Letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Nov. 9, 2007 9:57 a.m.

This letter to the editor was published in the Nov. 9, 2007, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Princeton's judgment reply

The editorial "Battling Princeton" (Nov. 4) misinforms your readers about the outcome of the pretrial rulings in the lawsuit filed by the Robertson family against Princeton University.

These rulings were on summary judgment motions, not on the facts in the case. The only motions fully granted by the judge favored Princeton. In his rulings on the other motions, including the one cited in your editorial, the judge decided to defer the issues until trial.

But he agreed with Princeton that the governing document for the Robertson Foundation "is clear and unambiguous as to the University being the sole institution to which Foundation funds are to be directed."

The sole purpose of the Robertson gift was to support the graduate program at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. This is exactly how the funds have been used since Marie Robertson made her gift to Princeton 46 years ago.

Princeton believes that these funds should continue to be used as the donor intended. It is her children who are attempting through an expensive lawsuit to seize control of her gift and redirect it to other purposes.

Cass Cliatt is director of media relations for Princeton University.