Thank you for including Greg Farrell ’57 among the tributes in your February issue.
In the spring of 1969 I had a life plan that began with attending Harvard Law School while enrolled in Naval ROTC. But a failed color-blindness test kept me out of ROTC, and I had a draft board that did not grant deferments for law school. In fact, its only deferments were for service in the Peace Corps or teaching in a public school in a district that was facing a shortage of teachers.
Having worked with Greg and knowing his background, I sought his counsel. He told me about a New Jersey program he had helped create — an Urban Education Corps (a precursor to programs like Teach for America) that placed college graduates in classrooms as full-time teachers while they pursued certification and a master’s degree in teaching from Montclair State.
Greg got me into the program, and for the next three years I taught fifth and sixth grades in Trenton, New Jersey — one of the great experiences of my life. Even today I remain in touch with some of my students. In my third year of teaching, I ran into my thesis adviser, Stan Kelley, in the U-Store, which led to his suggesting me to incoming President Bill Bowen for a position in his administration, the beginning of 47 years in Nassau Hall.
I don’t think any of that would have happened — the teaching in Trenton or the invitation to serve Princeton — had I not known Greg and turned to him for last-minute advice. I know I am only one of many whose lives were shaped by this remarkable and deeply caring man.