Current Issue

Feb.3, 2016

Vol. 116, No. 7

about paw

About PAW

Published in the February3, 2016, issue

The cover of the first issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The cover of the first issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly — known as PAW — keeps Princeton alumni connected to each other and to their university. We’re part of Princeton, which means we have a first-hand view of University news. Yet we’re also editorially independent, so we can report that news with objectivity. We offer up-to-date news and analysis, thoughtful interviews and essays, insightful coverage of Princeton sports and arts, in-depth profiles of undergraduate and graduate alumni, and a lively letters section. With each new issue, more than 80 classes of Princeton graduates stay in touch through password-protected Class Notes that incorporate dozens of photos. Alumni memorials are written by classmates specifically for PAW.

Founded in 1900, the magazine once was published weekly and now comes out 14 times each year, more than any other alumni magazine in the world. PAW also publishes an annual guide to one of Princeton’s greatest traditions, Reunions.

What is PAW’s mission?

As described in our charter, PAW’s purposes are: “(1) to arouse, foster and maintain interest in, and disseminate information concerning, the University; (2) to record news of the alumni and to review without partiality the achievements and problems of the administration, faculty and student body of the University; (3) to convey as complete, fair and accurate an understanding of the University and its alumni as possible; (4) to strive for standards of excellence befitting the University and the alumni body and to change over time in ways that reflect changes in the University and in the interests of the alumni; (5) to provide alumni with a continued sense of belonging to the University and with opportunities to communicate with each other; and (6) to advance the long-term best interests of the University and the alumni.” The charter also states that PAW’s content should evoke memories of Princeton past, convey an understanding of Princeton today, and foster “thoughtful consideration of the many challenges facing Princeton and Princetonians in the future.”

Who receives PAW?

PAW has a circulation of about 69,000. All undergraduate alumni receive the magazine, as do all dues-paying members of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni (APGA). (Graduate alumni who are not dues-paying APGA members receive five issues each year, courtesy of the Alumni Council and the APGA.) In addition, Princeton University faculty members and professional staff receive PAW. Other interested readers may subscribe by emailing the publisher and business manager, Nancy MacMillan, at; regular domestic subscriptions cost $22 per year.

What is PAW’s relationship with Princeton University?

Since 2000, PAW has been a department of Princeton University. However, because PAW’s charter guarantees its editorial independence, the University does not determine what topics should be covered in PAW or how PAW should cover them. These decisions are made by the editors.

The University provides about one-third of PAW’s budget. As part of that agreement, PAW publishes the “President’s Page” in each issue. This page is written and prepared by the president’s office, not by the PAW staff.

How is PAW funded?

PAW receives funding from three major sources: about one-third from advertising, one-third from class dues, and one-third from the University.

Who is on PAW’s advisory board, and what is its role?

PAW’s board provides editorial guidance and broad oversight for the magazine. Each year, it adopts PAW’s budget. The board also helps to ensure that PAW remains editorially independent.

There are 11 voting members on the board. Three must be alumni with professional experience in the editorial side of journalism; two must be alumni with professional experience in publishing; one must be a graduate alum with professional experience in publishing or on the editorial side of journalism; and one must be a member of the faculty. There are four ex officio members: the vice chair of the Alumni Council; the chair of the Alumni Council Committee on Class Affairs; Princeton’s vice president for public affairs; and the director of the Alumni Council. In addition, a non-voting representative from a recent class provides a special voice for young alumni.

Current board members are:
Sandra Sobieraj Westfall ’89, Chair
Carmen Drahl *07, Vice Chair
Joel Achenbach ’82
James Blue ’91
Robert K. Durkee ’69
Daniel R. Fuchs ’91
Michael Graziano ’89 *96
Sara M. Judge ’82
Maria Carreras Kourepenos ’85
Margaret Moore Miller ’80
Charles Swift ’88
Allie Weiss ’13, Young-alumni representative