The University has launched five historical walking tours to help tell a more “complete narrative” of Princeton’s past and present and “illuminate lesser-known histories” of the University. The tours highlight stories about alumni and other Princetonians, focusing on African American life at Princeton, women at the University, Princeton traditions, Asians and Asian Americans at Princeton, and Princeton “firsts.”

The tours — which can be accessed on mobile devices and desktop computers — contain text, audio, and other visual media that users can click on to learn more using this link: bit.ly/PrincetonHistoryTours. Additionally, the tours can be explored anywhere in the world using Firefox or Google Chrome browsers on a desktop computer.

The 60 stops take participants all over campus — from Nassau Hall, to the Graduate College, to Icahn Laboratory. All of the stops are outdoors, are accessible to the public, and include audio interpretation of the text and links for users who want to learn more about Princeton’s history. 

All the stops are outdoors, are accessible to the public, and include audio interpretation of the text and links for users who want to learn more about Princeton’s history.

Stories on the “Traditions” tour include the “Holder Howl,” tea time at the math department, and High Table dinners at the Graduate College; the “Firsts” tour highlights Jewish students, the Princeton LBGTQIA community, and histories of Native students, among other ethnic groups. The stories of women at Princeton range from enslaved women on campus, to University presidents’ wives, to female administrative leadership; stories of African American life include slavery at the president’s house, civil-rights activists at Princeton, and the history of the Association of Black Collegians. The stories of Asians and Asian Americans at the University include themes such as international students and faculty and the decades-long push for Asian American studies at Princeton (the University now offers a certificate program).

The tours are part of an initiative by the Campus Iconography Committee to update and diversify campus art and iconography. An additional topic is expected to be added next year.


This story appears in PAW’s 2019 Reunions Guide. Visit your registration tent during Reunions to pick up a copy of the guide, which features reunion plans for the major classes, new restaurants in Princeton, and more.