This blog includes text and images drawn from historical sources that may contain material that is offensive or harmful. We strive to accurately represent the past while being sensitive to the needs and concerns of our audience. If you have any feedback to share on this topic, please either comment on a relevant post, or use our Ask Us form to contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for May 31-June 6

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the installation of a sculpture brings unexpected tragedy, the Dean of the College expresses his thoughts on the impact of the Great Depression on graduating seniors, and more.

May 31, 1998—To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Princeton’s first class to include undergraduate women for all four years, a husband and wife team, Sen. Tom Harkin and Ruth Harkin, give the baccalaureate address. It is believed to be the first time the baccalaureate is delivered by a pair. The graduates of the Class of 1998 include their daughter, Amy Harkin.

June 1, 1883—The Princetonian complains, “The enthusiasm of the Princeton drum corps is a great nuisance.”

June 2, 1970—Two workers are killed installing a sculpture on campus.

Five Disks, One Empty. Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

June 5, 1931—The New York Times quotes Dean Christian Gauss on why the hardships faced by the Class of 1931 made them better educated than their counterparts in the Class of 1929, who finished their educations before the so-called “Great Crash”: “Whatever regrets we may have over the unhappy lot of our unemployable college seniors, we can console ourselves with the thought that their true education has been very much advanced by the unfortunate situation in which we find ourselves. … They have had it borne in upon them that the welfare of each is somehow bound up with the welfare of all, and the older, easier optimism has disappeared. They know that we are all in the same boat and that each must pull his oar if we are again soon to go forward.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.