I read with great interest the Jan. 11 “Let’s Talk Language” issue and was pleased to learn of the expansion of the undergraduate program in linguistics, having been a member of a similar effort on the graduate level a half-century prior. The launching of the first satellite in 1957 by the Soviet Union caused a strong reaction in this country that produced the National Defense Education Act, designed to upgrade post-secondary curricula in fields considered critical to the country’s strength, if not survival. One such field encompassed language analysis and instruction, of which linguistics was a part.
Princeton was one of several universities selected to develop three-year Ph.D. programs and enrolled five graduate students in the fall of 1962 under the direction of Professor William G. Moulton ’35, one of the nation’s foremost Germanic language scholars.
My other reason for writing is to add to “Princeton Patter.” As graduate students, our group manifested the “library habit,” which meant spending as many hours a day in Firestone as possible. It was a matter of prestige to be seen entering the library, likewise an embarrassment to be seen leaving it.