 could have used his pivotal standing in the polls to negotiate policy or appointment commitments from either major party (if he really found them as similar as Tweedledum and Tweedledee). In return, as a strong party leader, he probably could have delivered a truly decisive margin of victory to Bush or Gore.

David Holtzman ’82
Los Angeles, Calif.


Regarding the Florida election fiasco and the accompanying political rhetoric, the facts indicate that the presidential election resulted in a tie, in that the margin-of-victory was well within the margin-of-error. This means that, regardless of which candidate was declared winner, 50 percent of the voters were disenfranchised. It seems to me that the only equitable solution would have been to exclude the Florida State electoral vote (or to split it in two, rendering the same result). Unfortunately, the Constitution does not provide for such a solution.

Charles Canfield Brown ’53
Jersey City, N.J.


I would have preferred Gore to Bush.

From the beginning, Bush has made it very clear that he would do everything he could to put more wealth and power in the hands of the very wealthy who run our multinational corporations, and if it costs the health of our planet, so be it. Combine this with religious fundamentalism and you have a real winner.

Gore would have regulated this situation a little, but he would not have dealt with the fundamental problem.
We should appreciate the courage that Nader has demonstrated over the years in standing against the large corporations, and know that he is right when he says that we have become a nation of the General Motors, by the IBMs, and for the DuPonts, and that power should be in the hands of the people. When he was asked what he would do to defend America, he said he would wipe out poverty around the world. This is a profound and doable solution, but not when a few are stealing all they can for themselves. Can there be any moral argument for why any one of us should have more than one six-billionth of what can be sustainably produced on our planet?

This is an old fight, and most Princetonians have followed Madison in trying to structure this nation for the benefit of the opulent. However, my soul thrills to Jefferson’s words that all humans are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

David Jenkins ’62
Sand Point, Idaho


Several readers have complained about votes for Ralph Nader taking away from a potential Gore victory, and Nader voters tend to respond that they ought to be able to vote for the candidate they prefer.
We have a system at hand that could allow them to have their cake and eat it too: Princeton’s own voting method for alumni trustees (first choice/second choice, out of three — the third rank is implicit). This could be extended indefinitely to an ordered-list vote of any number of candidates.

Of course, it would weaken the two-party system by encouraging much more third-party voting without fear of ballot splitting, thus the major parties would be expected to oppose such a thing quite strongly.
I don’t know if it is politically realistic for our country to consider this yet, but I personally think it is the fairest, most accurate method of voting, as far as expressing the actual will of the people.

Dan Krimm ’78
Los Angeles, Calif.

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In George Showman ’99’s July 4 letter indicting Princeton’s recruiting of student-athletes, and in asserting the general incompatibility of study and athletics, he gives as an example of a “positive athletic experience on campus” the Princeton Ultimate Frisbee team, Clockwork Orange. Mr. Showman characterizes the team as made up of kids who couldn’t make it in other sports, and who hadn’t come to Princeton to play ultimate, but had come together to enjoy the pleasures and lessons of team sports, while still retaining their cultured, “interesting” side. According to Showman, team members also had their priorities straight: When school work got serious, they would “let their sport fall by the wayside.”

I am currently the head captain of Clockwork Orange, and I can say that Mr. Showman’s notion of Clockwork ultimate as a paradisiacal sort of bookish man’s hobby-sport is completely inaccurate. First, it is not true that ultimate players are kids who weren’t good enough to play other sports. Most of our players played varsity sports in high school, and a few of them were on junior varsity squads here at Princeton. Ultimate at the college and club level is a hard-played, fast-paced, physically demanding sport. It requires you to be in excellent practice and shape. During the spring, Clockwork has regular conditioning sessions in addition to our regular thrice a week practices. Second, it is not true that nobody ever came to Princeton to play ultimate. Ultimate was not the only reason I came here, but it was one of them, and I am not the only person on the team who factored in Princeton’s ultimate team when I applied and chose to come here. Third, it is not true that we drop ultimate like a brick the second school work intensifies. Clockwork, as you might have inferred by this point, is made up of a hard-working, competitive, committed group of guys who really enjoy ultimate and, through that work and commitment, aim to achieve team success. The lack of commitment that Mr. Showman extols as a virtue is absolutely revolting to me, and to everyone on the team who works hard and makes sacrifices for its benefit. When work intensifies, members of Clockwork occasionally miss a practice or two. Generally, they deal, work harder, and manage their time all the better (just like having a job in college makes one do).

Jacob Dee GS
Princeton, N.J.


What a shame George Showman ’99 failed to learn that one of Princeton’s core values is a commitment to excellence in all fields of endeavor.

Let’s hope young George will mature, overcome his fears, and come to appreciate that every community’s sustainability is dependent upon people with diverse talents and backgrounds.
Intolerance of any kind is unacceptable, even if the object of derision is guilty of wearing a sports bra or jockstrap.

Jim Petrucci ’86
Flemington, N.J.


I take offense at George Showman’s ’99 letter. Mr. Showman claims that the presence of recruited athletes detracted considerably from his Princeton experience and that an outstanding academic and an outstanding varsity athletic experience are mutually exclusive. The gross generalizations in his letter do a disservice to all student-athletes.

Because I was a graduate student at Princeton, I was not able to compete on Princeton’s varsity athletic teams. However, I was a volunteer assistant men’s track and cross-country coach from 1994—99. During that time I saw many dedicated student-athletes who had success both in the classroom and on the track. They include Scott Anderson ’96, an All-America miler whose academic work was such that the NCAA awarded him a graduate fellowship to attend the University of Chicago business school this fall. Since graduating, Anderson has run professionally, including in the Olympic Trials, while working as an economist at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

Craig Anne Lake ’95 was another successful student-athlete I knew. Lake now coaches track and cross-country at Columbia University. In her short tenure, Columbia’s women’s teams have gone from last-place finishers to contenders at the Heptagonal Champion-ships. During that time, she earned a master’s from Columbia University.

Peter Kimball ’98 was a Heptagonals champion in the 800 meters while at Princeton pursuing an economics degree. After graduation, he ran track professionally while working for the Brookings Institution. He then started his own company involved in economic data collection and dissemination.

These three are a few of a large number of successful student-athletes I met at Princeton. In each case, their academic and athletic success continued beyond the time they spent at Princeton.

Jason Rhodes *99
Princeton, N.J.


Concerning the letter by R. Wardell Loveland (July 4), I think it is unfortunate that he trivialized an important issue, i.e., the academic performance of student-athletes, with biting sarcasm. I will add, however, that in addition to the book The Game of Life by William Bowen and James Shulman, a report by the Knight Commission appeared recently that also addresses the issue of academic performance, as well as the diversion of scarce resources (money) to athletics that could be used for more pressing academic needs. Thus, I think the impact of intercollegiate athletics on academic programs continues to receive serious attention.

W. E. Schiesser *60
Bethlehem, Pa.

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P.U. sports news

My local newspapers rarely show any information about the Ivy League. Even though it takes a couple of weeks to get here, I enjoy keeping up to date with the happenings at Princeton through PAW. One comment: Since most graduates live too far from Princeton to attend local events, the athletic scores are much more of interest than the schedules. No matter how late it is, I am more interested in the soccer score against Harvard, or the lacrosse score against Johns Hopkins than in a schedule of events I can’t attend.

Walt Culin ’52
Savannah, Ga.


While I enjoyed very much your July 4 edition with its coverage of Reunions and the men’s NCAA lacrosse championship, I was quite disturbed to see nary a mention of the men’s heavyweight crew recent Eastern Sprints champion-ship and subsequent second-place finish to California in the national champion-ships, even in your Sports Shorts.

Rowing is the biggest intercollegiate sport at Princeton with men and women competing in both heavyweight and lightweight programs against the best programs in the country. Many of these, like the University of California, provide athletic scholarships to their athletes and also recruit athletes from overseas Olympic programs. Yet the rowing program at Princeton continues to perform at a level of excellence that is unsurpassed by any other at Princeton and perhaps only matched by our excellent men’s lacrosse team. There is no more demanding sport, both physically and mentally, than rowing at the elite level. A little recognition of the results of the great efforts made by Princeton’s oarsmen and oarswomen would be most welcome.

John G. Reeve ’70
Yarmouthport, Mass.

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P.U. credit card

I too was disappointed to find that Princeton University apparently sold my name to a junk mailer in support of another of those ubiquitous letters promoting superfluous credit cards. This solicitation comes with “Princeton University” showing on the front and back of the envelope. What a class act! I suggest that everyone who gets this do what I did — stuff all of the mailing into the return envelope (including any other random junk at hand) and send it back so the credit card company has to pay the postage.

Don Tocher ’59
Sunapee, N.H.

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About letters to PAW

I have solved the problem of the appearance in PAW of “soapbox tirades, social criticism, and self-indulgence,” of “emotional, close-minded, and overly simplistic political opinions,” and in general of “letters that clearly belong somewhere else” (Letters, May 16). Obviously an authority is needed to provide prepublication assessment of any potentially emotive opinion, before taking the rash step of exposing the entire alumni body willy-nilly to the possibility of upset. That authority will be: Me.

All alumni are hereby asked to submit letters to me for rating prior to publication in PAW. Assigned ratings will serve to warn unwary readers away from items which they may prefer not to read while eating. The following should cover all eventualities:

G: acceptable for general readers

G-Arc: acceptable for general readers, except supporters of campus architecture

G-Arc(V): acceptable for general readers, including supporters of campus architecture, except those who like Venturi

Adm: critical of admissions policy in general

Adm-Ath: critical of admissions re

Adm-Leg: critical of admissions re legacies

Adm-DFWIWA: critical of admissions re anything different from when I was admitted

PG/Prospective Guidance: do not read unless and until your child is admitted

R: ridiculous social or political opinion

R(JB): ridiculous opinion re James Baker

R(RN): ridiculous opinion re Ralph Nader

R-and-R: ridiculous opinion re a prior writer’s ridiculous opinion

NC-17: opinion (ridiculous or otherwise) of the seemliness of a Princeton alumnus editing a soft-sex magazine, and/or of the coverage of such behavior by PAW, and/or of the opinions of other alumni re such editing and/or coverage and/or opinions

Letters of appreciation may be sent to me. Letters of complaint are to be directed to the Alumni Council.

Brian Zack ’72
Princeton, N.J.

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From the Archives

There is a very good possibility that the lonely stringer in the July 4 Archives photo (above) is a 50-years younger me. I am sure it is not one of my Press Club brethren in the classes of 1951, ’52, or ’53, and my wife believes the ears are indisputably mine. Maybe someone from a later class can provide a more positive identification (and forget the ears).

John B. Lowry ’52
San Francisco, Calif.


I am quite sure that the undergraduate shown in the Palmer Stadium press box is my classmate James McGlathery ’58.

Howard Sussman ’58
New York, N.Y.


The photo is of Jim McGlathery ’58, who was Press Club president. He would have been active in the fall of 1954 until the end of 1957. Since he always seemed wise and experienced to those of us in younger classes, my inclination is to say that the photo was taken before 1957, but I could easily be wrong.

R. Grant Smith ’60
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.


Editor’s note: All of last year’s From the Archives photographs have been posted on our Web site, along with all the correspondence received in connection with the images.

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PAW misnomer

I have non-Princeton friends (I’m ashamed to say); and they do ask whether paw is really a weekly. When I say no, they ask, so why the name? This makes Princeton look silly.

Why not call it Princeton Alumni World, so that you’d still have the acronym, avoiding the jarring misnomer?

Bart Holland *83
Newark, N.J.

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PAW Letter Box Online

PAW has expanded its Web site to include a feature called Letter Box, where many more letters than can fit in the print magazine are published. Please go to Letter Box to read and respond.

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