In Response to: Commencement 2008

Valedictorian Zachary Squire ’08 is quoted in the July 16 issue as saying, “When the black and orange horde of alumni descends upon the Princeton campus,” etc.

It is always said as “orange and black.” There’s no rule, it’s not in the handbook, it is simply tradition. We even have a song with the line, “While the tiger stands defender of the orange and the black,” and I believe the song’s title is “The Orange and the Black.”

ABC’s Charles Gibson ’65 made the mistake of saying “black and orange” on the air one day. That gaffe caused him to receive so many letters from alumni that he did an apologetic mea culpa on the air. Even my sister, who didn’t go to Princeton, sat bolt upright on her chair and yelled at the TV: “No! It’s orange and black!”

Zachary is dead right as he continues: “It is the time spent with friends and comrades that, for most of us, defines what it meant to be at Princeton.” In September 1953, the Class of 1957 was assembled in Alexander Hall for orientation. One of the speakers said, “The people in this room will be your friends for life.”

Truer words were never spoken. I admire Zachary’s perceptiveness so early in his life as a Tiger.

George Hackney ’57