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July 6, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 15

Features

Reunions rocks

By Brett Tomlinson and Mark F. Bernstein ’83. Photographs by Beverly Schaefer and Frank Wojciechowski. With contributions from John O’Neill ’13, Christopher Connell ’71, Katherine Elgin ’13, and Ricardo Barros
Published in the July 6, 2011, issue


Malcolm Warnock ’25 and Nana Young ’12
Malcolm Warnock ’25 and Nana Young ’12


Fritz Hummel ’36, walking the P-rade route with his son, Karl ’67, at right.
Fritz Hummel ’36, walking the P-rade route with his son, Karl ’67, at right.

OLD GUARD

WHEN MALCOLM WARNOCK ’25 came back for Reunions this year, there was one person in particular he wanted to meet. Not one of his own classmates — there aren’t any left — but someone from the Class of ’12.  

Tina Young works at the retirement home in Maplewood, N.J., where Warnock lives. Her daughter, Nana, is a rising senior. Tina said Warnock has known about her daughter for several years, beginning when she was in high school and considering where to attend college. He and another resident, a Yale alum, would debate which of their alma maters was a better choice. When Warnock was informed that Nana would stop by the Old Guard dinner Friday night, Warnock said, “I definitely want to meet her.”

Warnock was 85 years old when Nana Young was born, but there they sat, the Class of 1925 chatting animatedly with the Class of 2012, united by their tie to Princeton. Warnock, who turned 106 on June 21, is not much of a ­talker, Tina Young says: “The only way to get him to make conversation is to mention Princeton.”  

A retired lawyer, Warnock won the Class of 1923 Cane as the oldest returning alumnus for the seventh time. It is believed to be the first time any Princeton alumnus has celebrated an 86th reunion. Warnock spent the weekend in one of the dorm rooms at Forbes College.

Although the oldest alumnus to appear in the P-rade is accorded a special honor, a big cheer also goes up for the oldest alumnus to walk the route. That distinction went to Frederick “Fritz” Hummel ’36, who proudly led his classmates. Seven ’36 classmates returned — a record turnout for a 75th reunion.

Hummel, 96, who marched with his son, Karl ’67, pooh-poohed the fuss over his accomplishment. He walks the route every year, he explains, and says that he does not bother with exercise. “I don’t even believe in it. It’s just a matter of heredity, I guess.”

Above, Class of 1923 Cane honoree Malcolm Warnock ’25, ­driven by Ariana Vera ’12, leads members of the Old Guard in the P-rade.
Above, Class of 1923 Cane honoree Malcolm Warnock ’25, ­driven by Ariana Vera ’12, leads members of the Old Guard in the P-rade.
Lou Prince and his wife, Betty, ride along the route at 1941’s 70th.
Lou Prince and his wife, Betty, ride along the route at 1941’s 70th.
From left, Paul Spagnoli ’46, Owen Roberts ’46, Alan Lukens ’46, and Gerry Phillips ’46 walk the P-rade route at their 65th reunion, their last before joining the Old Guard.
From left, Paul Spagnoli ’46, Owen Roberts ’46, Alan Lukens ’46, and Gerry Phillips ’46 walk the P-rade route at their 65th reunion, their last before joining the Old Guard.

Each Reunions weekend is a major one for the Class of 1923 Cane, awarded to the oldest returning alumnus, and 2011 marked an anniversary as well: The distinctive prize was first presented 60 years ago, before the 1951 P-rade.

The ebony cane stands about 36 inches tall and is capped by a solid ­silver crouching tiger. Adlai Stevenson Hardin ’23, known to his classmates as “Jim,” sculpted the handle and designed the shaft, which displays on six silver bands (soon to be seven) the names of the 29 men who have ­carried the cane. Each summer, a New York-based craftsman engraves the ­latest addition, by hand. The cane then is returned to a trophy case in the library of Maclean House, home of the Alumni Council.  

Malcolm Warnock ’25 received the cane for a record-tying seventh time at this year’s Old Guard luncheon. “I’ve always enjoyed carrying the cane,” said Warnock, the oldest winner, as he surveyed the engraved names. “It’s a lot of fun.”

 
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1 Response to Reunions rocks

Hanspeter Niederstrasser '98 Says:

2011-07-19 11:39:35

"... if you’re going to say that there are some arguments so threatening and so disturbing we’re not going to let people even utter them, I suggest that’s a problem.” — Walter Weber ’81" Mr. Weber plays the victim card here beautifully by using a real problem (speech suppression) and claiming it is only his (the conservative) side being suppressed. Perhaps he has forgotten that in reality, it is frequently the conservative members of the political establishment that call for the suppression of free speech: In 2001, the White House press secretary stated that "People have to watch what they say," suggesting criticism of the conservative White House was off limits. And most recently in 2011, the very conservative U.S. Sen. Rand Paul expressed his belief that people should be arrested simply for attending speeches by "radicals" (i.e. those he disagrees with). The American Center on Law and Justice (Weber's employer) is well known in civil-liberties circles as only being interested in the legal protection of conservative Christian ideas (fine), often by the forced exclusion of opposing ideas (not so fine).
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CURRENT ISSUE: July 6, 2011
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The sights and sounds of Reunions weekend, in PAW's video highlights and a pair of slide shows
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Video highlights of the senior victory lap, Brooke Shields '87's Class Day advice, the graduation ceremony, and more