I was delighted to read the report by Elyse Graham ’07 about my classmate and roommate, Bob Engs ’65. Bob and I met the day we first arrived at Princeton, since we were both assigned to single rooms in Edwards Hall. We also spent our time in Edwards Hall with Bill Parker ’65. For our sophomore year, the three of us moved with Dave Smith ’65 to a four-person dorm site in Foulke Hall. For our junior and senior years, Bob, Dave and I moved to 1938 Hall with Mike Newlon ’65 and different additional roommates in different years. Our close friends across the hall were Rich Losick ’65, Ron Glick ’65, Mark Granovetter ’65, Ken Grossman ’65, Dave Herr ’65, George Spence ’65, and John Vigorita ’65.
Bob Engs clearly had a major impact on our class. A substantial fraction of our members came from states in which African Americans were claimed to be much less intelligent and valuable than whites and were treated extremely poorly. He easily convinced many of those members (without intimidating them) that their presumptions were totally incorrect and that their treatment of African Americans was unintelligent and unfair, as well as illegal.
Having Bob as a close friend during our four years at Princeton was one of the most pleasant and important aspects of my highly appreciated education.