With more than half a century having passed since I graduated from Princeton, I found this article to be an interesting read. For one, it is significant to see that some of the campus conservatives are women. Back in my day at Princeton, especially during my junior year, there was actually significant opposition to Princeton accepting women students, not only from alumni but also from certain (male, of course) students. What is encouraging is that today, I don’t hear of any conservative movement to return Princeton to the good old days of its being an all-male institution or students and faculty arguing that Princeton would be better today if it were still all male. It’s clearly better as a coeducational institution and that appears to widely be accepted, including amongst today’s conservatives.
Another major liberal-conservative battle line, when I was a student, was the Vietnam War. While I wouldn’t expect today’s students to refight the Vietnam War, there doesn’t seem to be any groundswell amongst conservative students and faculty to argue that the U.S. would be better off today had we “won” the Vietnam War and that the students in my day should have supported the U.S. in that war. The Vietnam War has been left to historians to explain its causes to today’s students, which is where it belongs.
It is difficult to imagine being a Princeton student today because so much has changed. Having spent 46 years married, in a monogamous relationship, to my wife, having been a regular church member for many years, and having worked for the bulk of my career in the private, for-profit sector, I suppose today I could be branded on campus as a conservative. Regardless, I think Princeton is better off today supporting LGBTQ students and maintaining affirmative action to assure a diverse student body. I’m proud to be a Princeton alumnus since the university remains one of the best in the world, if not the best, and is leading society in forging the nation’s, and the world’s, future.