In Response to: The Lady and the Tigers

Halcyone “Halcy” Bohen. Photo: Jeffrey MacMillan p’14In a remarkable instance of coincidence, about two days before receiving the Feb. 12 edition of the Alumni Weekly, I had been wondering, “Whatever happened to Halcy Bohen?” Now I know, thanks to reading “The Lady and the Tigers.” 

In 1972, Halcy hired my graduate-student husband, John A. Schuster *77, and me, a grad student at Rutgers, to be residential advisers at the Princeton Inn, not long after it had been transformed from a hotel to a coeducational dormitory. I recall feeling quite prepared for this position of responsibility as we were already approaching our mid-20s and we each had prior experience in living in coed residences. 

At the time, I had no clue that the Princeton elders viewed women as a potential problem or possible threat to the institution. I didn’t think we were part of a revolutionary, bohemian, left-leaning educational experience or movement. Keep in mind that in those days we thought it natural not to trust anyone over 30! We often worried about our relationship with our boss, Halcy, and indeed the master of the Inn, Bert Sonnenfeld *58, whom, despite their age and authority-figure status, we related to rather well.

Although our main duties mirrored those that Halcy mentioned, we always enjoyed the company of the students and felt we contributed by providing role models for life and work after graduation. By now, some of our former advisees have children who have graduated from Princeton. We sometimes wonder if we are mentioned when they talk about their first-year experience.

Photo: Jeffrey MacMillan p’14

Belinda Schuster s*77
Shell Cove, Australia