The article on the efforts of the Portraiture Nominations Committee (On the Campus, Oct. 25) refers to portraits of the presidents of the University and the deans of the Graduate School and of the School of Engineering currently on display around the campus. I think it’s important to note that those portraits are not entirely of white males.
When it comes to diversity among the student body, the Graduate School was way ahead of the undergraduate college. In 1972 my fellow residents in graduate-student housing at 15 Dickinson St. included people of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent, as well as several other women, one of whom was openly lesbian.
Beginning in the last quarter of the 20th century, the portraits of the deans of the Graduate School have included a woman (Nina G. Garsoïan) and an African American (Albert Raboteau). The countenance of former Graduate School dean Sanjeev Kulkarni will soon grace the walls of Procter Hall.
Visiting the Convocation Room in the Friend Center, one can admire the likenesses of a female engineering school dean (Maria Klawe) and two Asian American deans (Hisashi Kobayashi *67 and James Wei).
The portrait of Princeton’s first woman president, Shirley Tilghman, has joined those of her venerable predecessors in the Faculty Room in Nassau Hall.
I encourage students and alumni to visit the University’s portrait galleries. They effortlessly present a pretty picture of increasing diversity among Princeton’s leaders.