Current Issue

Apr. 2, 2008

Vol. 108, No. 11

Inbox 2007-2008

March 13, 2008 letters

Published in the March 19, 2008 issue

Follow this link to read the March 19, 2008, Letters: http://www.princeton.edu/paw/archive_new/PAW07-08/10-0319/letters.html

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More Goheen tales

In response to: Robert Francis Goheen '40 *48 Memories of a leader who mastered the art of listening

By Bernard S. Adams ’50

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

In the fall of 1952, I joined the Princeton admission staff under Bill Edwards ’36. Joe Bolster ’52 and I were the only staffers. A few years later, Bob Goheen invited me to spend a couple of hours daily helping him with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Program — from 4 until 6...

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Cultural insensitivity

In response to: Theorists vs. hands-on activists

By Ronald H. Fischer *67 p’92

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

In a June 11 letter to PAW, criticizing an article about Randall Kennedy ’77, the Rev. George A. Bates ’76 cites other individuals who in his mind better exemplify “courage and compassion” and stand up for “truth.” If Rev. Bates is interested in truth, two of the people he...

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Going back: Reunions forum

By Christine E. Brady '79

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

I’m writing in response to a 2008 Reunions forum, “Immigration: To Legalize or Criminalize?” The question restated: “There are 12 million people living and working illegally in the United States. What do we do with them?”    Our ability to work out a practical solution with...

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Wheeler’s importance

In response to: In Memoriam

By John Brittain '59

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

I think it is sad that you gave such short shrift to the passing of Professor John Wheeler. You considered the news worth 90 words on the bottom of page 19 (Notebook, May 14); in contrast, The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph (London) published lengthy obituaries. I...

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Psychological judo

In response to: Robert Francis Goheen '40 *48 Memories of a leader who mastered the art of listening

By Larry Campbell ’70

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

From reading “Memories of a leader who mastered the art of listening” (feature, May 14), I can see my most memorable experience of President Robert Goheen ’40 *48 was right in character. In early 1970 I founded a town/ gown group called Princeton Ecology Action. True to the...

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ABD, not Ph.D.

In response to: Jumping from the Ivory Tower

By Bill Rosenblatt ’83

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

I enjoyed Hilary Parker ’01’s article on alums who pursued Ph.D.s, only to give up on academia (feature, May 14). As one of the many people with ABD (“all but dissertation”) qualifications, I can tell you that not finishing my Ph.D. in computer science was the best career and...

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Serve with conscience

By Alan McKenney '75

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

Regarding the selection of Donald Rumsfeld ’54 to the list of “most influential alumni”: While I share Thomas F. Schiavoni ’72’s dismay (Letters, April 2) at Mr. Rumsfeld’s policies and consider them both a political and a moral disaster, I don’t feel that they disqualify him...

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The changing picture of financial aid

In response to: Financial aid: Who wins?

By Kenneth A. Bernhard ’78

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

The May 14 PAW cover story raises an issue Princeton and our peer institutions must consider. Increases in the nominal tuition at the most heavily endowed colleges and universities drive up tuition elsewhere, thereby saddling many excellent students at other colleges with...

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Princeton landscapes

In response to: Growing the campus

By Eli Arthur Schwartz *60

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

The June 11 cover and article on Beatrix Farrand and Princeton’s landscaping are terrific! As a graduate alumnus, I particularly appreciate the coverage of the Graduate College. The cedars of Lebanon picture really hits the bull’s-eye.

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Going back: Reunions

By Tom Carnicelli ’58

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

Fiftieth Reunion, 2008 The clouds have parted — the P-rade will go on! But not too swiftly. We wait and wait, The fresh mud menacing our white bucks. We are standing in front of Nassau Hall, In the spot where graduated 50 years ago. “The old codgers have to go first,”...

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Davidson's financial aid

In response to: Financial aid: Who wins?

By David Tobin *77

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

Your article on “the recent spate of financial-aid improvements” ignores the significant role played by Davidson College. In March 2007, Davidson became the first liberal arts college in the country to replace loans with grants in all of its financial-aid packages. With an...

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For the record

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

A memorial for John Todd Cowles ’34 in the Nov. 5, 2003, issue of PAW misstated the length of his marriage to Toffee Lee Cowles, who survives him. The two were married on May 1, 2002.

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Benefits of a year off

By Willard Dalrymple, M.D.

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

A letter in the April 23 issue by my friend Harvey Rothberg ’49 comments on a current proposal to create a “bridge-year” program for students admitted to Princeton to spend a year abroad before starting their freshman year. In 1965, my colleagues at the University Health...

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Going back: Reunions as a motivator

In response to: Princeton is my life coach

By Margot E. Levin ’88

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

Going back: Reunions as a motivator I agree with my classmate Jeff Gordinier ’88 on the role of Reunions as a motivator (Perspective, May 14). However, I would broaden his definition of the “Princeton family” to include local residents, who also have high expectations of the...

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Arming campus police

In response to: Campus police seek approval to carry weapons

By Steve Rementer ’68

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

I guess creating your own armed militia (Notebook, May 14) would go nicely with other constitutional issues addressed on campus. Why not outsource? Get the local constabulary to hire additional officers and then rent them back. They would be of service on and off campus, and the...

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Earning their grades

In response to: Views on the administration

By George E. Miller ’54

Published in the July 16, 2008 issue

Regarding the June 11 On the Campus column, I was bemused to learn that there might actually be a student referendum that included how the administration sets academic standards. The creep of grade inflation has led in the direction of everybody-gets-an-A (Hey! Where’s the...

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From the Archives

By Dick Scribner ’58

Published in the April 23, 2008 issue

I believe the ’58 classmates in the Feb. 13 From the Archives photos are as follows, from left -- top row: Mike Jones and William (Rocky) Potts; middle row: Steve Rockefeller, Jerry Rigg, and Dave Badger; bottom row: Perry Ruddick.  Note the knee socks and cigarettes in hand,...

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For the record

Published in the April 23, 2008 issue

Edward H. Friend is a member of the Class of 1950.  His class year was reported incorrectly in a Notebook photo caption in the April 2 issue.

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A tree grows in Butler

In response to: The end is in sight for Butler apartments

By Bill Neidig '70

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

I read about the scheduled demolition of the Butler graduate student apartments (Notebook, April 2) and wanted to relate a family story. The photograph below shows my wife, Christy, and daughter, Stephanie, in front of a tree at 221C Halsey St. The...

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Proving a theorem

In response to: Student's proof ends 60 years of math puzzling

By Lawrence Dresner *59

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

The theorem Andrei Negut ’08 proved for Edward H. Friend ’50 about which you reported (Notebook, April 2) is well known. A proof can be found in College Geometry by Nathan Altshiller-Court, Johnson Publishing Co., 1925. Somewhat different proofs can be...

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Set recyling goal higher

By Arthur R. Boone '60

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

I have been a professional recycler since 1983. For Princeton create a goal of a 50 percent recycling rate for 2012 (Notebook, March 19) is a travesty. Depending on the method used calculate recycling, businesses today routinely are producing 80...

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A classics 'ephiphany'

By Stephen J. Bednar '60

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

The passing of President Goheen is sadly noted. Although somewhat naive at the time, my game plan as a freshman at Princeton was to take as many gut courses as possible, collect a respectable number of “gentleman’s Cs,” and have an enjoyable experience...

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A perfect response

By Roland M. Frye Jr. '72

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

It was the spring of 1970, and the campus was still in an uproar about the United States’ recent incursion into Cambodian territory during the Vietnam War. Only a few months earlier, I had received a low (i.e., bad) number in the “draft lottery,” and...

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Remembering Goheen

By Tad LaFountain '72

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

My only interaction with President Goheen during my undergraduate experience came inside Marsh’s, the former drugstore on Nassau Street. It took place in May 1970, and if the man were mortal, he probably was there to pick up antacids. I have no...

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Grateful for Butler

In response to: The end is in sight for Butler apartments

By Robert L. Christensen '50 *57

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

The recent article on the forthcoming demolition of the Butler housing tract (aka The Project) brought back warm memories. Recently out of the Navy and having been accepted as a graduate student in the physics department, I and my wife, Barbara, were...

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Focus on Latino studies

In response to: Latino students: Changes needed

By Bob Hernandez '69

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

Re Princeton’s Latino Coalition report (Notebook, Jan. 23): Bravo to the students for pursuing a critical issue for the University’s future. I gasp at the figure of 2.5 percent Latino representation among the faculty. It is somewhat startling...

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Doctor as patient

In response to: Double lives

By Lynne Dennis Oliva '78

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

I applaud Robert Klitzman ’80’s willingness to be so vulnerable and to discuss the advantages of the physician’s knowledge of being a patient in terms of the development of empathy (Perspective, April 23). I have spent the past 15 years working as a...

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Theorists vs. hands-on activists

In response to: Identity Politics

By The Rev. George A. Bates '76

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

Where do I begin with Poor Randall’s Almanac? He is a classmate of sorts, as he began in the Class of 1976, and he is a wonderful and brilliant conversationalist. Sadly, conversation or “talk” and theorizing alone do not solve the problem of “race”...

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Value in health care

In response to: Managed care's failings

By Uwe E. Reinhardt

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

In his criticism of my support of managed care (letters, April 2), Howard Zeft ’58, M.D., reflects a bygone era in which American society granted physicians full professional autonomy, on the theory that physicians would be aware at all times of best...

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Kennedy '77's views

In response to: Identity Politics

By Jonathan Smolowe ’78

Published in the June 11, 2008 issue

The cover story (April 2) about Randall Kennedy ’77 did a good job of capturing a man who is comfortable in his own skin, confident that no one means him harm, and thus is not offended by what others say. What it failed to reflect, however, is his humility and humanity....

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Indispensable 'jargon'

By Irfan Kwawaja '91

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

In an otherwise thoughtful essay, Evan Thomas complains that “at elite schools like Princeton, academe has been so constricted and warped by political correctness and specialization that students are ... typically left wrestling with jargon and abstractions like ‘agency’ or...

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More 'influential' views

By Wayne Moss '74

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Having been born on Madison’s birthday (March 16) in Philadelphia (the site of Madison’s great work at the Constitutional Convention), I have always felt a special closeness to James Madison 1771, and I am gratified by his selection as Princeton’s most influential alumnus (cover...

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Honesty on health care

In response to:

By Gary A. Fields '61, M.D.

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Like most of the critical issues involving our country, opinions about health care are very polarized. I have heard Professor Uwe Reinhardt (feature, Dec. 12) speak many times throughout my years as a physician executive working for an integrated delivery system in Sacramento,...

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Rumsfeld '54 and Iraq

In response to: More on the 'most influential alumni' list

By H. Philip Brandt II ’60

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Thomas Schiavoni ’72’s Rumsfeld-has-no-place-in-the-top-25 letter (April 2) quickly and predictably morphs into a tiresome anti-war diatribe. I may be wrong, but I’m guessing that, based on his class year and clueless assertion that the troops are doing it for the bucks, he’s...

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Omitted from the ‘most influential’ list

In response to: Having your say

By Alexandra Lebenthal ’86

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Unlike many, if not most, of my fellow alumni, in my years since graduating in 1986 never have I been compelled to write a letter to the editor — that is, until now. After reading “Having your say: Our readers’ opinions on Princeton’s most influential alumni” (feature, April 2),...

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A chastity team?

In response to: Support for chastity

By Stuart Moore ’83

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

I read with interest the April 2 On the Campus article about the proposed chastity center. I read with equal interest a New York Times article March 30 about the same subject at Harvard. Clearly this is the latest distraction being disseminated by the right-wing e-mail and fax...

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Excellence in sports

In response to: Athletics and admission

By Jessica Rogers '01

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Clay McEldowney ’69’s letter (April 2) suggested that a change in admissions leadership has led to lower athletic prowess among our sports teams. However, he fails to mention the men’s hockey team’s ECAC Championship win over Harvard and its place in the national playoffs. The...

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Promoting microfinance

In response to: Dollars and dreams

By John W. Scott '56

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

I commend you for your article featuring Arka Mukherjee *95 and his microfinance venture (feature, April 2). Microfinance has been the darling of development economists for the past few years, and it well deserves the increasing recognition. I suspect that you might come across...

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A political-correctness foul

In response to: Athletics and admission

By Robert C. Lang Jr. '70

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

Clay McEldowney ’69 correctly identifies the admission office as the reason for mediocrity or worse in some of the Princeton athletic teams. The admission policy limits the number of qualified athletes so that Princeton does not win too much, a political-correctness foul. This...

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Young entrepreneurs

By Clint B. Allen '03

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

As the fourth-place finisher in the 2001 annual business-plan competition — defeated by the group on the cover of the March 19 issue — and now a successful entrepreneur, I thoroughly enjoyed the spotlight placed on student entrepreneurship at Princeton. During my stay at...

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Learning from real life

By Hugh Scott '61

Published in the May 14, 2008 issue

I would like to thank Will Bardenwerper ’98 (Letters, March 19) for his service to our country and for his thoughtful response to the Jan. 23 letter from William Mettler ’51. What a difference there is between the comments made by Mr. Mettler and Mr. Bardenwerper. One person...

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Sampling new courses

In response to: From oil politics to neuroethics, a sampler of new spring courses

By Gloria C. Erlich *77

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

I would like to express my appreciation for the sampler of new spring courses in the Feb. 13 Notebook section. Just reading the course descriptions gave much food for thought, and the appended sample readings are sending me to the library to follow those thoughts. In a small...

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Managed care's failings

By Howard J. Zeft ’58, M.D.

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

I am gratified that Bill Frist ’74 remains actively involved in important medical issues (cover story, Dec. 12), but puzzled by his continued association with Professor Uwe Reinhardt in this endeavor. Reinhardt has not been a friend to most Princeton physicians, especially those...

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More on the 'most influential alumni' list

By Jon Holman '66

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

Reading the feature about Norman Thomas 1905 in the Jan. 23 PAW brought me back to one of those wonderful Princeton moments. It must have been in the fall of 1964, as I think it was during a presidential campaign. Mr. Thomas came to speak on campus, and about 100 undergrads...

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A farewell salute to '27

By Malcolm Mackay ’63

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

My father was the 1927 class secretary throughout my childhood and college years, and later the class president. I personally knew — and so liked — many members of the class, and knew about many more. And so it is with sadness that I read in the Feb. 13 PAW the obituary of Joe...

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Athletics and admission

By Clay McEldowney ’69

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

So what is going on with Princeton sports? Despite a quality coaching staff and solid athletic administration, Princeton football suffers a losing season, placing ahead of only Cornell and Columbia in the Ivy League; men’s basketball extends its streak to 12, losing to Lehigh,...

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Class scribes wanted

By George A. Brakeley III ’61

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

Regular readers of PAW are aware that the secretaries of many of the Old Guard classes are non-classmates — widow, son, grandchild, nephew, niece. I did just that for 1907, my grandfather’s class (George A. Brakeley 1907), for the last seven years of its existence, and it was...

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From the archives

By Dick Snedeker ’51 *61

Published in the April 2, 2008 issue

While I can’t identify the students building the bonfire (From the Archives, Dec. 12), I can offer some comments on its construction, since I was there. This particular fire celebrated the fourth consecutive Big Three championship, achieved in 1950 by defeating Harvard 63–26 and...

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Using a Gehry building

By Richard C. Lanza '59

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

It was interesting to note the opinions concerning the design of Whitman College that you quoted in the Nov. 21 PAW (Editor’s letter). As a fairly frequent user of the Frank Gehry-designed Stata Center at MIT, I can certainly attest to the interesting and fun nature of the...

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Obama's supporters

By Bob Barth '56

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

Thanks very much for the illuminating article on Sen. Barack Obama’s Chicago support group (feature, Oct. 10): Prince- ton alumni in the nation’s service for sure. I never thought I’d see such an article in PAW. For me, Sen. Obama is the most inspiring presidential candidate...

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Keep Firestone great

By Robert Hollander '55

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

Before the Dec. 12 issue of PAW (Notebook), I am not sure many alumni were aware of the impending project at Firestone Library, which has caused some concern on campus this autumn. Our main library, for which such a plan has been in the works for quite some time now, is now...

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For the record

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

In a Dec. 12 article about a class that was co-taught by Professor Uwe Reinhardt and visiting professor and former senator Bill Frist ’74, a quote from a student misrepresented Reinhardt’s views on drug-company profits. He has said in the class that while drug-company profits as...

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No need to obsess on college admissions

By Cristina L.H. Traina '83

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

Mercifully, Merrell Noden ’78’s worrying “Admission Obsession” (feature, Dec. 12) tells only part of the story. Overall, the recent bulge in applications is a boon to American higher education. I’ve been converted to this view by my experience as both a parent and an educator....

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More on Achimedes

By Bruce N. Baker '53

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

Edward Groth III ’66 (letters, Dec. 12) points out that the puzzle Archimedes was trying to solve was not “buoyancy,” but rather, how to measure the volume of an irregularly shaped object. The other part of the legend, which he did not state, is that the monarch was concerned...

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Early abolitionist views

By Tad Lafountain '72

Published in the February 13, 2008 issue

While Samuel Sewall was commendably early in his questioning of slavery (“Mining Family History,” Books and Arts, Dec. 12), Eve LaPlante ’80 is mistaken in crediting him with writing “... America’s first abolitionist argument.” Francis (Franz) Daniel Pastorius and other members...

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