Letters from alumnui
about PAW's December 19, 2001, issue
Your December 19 issue was particularly interesting. It was such a pleasure to read President Tilghman's Conversations with Students (President's Page), a caring, relaxed, refreshing perspective from one who is truly interested in people more than grants, endowments, buildings, and the like...the typical fare of our more recent Princeton presidents. I had virtually given up reading The President's Page long ago (not long after Goheen left), but thought I'd give the new prexy a chance and was well rewarded. I sincerely hope that she never reverts to the "jargon" of the administrator- president.
The story of the two Princeton alumni whose relationship was "meant to be" was a delightful human interest story.
The letters under "Prophetic Words" and "ROTC on Campus" were thought- provoking.
Ms. Higa's On the Campus experience and the USG report paint an alarming picture for anyone contemplating sending a daughter or granddaughter to Princeton. It's hoped that the trustees will have a Solomon-like solution to the problem. I don't!
Finally, your own editorial recalling President Dodds's Christmas gift program (for former students serving in the armed forces anywhere in the world) in 1943 reminded me of that heartwarming offer through which I was introduced to Darwin and Hemingway; I can't recall the third choice. I'm attaching scans of the two books that I still treasure, The Origin of Species,(which I struggled through, but from which I learned much) and A Farewell to Arms (which I breezed through). Those books were actually the very beginning of my much more valuable library that now numbers more than two thousand volumes, a goodly number by or about Teddy Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and James Michener. President Tilghman's observation that "I have yet to find a student who claims to have read a book during term that is not assigned reading" is appalling...but I suspect that might have been sadly true of our undergraduate years, too. Fortunately, I learned the value of visiting the library in graduate school, pulling down and browsing through the books there just for the enjoyment of the rich world they opened up. It was the beginning of the lifelong learning habit, my real "education." Incidentally, I'm confused on one point in that editorial. You state that "more than 40 men accepted the offer." If that's so, I must have two collector's items! I suspect that the number might be closer to 400.
I, too, like the magazine's format, which has evolved through a sometimes painful process into an attractive layout. Just one trivial suggestion: I know you must depend upon the advertising income, but could the Princeton Exchange be relegated to a less prominent location than close to the centerfold. Speaking of centerfolds no, not in the way you think once in awhile, a panoramic spread of a campus scene or activity might be considered?
Dick Boera 46
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