Photo illustration by Jon Valk; images from Shutterstock

We planned this issue of PAW — our annual theme issue — on the subject of love. We commissioned an elegant cover from artist Jon Valk; you can see it here.

Yet for much of the time we were preparing our articles, love seemed to be in short supply. And so that cover seemed incongruous.

As you no doubt know by now, members of the Black Justice League sat in President Eisgruber ’83’s office for 33 hours, raising important questions about the racial climate on campus. PAW has been publishing regular updates, posting alumni views, and providing links to opinions published elsewhere, at and on our Facebook page.

Those links take you to essays, articles, and interviews by students, alumni, and faculty members, about both Princeton’s environment for black students and the narrower issue of the legacy of Woodrow Wilson 1879. Among the most thoughtful, in my view, are essays by historian and Wilson biographer John Milton Cooper ’61; history professor Martha Sandweiss, who with her class has been exploring Princeton’s ties to slavery; professor emeritus and longtime blogger John Fleming *63; and political theorist Corey Robin ’89, who teaches at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Princeton professors Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97, Joshua Guild, and Julian Zelizer have offered their insights on public radio.

Emotions have been running high lately. Some comments on both sides of the issue — including nasty posts on PAW’s Facebook page — were hard to hear and read. And so, we didn’t want to give up on love altogether. You’ll find our feature stories and essays on those topics, beginning on page 34.

And though some members of the Princeton community have focused on the divisions that came to light during the sit-in, the students in Nassau Hall have opened conversations that stand to make the University stronger.

That’s a form of love, too.