A letter from an alumnus about
A Vision for Princeton
"The Vision Thing" December 6, 2000 (On the Campus), caused me to reflect back 60 years to when my father decided that I could go to any college I chose but he would pay tuition only to Princeton.
The mythic aura from World War I and before was not of academic ranking, labs, or athletic facilities and certainly not national standing of faculty (Princeton did not pay top dollar). Rather, it was a romantic notion of character, behavior, manners, respect, family, and tradition in short Princeton Charlie. Every date could distinguish her Tiger escort from any competing university.
Where is Princeton in the coarsening of America? As rock and rap replaces jazz, polemics replaces discourse; polls replace critique and we hammer down values and standards to acceptance of relativity without guilt. It is an awful fact that the freedom of no rules, no standards, is a fatal boa-like constriction of all rules.
The one-sided Political Correctness of Princeton makes me long for the loose, don't-give-a-damn of a Princeton Charlie who may have hated Chapel but went, hated coat and tie, but wore them, and accepted a structured curricula while secretly reading Playboy.
As noticeable as its emphasis on high performance is the administration's disdain for the lineage and value structure of past generations. It is this alienation that causes me to switch my allegiance from Princeton to Davidson, which clearly defines the better half of America and its citizens.
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