I enjoyed “The P Source,” and as Dean Lippincott ’41’s research assistant in 1967–68, I have a good idea of how the conversation with the summoned student unfolded.
Both the dean and Professor John (“Doc”) Whitton, co-creator of the Princeton Listening Center, were old-school Princeton gentlemen; service, patriotism, and educating Princetonians were their missions. Doc, a professor of international law in politics, was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his work with the French underground. The dean, undergrad president of Ivy and chairman of the Club Council, was a field artillery officer in the war.
Both were very dapper, and each was beloved by students. Doc was also a founder, coach, and faculty adviser to the Rugby Club and attended some practices and most home matches into the ’70s, dispensing sage advice — sometimes by letter (titled “perspectives”) — and still very much appreciated by a host of former captains.