The University got national attention at the end of March — though not necessarily the kind it wanted. A letter by Susan Patton ’77 offering advice on marriage to Princeton’s female undergraduates set off a media frenzy with scores of articles, outraged tweets, and network TV coverage.
In a letter published by The Daily Princetonian March 29, Patton wrote: “Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. ... You will never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who are worthy of you.”
Nina Bahadur ’12, writing in The Huffington Post, said she was “dumbfounded” by the letter: “In what universe is the majority of a graduating college class ready to get married?” Others called the advice “elitist,” “retro,” and “cringe-worthy,” though some said they thought Patton had a point.
Despite the outpouring (which crashed the Prince website), Patton — the mother of two sons, a Princeton student and a recent graduate — has no regrets. “I was stunned by the reaction, but delighted that it has sparked a necessary dialogue,” she told PAW. “Young women are now talking about the components of a happy and fulfilled life other than career.”