July 19, 2006: From the Editor
Like other members of the Class of 2006, Amy Sennett spent a good deal of time this year pondering her life after Princeton. But though she shares the excitement felt by everyone who has just passed through FitzRandolph Gate, Sennett’s view is also somewhat sobering.
Intrigued by a spate of newspaper and magazine articles about women taking a break from their careers to raise children, or leaving the workforce altogether, Sennett wrote her thesis on how her classmates, both men and women, plan to balance work and family — or not. To broaden her perspective, Sennett also surveyed members of the Class of 1975, following up on a similar thesis written by a member of that class, Barbara Zipperman.
Sennett writes about her research on both generations of Princetonians beginning on page 46. Her goal: “that this survey does not need to be repeated when the Princeton Class of 2035 graduates.”
PAW contributor Merrell Noden ’78 reports on another group of Princeton women beginning on page 36. This year at Reunions, 24 women of the Class of 1971 met for a breakfast at which they remembered their time on campus and rediscovered what they had shared.
The women in the class were among 171 female undergraduates who arrived as freshmen and transfer students in the fall of 1969. Until then, women students were few and far between: A few dozen were graduate students, and some undergraduate women had spent their junior year at Princeton as part of a program in critical languages. Six women — critical language students who transferred to Princeton for their senior year — received undergraduate degrees at Commencement in 1970.
For many women in the Class of 1971, this Reunions weekend marked the first time since graduation that they had returned to campus. Their experiences at Princeton were not identical; some shared fond memories while others spoke bitterly of their time here. But the breakfast provided a rare and much-needed opportunity to discover that they were not alone in their feelings.
Marking the special reunion, the University Archives has announced a project to gather material related to the first group of undergraduate women at Princeton. Archivist Dan Linke said the University would like to see letters written home by female undergraduates of that era, as well as journals and other papers that document their experiences on campus. Photographs, publications, and minutes of student groups that dealt with women’s issues also are requested. If you have material, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With this issue, we begin PAW’s summer hiatus. We resume publication Sept. 27. Have a wonderful summer!