I was puzzled to read in President Eisgruber ’83’s letter to incoming freshmen (President’s Page, May issue) that he described the “Princeton Pre-read” as a relatively new tradition which he began 10 years ago. Back in the summer of 1967, our Class of 1971 received a similar letter requesting us to read a book called The Greeks by H.D.F. Kitto for the purpose of discussing it in small groups. As I recall, the request was described at that time as part of a longstanding tradition. Was that tradition suspended at some point? Might PAW or perhaps the University archivist provide an explanation?
Editor’s note: According to April Armstrong *14, library collections specialist at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, the University Archives show some examples of prior summer reading assignments for incoming undergraduates, including one iteration that began in 1962. Eisgruber began the current Pre-read tradition in 2013, his first year as president.