The best journalists are masters of names and faces as well as words — something vividly demonstrated by John McPhee ’53, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who has taught two generations of Princeton students his craft.
McPhee phoned PAW in early December, pleased that the Dec. 9 issue featured the work of two former students. But what really gratified him was the From the Archives photograph at the beginning of the Class Notes section. “You asked for the names of the students. I can give you the names — every one.” And then he did, providing not only their names, but — for most — their current jobs.
Each spring since 1975, McPhee has had his class photographed in front of Nassau Hall — unless it’s raining, in which case it takes place in a dry corner of East Pyne. He saves each picture.
The photo in question, of McPhee’s creative nonfiction class, was taken April 26, 1993, by University photographer Bob Matthews. At some point many years ago, the image was flopped. The original photo is printed here.
For the record, these are the people in the photo: Top row, from left: Jessica Woodworth ’93, Katie Hobson ’94, Tysie Whitman ’93, Jennifer Kahn ’93, Gillian Weiss ’92, D. Allan Drummond ’95, Tamar Laddy ’94, and McPhee. Bottom row, from left: Tali Zer-Ilan ’93, Suzanne Dans ’93, David Tobin ’93, Elizabeth Robertson Kennedy ’95, Leah Clapman ’93, Alice Lukens ’95, Jeff Young ’95, Robert Worth *97, and Samantha Miller ’95.
McPhee takes pride in the fact that several are working journalists, evidence that through his students, the legendary professor’s influence continues to grow.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86