Princeton was founded in 1746 to provide a classical education to undergraduates, many whose parents had misgivings about the Eastern establishment influence at Harvard and Yale. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’76, busily engaged in an attempt to rewrite the Constitution through judicial fiat, is mistaken in the effort to change Princeton’s informal/informational motto (Inbox, June 1), unless it is to restore it to the original text.
When I attended Princeton, the principal institutional thrust was the educating of undergraduates in all of the academic disciplines. It was up to the individual to decide how to personify “Princeton in the nation’s service.” Some served in civil government, some served in the military, and others in the profit and nonprofit environment here and abroad. They served as individuals, directed by their own belief and value system, and not as a part of a collective.
I believe the motto should be restored to its original text. I do not agree or believe that Princeton’s purpose is to serve humanity. It should be to provide a truly liberal education, with equal access to all views, to those who have the intellect to absorb and use it. This will provide real rather than artificial diversity. Let those agencies designed to serve humanity do so, even if they do it poorly.