Gregg Lange ’70 is a member of the Princetoniana Committee and the Alumni Council Committee on Reunions, an Alumni Schools Committee volunteer, and a trustee of WPRB radio.
Illustration by Steven Veach
A quiz to drive you crazy from Maclean House

Gregg Lange ’70 is a member of the Princetoniana Committee and the Alumni Council Committee on Reunions, an Alumni Schools Committee volunteer, and a trustee of WPRB radio.
Gregg Lange ’70 is a member of the Princetoniana Committee and the Alumni Council Committee on Reunions, an Alumni Schools Committee volunteer, and a trustee of WPRB radio.
Illustration by Steven Veach

Of the personality quirks we find common to Princetonians (an odd favorite color palette, for example), pathological competitiveness sometimes may be hidden beneath the surface, but only just. From Cane Spree to Reunions attendance to grade grubbing to annual giving to NCAA tournaments to Nobel Prizes, the one-upsmanship gets pretty intense.  

So in trying to create a little esprit for the alumni leadership gathering on Hahvahd weekend, Liz Greenberg ’02 naturally came up with a graded test to see who really knew their Tiger Trivia, to get the collective juices flowing. People took it perhaps a bit too seriously, some ending up just this side of McCosh Infirmary with Terminal Obsession.   So of course I thought, as a nice gift under the tree, why not let our loyal readers suffer too?

Now Liz is a pro, please don’t try something like this at home. Currently the Alumni Council’s associate director for regional affairs, she admirably prepped for the quizmistress role via her history thesis entitled “Barely Remembered: A History of Princeton University Prank Traditions.” (Of course, it means what you think. I’ll leave it there.) She really outdid herself this time, dredging up succulent goodies from across the centuries to leave you aghast at the panoply of Princetonian peculiarity.  

Don’t panic, nobody’s gonna ace this and wreck the curve. The top score on the quiz at the conference was 33 correct out of 52.You may be moved to action by the identity of the winner: Eli Schwartz *60, a stalwart of the Princetoniana Committee, true, but for heaven’s sake, his name is Eli! I’ve even felt compassionate enough to append a few comments in italics that may help you a bit. So let’s get out there and Make Patty Proud, as our friends in women’s ice hockey say.

Princeton Trivia Quiz – 2008  

1. In 2021, Princeton University will celebrate its “bicenterquasquigenary.” What numerical anniversary is that? [Finally, a question for the statistics majors!]

2. What is F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17’s first name? [He’s named after a famous person.]

3. The University’s master plan calls for the Dinky train line to be shortened by 460 feet. The line was shortened once before, in 1918 – until that time, where did the Dinky (also known as the PJ&B, short for “Princeton Junction & Back”) end?[Think steps.]

4. Before its conversion, what was the building that is now the Frist Campus Center called and used for? [Joseph Henry’s statue is out front.]  

5. Name the Princeton class that holds the current record for greatest contribution to Annual Giving in a single year. [One of the few you might be able to guess cold.]

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Name all six of Princeton’s residential colleges. [Cannon is NOT one.]

12. The College of New Jersey’s first two buildings in Princeton were completed in 1756. One was Nassau Hall; name the other. [Hint: It’s nearby.]

13 and 14. How many University presidents have there been? How many of them were alumni? [Don’t forget the Grad School; Eli didn’t!]

15. Translate Princeton’s motto, “Dei Sub Numine Viget,” into English. [NOT “God went to Princeton.”]

16 and 17. What is the name and class year of the Princeton alumnus who was the subject of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe? [First see the movie, then read the book; both are great.]

18. How many times has Nassau Hall caught on fire? Bonus point(s) for identifying the year(s) of the fire(s). [I didn’t do it, really.]  

19, 20, and 21. What is the largest gift that the University has ever received from a graduate, and who gave it (name and class year)? [It’s easy to remember, but the amount is   impossible to guess.]

22. In 2002, the Third World Center was renamed for the first African-American administrator at Princeton University. What was this individual’s name? [He also was the first African-American dean in the Ivy League.]

23 and 24. Name the two Princeton presidents who were noted Scottish clergymen prior to their arrival in New Jersey. [One in the 18th century, one in the 19th]

25. The tattered American flag presently displayed in the University Chapel was flown over what naval vessel? [Go for the obvious.]  

26. How many cannons are on the Princeton campus? [Not counting the dean of the Chapel]

27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32. Identify the three individuals (and their class years) who attended Princeton and later became president of the United States. [18th century, 19th, 20th]

33 and 34. Identify the individual (and his/her class year) who attended Princeton and later became the president of South Korea. [“…and in the service of all nations.”   You were warned.]


35. … was the construction of Lake Carnegie completed? [Dam difficult question] 

36. … did the University president last live on campus? [In Prospect]

37. … did the Princeton Alumni Weekly begin publishing? [Surprisingly, NOT the day after the first Commencement in 1748]

38 and 39. … was the Nassau Hall bell clapper last stolen? First stolen? [If you know both, you are more seriously unhinged than the clapper.]

40 and 41. Fictional character Penrod Schofield was the creation of which famous Princeton alumni author (name and class year)? [Pre-World War II]

42. Princeton athletic legends Bill Bradley ’65 and Dick Kazmaier ’52 wore the same number on their jerseys. What was the number? [Look closely. Also: the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything]  

43. In 1887, a college for women was created in Princeton and its headquarters was located on Nassau Street, about a mile east of campus. What was the name of the school? [“Princeton Shopping Center” is both incorrect and not particularly tasteful.]

44. Princeton Professor Paul Krugman recently was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. Prior to his selection, what was the last year in which a current Princeton professor received a Nobel Prize? [NOT the man in answer #16]

45. Name the Princeton president who had the shortest term in office. [18th century]

46. How long was his tenure?  

a) 2 months  

b) 4 months  

c) 6 months  

d) 8 months  

47, 48, 49, and 50. Match the alumni astronauts with their space accomplishments[Start with the moon]:  

Visited the International Space Station ____________________  

Commander of Skylab 4 _____________

Flew two missions on the space shuttle Columbia ____________  

Walked on the moon ____________  

a) Charles “Pete” Conrad ’53  

b) Daniel Barry *80  

c) Gerald Carr *62  

d) Gregory Linteris ’79 *90  

51. Many Princeton alumni have served as presidents of other colleges and universities. Identify which of the following alumni is NOT currently serving in this role [Nasty, nasty, nasty – a gimme for Ph.D.s, I guess]:  

Janet Holmgren *74  
Elena Kagan ’81  
Anthony Marx *90  
S. Georgia Nugent ’73  
Larry Shinn *72  

52. Identify which of the following literary notables is NOT pictured in a University Chapel stained glass window [Aren’t you sorry they eliminated compulsory chapel?]:  

Geoffrey Chaucer  
Emily Dickinson  
T.S. Eliot  
John Milton  
Alfred Lord Tennyson  

Now, wasn’t that fun?   After Edna finishes with the smelling salts and your sobbing subsides, you can go HERE for the answers (no cheating; the Honor System is in force). You may then, the virtual magic of the new PAW Web site being what it is, post your reflections on the quiz and my ancestry below in the comments section. Instant gratification!  

You of a certain age will be crestfallen to hear that, although I lobbied fiercely for grading on the old 1-7 system (which was uniquely attractive because there weretwo different failing grades), I was overruled. Ah well. Happy Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!