I read about the scheduled demolition of the Butler graduate student apartments (Notebook, April 2) and wanted to relate a family story. The photograph below shows my wife, Christy, and daughter, Stephanie, in front of a tree at 221C Halsey St. The tree was planted on September 27, 1947, by Lorenz A.E. Eitner *52. At the time Lorenz was a graduate student at Princeton. The occasion was the birth of his daughter, who would become my wife. The tree was a sapling that Lorenz took from the shore of Lake Carnegie while on a walk and transported in his coat pocket.
Lorenz’s time at Princeton was interrupted by World War II. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army’s Office of Strategic Services, doing intelligence work, liberating his former hometown of Salzburg, Austria, and later as a Nuremburg war-crimes investigator. After the war Lorenz returned to Princeton with his wife, Trudi, to complete his degree in art history. After Princeton, Lorenz taught at the University of Minnesota. In 1963 he was appointed chairman of the Stanford University Department of Art and director of the Stanford University Art Museum, positions he continued to hold until retirement in 1989. Lorenz is truly one of the great minds in the field of art history. My life has been greatly enriched through my association with Lorenz and Trudi.
Returning to the photograph: I took it in February of 2003, while we were on a tour of the campus with our daughter. The picture was included with an essay our daughter wrote in her Princeton application. Stephanie had one wish — to be able to spend four years with her mother’s tree. Stephanie graduates in June as a proud member of the Class of 2008.