In Response to: Inexorable progress [6]

The letter from Charles C. Baum ’64 (June 1) observed that the notes for his class were eight pages from the beginning of Class Notes in PAW and 10 pages from the end. I have interviewed many Princeton applicants over the past several years. I usually end those interviews by pulling out the latest copy of PAW and telling applicants that if they are admitted to the University, the magazine will follow them all their days.

I tell them there is news of the University in PAW, but most alumni turn first to the Class Notes pages. There they will find news of their classmates and friends, the friends for life they made while at Princeton. I open PAW at the rear and show them that the news of the latest classes involves jobs, or graduate school, or the marriages of their classmates. A few classes earlier, classmates are having babies and then, suddenly, they have grandchildren.

Year by year, classes move inevitably toward the front of Class Notes. I point out my own class, not so far now from the beginning of Class Notes; and I tell them that you can mark your progress in life, where you have been, where you are, and how far you have to go, from the position of your class in Class Notes. Thus it is for all of us.