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!