Reunions and Commencement celebrate two essential aspects of the Princeton experience: ideas and friends. Ask any member of the Old Guard: Even many years out, this is how Princeton remains part of his life.
In this, our last issue of the 2009–10 publishing year, PAW also celebrates ideas and friends. The feature article by Mark F. Bernstein ’83, “A Year in Ideas,” shows that ideas are to be found in every corner of campus — from the office of the most senior professor to the dorm room of an enterprising freshman. (PAW thanks The New York Times Magazine for the Ideas idea.)
Christopher Connell ’71 reflects on the extraordinary Commencement ceremony that took place 40 years ago. Today’s valedictory addresses are goodbyes. But ’70 valedictorian Raymond Gibbons, speaking a month after the deaths of four young people at Kent State, acknowledged that “any apolitical farewell address delivered on this occasion would be a peculiar anachronism.” His address was a challenge, so strong that it drew praise from honorary-degree recipient Coretta Scott King. It appears with Connell’s article.
In his reporting, Connell caught up with Gibbons and with class president Stewart Dill ’70. And despite the seriousness of the ideas that marked the addresses they gave 40 years ago, the photo on page 48 captures the other enduring part of Princeton: friends.
At Reunions, I was honored to receive the Alumni Service Award from the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, which credited PAW with paying greater attention to black graduates and faculty. Given the amazing accomplishments of Princetonians of all races and ethnicities, that has not been difficult. Thank you, ABPA.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86