a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Progeny at Princeton
is it again that my son and daughter didn't get in?
March 15, 2024
No! After a short and
painless debate, we have decided that your son will not be attending
Princeton University next fall. Although 80 percent of our entering
class now consists of alumni children, we have nevertheless determined
that your particular child is not worthy of joining that august
But before you blame
your son for his failure to gain admission, we here in the admission
department feel that perhaps you should turn the torch upon yourself.
After all, due to the marvels of recessive genetics, your child
is a fine candidate. We realize that in addition to his excellent
grades and test scores, he speaks five languages, throws a nice
spiral, and has mastered the dying art of Geisha dance.
Our department felt,
however, that all of his accomplishments couldn't outweigh your
deficiencies as an alumnus of Princeton University.
Before you protest the
last phrase, please do us the favor of hearing our evidence. We
have taken the liberty of compiling your record since leaving the
university and have found that you are short in the following four
1) Class Dues. You have
been consistently and aggravatingly faithless in meeting this minimal
financial obligation. Perhaps you have been confused; the payment
of class dues is not an option. Please note the use of the word
"dues." And we do not consider this requirement to be
particularly onerous--after all, some of your fellow alumni pay
their dues three or four times a year. Which brings us to...
2) Money. You have not
given us enough. Did you really think it would escape our notice
that the football stadium remained nameless for 10 years while you
piddled around with that writing thing? And please spare us the
tedious argument that you didn't have enough cash on hand to write
the check. We know that any Princeton graduate who can't pay for
a simple stadium must have some sort of unexplainable allergy to
3) School spirit. We
are not interested in hearing that orange isn't a good color on
you. We are not interested in hearing that your class's beer jacket
looks like tiger barf. We are not interested in hearing that you
missed your eighth reunion because it conflicted with your sister's
wedding. Good Princeton graduates arrive for reunions looking like
a particularly noxious test pattern and drink our beer until they
are ready to write a sizable check. Bad Princeton graduates just
drink our beer. You have been bad.
4) Letters to the PAW.
Good graduates write at least one idiotic letter to the PAW every
five years. It's a bonding thing.
Given your above transgressions,
we hope you can understand why we were forced to refuse your son
admission to the university. After all, President Tilghman proved
conclusively in 2008 that alumni giving and a propensity for wearing
the color orange are genetic traits. So despite the fact that your
son is clearly smarter, more athletic, and funnier than you, we
must nevertheless refuse him admission.
We trust that our decision
will not affect your class dues.
Fred Hargadon, Jr.
You can reach Wes at