A poem in honor of President Tilghman, presented by the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni at Reunions 2013
Gather ’round, dear friends, I know it’s early
But time is short and we must find Shirley!
We fear she’s gone where the grass is greener
It’s been so long since anyone’s seen her
Where, pray tell, is our great leader?
Let’s spare the farewell; let’s go greet her!
Line up! Get ready! Do not be afraid
The search is on, so join the P-rade!
She’s not in Rocky or Mathey or Whitman
So where the hell is Shirley M. Tilghman?!
We sure hope you’ll forgive that expression
But if not her who’ll lead our procession
For she’s the relief to all our frustrations
She truly believes in grad ’lumni relations
Long ago she might never have guessed
How hard she’d fight the ghost of Dean West!
Today at Princeton there’s no such curse
With Shirley out front, it’s quite the reverse!
So now you know why we’re so alarmed
It’s urgent, you see, we must find her unharmed
Let’s look for a clue to her secret location
In the pages and pages of her printed oration
“Remember,” she said, “in times like this”
“You have to think hard and even take risk”
“Life,” she said, “can be full of big trouble”
“It helps, sometimes, to escape the Orange Bubble!”
That must be it! She’s exploring the earth
(That’s fully expected, she’s Canadian by birth.)
Why, oh why, didn’t we think of that earlier?
Seeing the world could not be more Shirley-er!
Look here, a note! There’s nothing to fear!
She’s gone off to London for only a year!
Since we know in advance her let’s visit her there
We can’t miss this chance to show her we care
Shirley, we’ve found you! At last, it’s true!
We’ve formed a P-Rade in honor of you
The reasons for that are simple enough
It’s our love for you and your love for us
We hope you’ll excuse our little panic
You’re free to choose to hop the Atlantic
But now we’re reminded, as if on cue
That there will be times when we can’t find you
We’ll learn not to search wide and cry, “Where’s Shirley?”
But to instead look inside and answer that query
Because wherever you go, and when you depart
You’re always right here, right here in our heart
So never forget, in this world of ours
When you’re off squeezing the most from your hours
We carry you with us, this part is true
We heart you Shirley, surely we do!