Sidney Drell, pictured with President Obama in the Feb. 8 From the Editor column, is ’47, not ’46. Sid entered Princeton during World War II in July 1943 with the first contingent of civilians in ’47, just under 300 of us. He received his Princeton degree in June 1946 and in 1994 was the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award.
A short explanation of our unusual class history: Four more civilian sections of ’47 joined us in October and November 1943 and January and February 1944, the dates tying new engineering students to the semester schedule of Army units then on campus (in uniform), and new A.B.s to the different schedules of Navy and Marine Corps units. Ultimately, ’47 grew to 766 members, including accepted freshmen by then in the armed services, and others in campus training units who stayed after demobilization and were academically parallel to ’47 civilians.
Confusingly, the disruptions caused by the war resulted in members of ’47 receiving Princeton degrees on 19 dates between 1945 and 1954 (with two more getting their degrees much later, in 1980 and 2000). And some got their undergraduate degrees from other universities where, after enlisting, they were sent to units similar to those at Princeton. Many of them retain their loyalty to the Tiger (and even pay class dues). Hence our unofficial class motto: “War torn ... but peaced together.”
We’re proud of Sid, his affiliation with ’47, and his very significant contributions to science and to our country.