A letter from a reader about Disingenuous on coeducation

March 23 , 2007

Richard Golden ’91 is perturbed (Letters, Oct. 25) by President Tilghman’s unsupported assertion that applicants choose not to attend Princeton because of the eating clubs. He’s too young to realize this may reflect a longstanding prerogative of Princeton’s recent presidents.

At our 1968 reunion, President Goheen was discussing informally the prospect of coeducation with a few of our class members. He asserted that it was a major consideration in attracting the students Princeton wanted. Asked how he knew that, he said from polls. Asked by this unconvinced alumnus where the polls were taken, he said at his alma mater, Lawrenceville (!).

That this sample of adolescents could be put forth as reason to revise policy and tradition that had served well for two centuries seemed to me outrageous. Perhaps impudently, I asked if they had polled the kiddies on how they felt about the Honor System. My classmate seemed to feel that was disrespectful.

My daughter is Princeton’78, but I still think the riposte was appropriate. And that President Goheen was disingenuous, pretending it was not already decided.

Baldwinsville, N.Y.

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