The July issue of PAW — the last of the academic year — is always a space where we mark farewells: to students, to legendary professors becoming emeritus, to PAW interns. This year, we celebrate PAW’s longtime art director, Marianne Nelson, who — issue after issue — designs a magazine with striking images and layouts that pull readers into articles on the vast universe of fields and people that make up Princeton. University history. Astrophysics. Sports victories. New alumni ventures. Whatever the topic, Marianne brings it to life.

This will be the last issue designed by Marianne, who is retiring after 21 years at PAW. 

Magazine editors and art directors routinely engage in a tug of war — editors demanding more space for words; art directors pointing out that readers won’t be attracted to text-heavy articles in cramped layouts. Every roomy layout or large, gorgeous image in PAW represents a victory in that battle by Marianne. 

She came to PAW after working at two publications from opposite corners of the magazine world: Politics Today and National Lampoon — a good thing, since it helps to have both an interest in current affairs and a great sense of humor to work here. 

She’s the person responsible for the full-page photos that open our On the Campus and Princetonians sections. She takes special pride in three PAW covers: an image of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito ’72 by the late, great illustrator Jack Davis (March 8, 2006); a photograph of Professor Jeff Nunokawa by Ricardo Barros (March 23, 2011); and last year’s cover by textile artist Diana Buri Weymar ’91, honoring alumni who worked on the front lines of the COVID pandemic (May 13, 2020). (Scroll down to see all three below.) “This job has allowed me to work with some of the world’s best photographers and illustrators,” Marianne says. “And PAW’s articles have introduced me to the most amazing Princeton alumni and professors.” 

Now Marianne will have more time to devote to her main hobbies: reading Stephen King novels and singing and playing songs from the 1990s on her guitar. Asked what she never got around to doing at PAW, she replied that she could not think of anything: “I’ve been there so long, I’ve probably done just about everything I have ever wanted to do.” 

We are also saying goodbye to the excellent student writers who graduated this year: Jimin Kang, Marissa Webb, Arika Harrison, and Maya Eashwaran. Not only did they provide copy for the magazine, they gave us an insider’s perspective on campus life. We’ve heard from three about their plans. 

David Kelly Crow
Jimin is spending the summer as an intern for the São Paulo bureau of Reuters; after that, she will head to Oxford, England, to do a master’s degree in comparative literature and critical translation as a recipient of the Daniel M. Sachs ’60 scholarship. She majored in Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton, and her final student piece for PAW appears on page 14 or here

Arika Harrison ’21
Arika was an invaluable source of ideas when she remained on campus last fall, becoming our only intern in Princeton. A politics major, she will be a Project 55 Fellow in Chicago at New Markets Support Co., which works to spur job creation and economic development through investments in underinvested communities.

Natashia Neckles ’21
Marissa, who majored in the SPIA, had not finalized her job plans when we last heard from her, as she was focusing on something else: In June, she married 2nd Lt. Justin Robinson and was planning to move to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he’d attend flight school. 

To Marianne, Jimin, Marissa, Arika, and Maya: Thank you for what you have brought to PAW. Your imprint on the magazine will be lasting.

These three covers are Marianne Nelson’s top picks from her 21 years with PAW: