Some of my classmates have taken exception to the administration’s statement that Princeton is systemically racist and they intend to withhold contributions to Annual Giving. I have a different take on this. I know that Princeton was systemically racist. I don’t think it is now, although I certainly cannot identify a date when it flipped. My feelings about Princeton — and the wisdom of contributing to it — are influenced by the knowledge that Princeton lives beyond (and is more important than) the missteps, misconceptions, and frailties of its current administration, faculty, and students. So I am contributing to an endowment that, more than ever, will be needed to compensate for the lower average socioeconomic status of the student body. Creating a colorblind meritocracy and less stratified society means making a Princeton education available to a broad range of students. That will be true long after the current University president leaves the scene. So I will keep giving, and will give the administration its lumps when I think it makes mistakes, just as I gave Dean Nancy Weiss Malkiel and President Shirley Tilghman a hard time for the immense sums spent (to my mind, wasted) on balkanizing the University by creating a college system.

Lee L. Kaplan ’73
Houston, Texas