The death of Fred Hargadon, a former admission dean known to a generation of students as “Dean Fred,” has drawn scores of tributes and words of thanks on social media, blogs, and in campus publications. In a memorial released by the Office of Communications, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 called Hargadon “a legendary figure in the lives of thousands of Princetonians.” Harold Shapiro *64, the University president during most of Hargadon’s tenure, told PAW that “for many students, he is the person they remember the most from Princeton.” And longtime Director of Athletics Gary Walters ’67 called Hargadon “the Moses of admissions deans,” in a Daily Princetonian interview.

Alumni who received one of Hargadon’s famous “Yes!” letters were particularly active on Facebook and Twitter, expressing gratitude for the opportunities that came with admission to Princeton. Student-athletes recalled Dean Fred as a consistent presence at games and meets, and Triangle Club alumni remembered him as the inspiration for a pair of favorite tunes from the late ’90s, “When He Says No,” and “YES!” A 2001 video of the former — featuring a Hargadon cameo and sung by Liz Greenberg ’02 — is included below.

PAW is collecting memories and stories of Dean Fred for a future issue of the magazine. If you have a memory to share, please leave a comment or send an email to