Capping a three-day campus gathering of black alumni last month, professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97 commented on recent changes that have made Princeton a more welcoming home for African-American students, and imagined a future Princeton: “a future that does not simply include us, but a future impossible to imagine without us.” The meeting, called “Coming Back and Moving Forward,” was billed as a conference, but it also had the feel of Reunions — though one distinctly different from the annual beer-soaked celebration of orange and black. The bonds seemed even tighter, spanning classes and generations. At lectures, the audience was rapt but not silent; members shouted in assent, laughed, encouraged. This wasn’t just intellectual — it was personal.
As Ken Bruce ’83, a past president of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, said, the relationship between Princeton and many African-American alumni is “complex.” Those at the gathering seemed to agree that much has changed for the better. This, the second conference for black alumni in the last three years, was designed not only to bring alumni together but to ask something of them: It marked the kickoff of “Connect,” a campaign that — among other things — seeks to raise $4 million for Princeton. PAW’s report on the event begins on page 24.
In his article about new housing options in PAW’s Oct. 21 issue, W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 wrote about a plan to offer “gender-neutral” undergraduate suites. Just a few days after we sent the issue to our printer, the plan was approved. Student columnist Isia Jasiewicz ’10 has a report on page 10.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86