Reunions Oral-History Project

Fourteen alumni took part in PAW’s oral-history project at Reunions and recorded their Princeton memories. The PAW Tracks podcast will publish excerpts of these interviews at, and transcripts of the full conversations will be added to the University Archives.

Participants ranged from the 50th-reunion Class of 1966 to the graduating Class of 2016, and the stories were as diverse as the interviewees. Charlie Buttrey ’81 recalled knocking on dorm-room doors during three campaigns for class president — and finally winning on his third try. Allison Slater Tate ’96 remembered fascinating pop-culture conversations with her thesis adviser, Elaine Showalter. Howard Zien ’71 spoke about the frustration he felt during the student strike of May 1970 when anti-war protesters jeered him for trying to attend class.

Our first podcast features Tony Zee ’66, who took a circuitous route to Princeton. Born in China, he immigrated to Brazil as a boy and attended an American international school in São Paulo — a significant financial sacrifice, but one that Zee’s father valued greatly. After reading about physics professor John Wheeler, Zee set his sights on Princeton, where he studied under Wheeler and launched his own career as a theoretical physicist.

LISTEN to Tony Zee ’66’s oral-history interview and browse the PAW Tracks archive