The articles published in the Jan. 7 edition regarding the Princeton Neuroscience Institute show a number of cutting-edge research programs that have been produced by this extraordinary institution. In no way can a comparison be made between these elegant studies and the work that was performed in the psychology department when I was an undergraduate. I often have felt the expenditures made by Princeton were extravagant. In this particular instance, I must admit that I was wrong. I was particularly pleased to see that the work appears to have integrated both graduate and undergraduate students in keeping with the undergraduate mission.
In the same edition appeared an article by Robin Herman ’73, “What We Didn’t Say,” which deals with the difficulties associated with parenting children with mental and possibly genetic challenges. The author showed great courage in bringing this difficult subject into the light of a Reunions weekend. Not only did she bring this subject out of the closet, but in addition turned it into a standing-room-only teaching seminar. This is again a large step from the Reunions cocktail parties I recall in the past, when mention was made only of those carefully bred, genetically superior offspring destined to be the next generation of Princetonians. No life is without its tragedies and setbacks, and often it is more interesting to hear how an individual deals with adversity than to hear a litany of success stories.
Perhaps Princeton is not only getting richer and more prestigious, but also is developing a heart and sense of community.