Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton University, at Princeton, N.J.; coeducational; chartered 1746, opened 1747, rechartered 1748, called the College of New Jersey until 1896.

Schools and Research Facilities

One of the nation's foremost universities, Princeton has in addition to its noted undergraduate college and graduate school important schools of architecture, engineering, and public and international affairs. Research is carried on in many areas, including plasma physics and jet propulsion. The university is affiliated with the Brookhaven National Laboratories. The Harvey S. Firestone library (opened 1948) and the art museum house many outstanding collections. The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J., is not connected with the university.

History

Established by the "New Light" (evangelical) Presbyterians, Princeton was originally intended to train ministers, but this purpose disappeared as higher education gained hold. The college opened at Elizabeth, N.J., under the presidency of Jonathan Dickinson. Its second president was Aaron Burr, the elder, father of Aaron Burr. In 1756 the college moved to Princeton. During the American Revolution, Princeton was occupied by both sides, and the college's buildings were heavily damaged. Under John Witherspoon the college was rebuilt. During the 19th cent. the college expanded, and in 1896 Princeton became a university. Under Woodrow Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system (1905), a change that led to a greater degree of individualized instruction.

Bibliography

See T. J. Wertenbaker, Princeton, 1749-1896 (1946); C. G. Osgood, Lights in Nassau Hall (1951); and H. Craig, Woodrow Wilson at Princeton (1960).

Private university in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S., a traditional member of the Ivy League. Founded as the College of New Jersey in 1746, it is the fourth oldest university in the U.S. and one of the most prestigious. Woodrow Wilson served as university president (1902–10). In addition to an undergraduate college and a graduate school, Princeton has a school of engineering and applied science and a school of architecture and urban planning. Its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs continues a long Princeton tradition of training government officials. The university has admitted women since 1969.

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Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is one of the eight universities that comprise the Ivy League.

Originally founded in 1746 at Elizabeth, New Jersey, as the College of New Jersey, it moved to Princeton in 1756 and was renamed “Princeton University” in 1896. Princeton was the fourth institution of higher education in the U.S. to conduct classes. The university, unlike most American universities that were founded at the same time, did not have an official religious affiliation. At one time, it had close ties to the Presbyterian Church, but today it is nonsectarian and makes no religious demands of its students. The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Though Princeton University has traditionally focused on undergraduate education, almost two thousand five hundred graduate students are enrolled and the university is renowned as a world-class research institution. Although lacking medical, law, or business schools, it offers professional master's degrees (mostly through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) and doctoral programs in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, as well as engineering. In addition to the research conducted on the main campus, the Forrestal Campus has special facilities for the study of plasma physics and meteorology.

History

The history of Princeton goes back to its establishment by "New Light" Presbyterians; Princeton was originally intended to train Presbyterian ministers. It opened at Elizabeth, New Jersey, under the presidency of Jonathan Dickinson as the College of New Jersey. Its second president was Aaron Burr, Sr.; the third was Jonathan Edwards. In 1756, the college moved to Princeton, New Jersey.

Between the time of the college's move to Princeton in 1756 and the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803, the college's sole building was Nassau Hall, named for the Dutch William III of England of the House of Orange-Nassau. (A proposal was made to name it for the colonial Governor, Jonathan Belcher, but he declined.) The college also adopted the color orange from William III. During the American Revolution, Princeton was occupied by British and American forces on different occasions and, consequently, the college's buildings were heavily damaged. The Battle of Princeton, fought in a nearby field in January of 1777, proved to be a decisive victory for General George Washington and his troops. Two of Princeton's leading citizens signed the United States Declaration of Independence: Richard Stockton and College president John Witherspoon. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, making Princeton the country's capital for four months. The much-abused landmark survived bombardment with cannonballs in the Revolutionary War when General Washington struggled to wrest the building from British control, as well as later fires in 1802 and 1855 that left only its walls standing. Rebuilt by Joseph Henry Latrobe, John Notman and John Witherspoon, the modern Nassau Hall has been much revised and expanded from the original one that was designed by Robert Smith. Over the centuries, its role shifted from an all-purpose building, comprising office, dormitory, library, and classroom space, to classroom space exclusively, to its present role as the administrative center of the university. Originally, the sculptures in front of the building were lions, as a gift in 1879. These were later replaced with tigers in 1911.

The Princeton Theological Seminary broke off from the college in 1812 because the Presbyterians wanted their ministers to have more theological training whereas the faculty and students would have been content with less. This reduced the student body and the external support for Princeton for some time. The two institutions currently enjoy a close relationship based on common history and shared resources.

James McCosh took office as the college's president in 1868 and lifted the institution out of a low period that had been brought about by the Civil War. During his two decades in power, he overhauled the curriculum, oversaw an expansion of inquiry into the sciences, and supervised the addition of a number of buildings in the High Victorian Gothic style to the campus. McCosh Hall is named in his honor.

In 1896, the college officially changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University to honor the town in which it resides. During this year, the college also underwent large expansion and officially became a university. Under Woodrow Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system in 1905, a then-unique concept that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest.

In 1969, Princeton University first admitted women as undergraduates. In 1887, the university had actually maintained and staffed a sister college, Evelyn College for Women, in the town of Princeton on Evelyn and Nassau streets. It was closed after roughly a decade of operation. After abortive discussions with Sarah Lawrence College to relocate the women's college to Princeton and merge it with the University in 1967, the administration decided to admit women and turned to the issue of transforming the school's operations and facilities into a female-friendly campus. The administration barely finished these plans by April 1969 when the admission's office began mailing out its acceptance letters. Its five-year coeducation plan provided $7.8 million for the development of new facilities that would eventually house and educate 650 women students at Princeton by 1974. Ultimately, 148 women, consisting of 100 freshwomen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, 1969 amidst much media attention. (Princeton enrolled its first female graduate student, Sabra Follett Meserve, as a Ph.D. candidate in Turkish history in 1961. A handful of women had studied at Princeton as undergraduates from 1963 on, spending their junior year there to study subjects in which Princeton's offerings surpassed those of their home institutions. They were considered regular students for their year on campus, but they were not candidates for a Princeton degree.)

Campus

Princeton's campus features buildings designed by noted architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, Ralph Adams Cram, McKim, Mead & White, Robert Venturi, and Nick Yeager. The campus, located on 2 km² of landscaped grounds, features a large number of Neo-gothic-style buildings, most dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is situated about one hour from New York City and Philadelphia. The first Princeton building constructed was Nassau Hall, situated in the north end of Campus on Nassau Street. Stanhope Hall (once a library, now home of the University's Center for African-American Studies) and East and West College, both dormitories, followed. Though many of the succeeding buildings—particularly the dormitories of the Northern campus—were built in a Collegiate Gothic style, the university's architecture is a mixture of American architectural movements. Greek Revival temples (Whig and Clio Halls) abut the lawn south of Nassau Hall whereas a crenellated theater (Murray-Dodge) guards the route west to the library. Modern buildings are confined to the east and south of the campus, a quarter overlooked by the fourteen-story Fine Hall. Fine Hall, the Math Department's home, designed by Warner, Burns, Toan and Lunde and completed in 1970, is the tallest building on campus. Contemporary additions feature a number of big-name architects, including IM Pei's Spelman Halls, Robert Venturi's Frist Campus Center, Rafael Vinoly's Carl Icahn Laboratory, the Hillier Group's Bowen Hall, and Demetri Porphyrios' Whitman College. A science library, designed by Frank Gehry, is presently under construction. A variety of sculptures adorn the campus. They include pieces by Henry Moore (Oval with Points, also nicknamed "Nixon's Nose"), Clement Meadmore (Upstart II), and Alexander Calder (Five Disks: One Empty). At the base of campus is the Delaware and Raritan Canal, dating from 1830, and Lake Carnegie, a man-made lake donated by the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. The lake is used for crew (rowing) and sailing.

Cannon Green

Cannon Green is located on the south end of the main lawn. Buried in the ground at the center is the "Big Cannon." Its top protrudes from the earth and is traditionally spray-painted in orange with the current senior class year. A second "Little Cannon" is buried in the lawn in front of nearby Whig Hall. Both cannons were buried in response to periodic thefts by Rutgers students. The "Big Cannon" is said to have been left in Princeton by Hessians after the Revolutionary War but moved to New Brunswick during the War of 1812. Ownership of the cannon was disputed and the cannon was eventually taken back to Princeton partly by a military company and then by a hundred Princeton students. The "Big Cannon" was eventually buried in its current location behind Nassau Hall in 1840. In 1875, Rutgers students, in an attempt to recover the original cannon, stole the "Little Cannon" instead. The smaller cannon was subsequently recovered and buried as well. The protruding cannons are occasionally painted scarlet by Rutgers students who continue the traditional dispute.

A Beautiful Mind, the Academy Award-winning movie, contains a scene that takes place on Cannon Green. John Nash plays Go with his college rival while sitting on stone benches in the middle of the green. (The benches do not exist; like many elements of the Princeton setting that is depicted in the movie, they were introduced by the filmmakers.) Additional scenes were filmed around Holder Courtyard.

Buildings

McCarter Theater

The Tony-award-winning McCarter Theatre was built by the Princeton Triangle Club, a student performance group, using club profits and a gift from Princeton University alumnus Thomas McCarter. Today, the Triangle Club performs its annual freshmen revue and fall musicals in McCarter. McCarter is also recognized as one of the leading regional theaters in the United States.

Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum was established to give students direct, intimate, and sustained access to original works of art that complement and enrich instruction and research at the university. This continues to be its primary function.

Numbering nearly 60,000 objects, the collections range from ancient to contemporary art and concentrate geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States, and Latin America. There is a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including ceramics, marbles, bronzes, and Roman mosaics from faculty excavations in Antioch. Medieval Europe is represented by sculpture, metalwork, and stained glass. The collection of Western European paintings includes examples from the early Renaissance through the nineteenth century and features a growing collection of twentieth-century and contemporary art.

One of the best features of the museums is its collection of Chinese art, with important holdings in bronzes, tomb figurines, painting, and calligraphy. Its collection of pre-Columbian art includes examples of Mayan art. The museum has collections of old master prints and drawings and a comprehensive collection of original photographs. African art and Northwest Coast Indian art are also represented. Other works include those of the John B. Putnam, Jr., Memorial Collection of twentieth-century sculpture. They including works by such modern masters as Alexander Calder, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso. The Putnam Collection is overseen by the Museum, but it is exhibited outdoors around campus.

University Chapel

Princeton University Chapel is the third-largest university chapel in the world. Known for its gothic architecture, the chapel houses one of the largest and most precious stained glass collections in the country. Both the Opening Exercises for entering freshmen and the Baccalaureate Service for graduating seniors take place in the University Chapel. Construction on the Princeton University Chapel began in 1924 and was completed in 1927 at a cost of $2.4 million. Princeton's Chapel is the world's third-largest university chapel, behind those of Valparaiso University and King's College, Cambridge, England. It was designed by the University's lead consulting architect, Ralph Adams Cram, previously of Boston's architectural firm Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, leading proponents of the Gothic revival style. The vaulting was built by the Guastavino Company, whose thin Spanish tile vaults can be found in Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal, and hundreds of other significant works of 20th century architecture.

The -long, -high, cruciform church has a collegiate Gothic style and it is made largely from Pennsylvania sandstone and Indiana limestone. It seats two thousand people, many in pews made from wood salvaged from Civil War-era gun carriages. Seats in the chancel are made from oak from Sherwood Forest. The sixteenth century pulpit was brought from France and the primary pipe organ has eight thousand pipes and 109 stops.

One of the most prominent features of the chapel are its stained glass windows, which have an unusually academic leaning. Three of the large windows have religious themes: The north aisle windows shows the life of Jesus, the north clerestory shows the spirtual development of the Jews, and the south aisle shows the teachings of Jesus. The stained glass in the south clerestory portrays the evolution of human thought from the Greeks to modern times. It has windows on such topics as science, law, poetry, and war.

Organization

With an endowment of US$15.8 billion, Princeton University is among the wealthiest universities in the world. Ranked as the fourth largest endowment in the United States, the university has the greatest per-student endowment in the world (US$2.15 million). Such a significant endowment is sustained through the continued donations of its alumni and is maintained by investment advisors. Some of Princeton's wealth is invested in its art museum, which features works by Claude Monet and Andy Warhol among other prominent artists.

University housing is guaranteed to all undergraduates for all four years. More than 95 percent of students live on campus in dormitories. Freshmen and sophomores live in residential colleges. Juniors and seniors have the option to live off-campus, but high rent in the Princeton area encourages almost all students to live in university housing. Undergraduate social life revolves around the residential colleges and a number of coeducational "eating clubs", which students may choose to join in the spring of their sophomore year. Eating clubs serve as dining halls and communal spaces for their members and also host social events throughout the academic year.

Princeton has six undergraduate residential colleges, each housing approximately 500 freshmen, sophomores, and a handful of junior and senior resident advisers. Each college consists of a set of dormitories, a dining hall, a variety of other amenities — such as study spaces, libraries, performance spaces, and darkrooms — and a collection of administrators and associated faculty. Two colleges, Wilson College and Forbes College (formerly Princeton Inn College), date to the 1970s; three others, Rockefeller, Mathey, and Butler Colleges, were created in 1983 following the Committee on Undergraduate Residential Life (CURL) report, which suggested the institution of residential colleges as a solution to an allegedly fragmented campus social life. The construction of Whitman College, the university's sixth residential college, was completed in 2007. Rockefeller College and Mathey College are located in the northwest corner of the campus; their Collegiate Gothic architecture often graces University brochures. Like most of Princeton's Gothic buildings, they predate the residential college system and were fashioned into colleges from individual dormitories.

Wilson College and Butler College, located south of the center of the campus, were built in the 1960s. Wilson served as an early experiment in the establishment of the residential college system. Butler, like Rockefeller and Mathey, consisted of a collection of ordinary dorms (called the "New New Quad") before the addition of a dining hall made it a residential college. Widely disliked for its edgy modernist design, the dormitories on the Butler Quad were demolished in 2007, and the college is being partially housed in converted upperclass dormitories until its reconstruction is completed.

Forbes is located on the site of the historic Princeton Inn, a gracious hotel overlooking the Princeton golf course. The Princeton Inn, originally constructed in 1924, played regular host to important symposia and gatherings of renowned scholars from both the University and the nearby Institute for Advanced Studies for many years. Forbes currently houses over 400 undergraduates and a number of resident graduate students in its residential halls. Butler and most of Forbes are in a different municipality, Princeton Township, from the rest of the main campus, which is in Princeton Borough.

In 2003, Princeton broke ground for a sixth college that is named Whitman College after its principal sponsor, Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay and a member of the Princeton Class of 1977. The new dormitories were constructed in the neo-Gothic architectural style and were designed by renowned architect Demetri Porphyrios. Construction finished in 2007, and Whitman College was inaugurated as Princeton's sixth residential college that same year.

A variant on the present college system was originally proposed by university president Woodrow Wilson in the early twentieth century. Wilson's model was much closer to Yale's present system, which features four-year colleges. Lacking the support of the Trustees, the plan languished until 1968. That year, Wilson College was established to cap a series of alternatives to the eating clubs. Fierce debates raged before the present residential college system emerged. The plan was first attempted at Yale, but the administration was initially uninterested; an exasperated alum, Edward Harkness, finally paid to have the college system implemented at Harvard in the 1920s, leading to the oft-quoted aphorism that the college system is a Princeton idea that was executed at Harvard with funding from Yale.

Princeton has one graduate residential college, known simply as the Graduate College, located beyond Forbes College at the outskirts of campus. The far-flung location of the G.C. was the spoil of a squabble between Woodrow Wilson and then-Graduate School Dean Andrew Fleming West. Wilson preferred a central location for the College; West wanted the graduate students as far as possible from the campus. Ultimately, West's idea was heeded. The G.C. is composed of a large Collegiate Gothic section crowned by Cleveland Tower, a local landmark that also houses a world-class carillon. The attached New Graduate College houses more students. Its design departs from collegiate gothic. It is reminiscent of Butler College, the newest of the five pre-Whitman residential colleges.

Academics

Undergraduate students at Princeton benefit from the resources of a world-class research institution that is simultaneously dedicated to undergraduate teaching. Princeton faculty have a reputation for balancing excellence in their respective fields with a dedication to their students as classroom instructors and as advisors of independent work.

Undergraduates fulfill general education requirements, choose among a wide variety of elective courses, and pursue departmental concentrations and interdisciplinary certificate programs. Required independent work is a hallmark of undergraduate education at Princeton. Students graduate with either the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or the Bachelor of Science in engineering (B.S.E.).

The Graduate School offers advanced degrees spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Doctoral education is available in all disciplines. It emphasizes original and independent scholarship whereas master's degree programs in architecture, engineering, finance, and public affairs and public policy prepare candidates for careers in public life and professional practice.

Undergraduate

Undergraduate courses in the humanities are traditionally either seminars or semi-weekly lectures with an additional discussion seminar that is called a "precept" (short for "preceptorial"). To graduate, all A.B. candidates must complete a senior thesis and, in most departments, one or two extensive pieces of independent research that are known as "junior papers." Juniors in some departments, including architecture and the creative arts, complete independent projects that differ from written research papers. A.B. candidates must also fulfill a two-semester foreign language requirement and distribution requirements with a total of 31 classes. B.S.E. candidates follow a parallel track with an emphasis on a rigorous science and math curriculum, a computer science requirement, and at least two semesters of independent research including an optional senior thesis. All B.S.E. students must complete at least 36 classes. A.B. candidates typically have more freedom in course selection than B.S.E. candidates because of the fewer number of required classes. Nonetheless, in the spirit of a liberal arts education, both enjoy a comparatively high degree of latitude in creating a self-structured curriculum.

Undergraduates agree to conform to an academic honesty policy called the Honor Code. Students write and sign the honor pledge, "I pledge my honor that I have not violated the Honor Code during this examination," on every in-class exam. (The form of the pledge was changed slightly in 1980; it formerly read, "I pledge my honor that during this examination, I have neither given nor received assistance.") The Code carries a second obligation: Upon matriculation, every student pledges to report any suspected cheating to the student-run Honor Committee. Because of this code, students take all tests unsupervised by faculty members or teaching assistants. Violations of the Honor Code incur suspension or expulsion, the strongest of disciplinary actions. Out-of-class exercises are outside the Honor Committee's jurisdiction. In these cases, students are often expected to sign a pledge on their papers to aver that they have not plagiarized their work ("This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations.")

Graduate

Princeton offers postgraduate research degrees in mathematics, physics, astronomy and plasma physics, economics, geosciences, history, political science, psychology, philosophy, and English. Although Princeton offers professional graduate degrees in engineering, architecture, and finance, it has no medical school, law school, or business school like other research universities. The university's most famous professional school is the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, founded in 1930 as the School of Public and International Affairs and renamed in 1948 after university president Woodrow Wilson.

Libraries

The university's library system houses over eleven million holdings including six million bound volumes. The main university library, Firestone Library, which houses almost four million volumes, is one of the largest university libraries in the world and among the largest "open stack" libraries in existence. Its collections include the Blickling homilies. In addition to Firestone library, many individual disciplines have their own libraries, including architecture, art history, East Asian studies, engineering, geology, international affairs and public policy, Near Eastern studies, and psychology. Seniors in some departments can register for enclosed carrels in the main library for workspace and the private storage of books and research materials. In February 2007, Princeton became the 12th major library system to join Google's ambitious project to scan the world's great literary works and make them searchable over the Web.

Admissions and financial aid

Princeton is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, admitting only 9.25% of undergraduate applicants in 2008. In September 2006, the university announced that all applicants for the Class of 2012 would be considered in a single pool. In this way, the Early Decision program was effectively ended. In 2001, expanding on earlier reforms, Princeton was the first university to eliminate loans for all students who qualify for aid, . U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review both cite Princeton as the university that has the fewest number of graduates with debt even though 60% of incoming students are on some type of financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid estimates that Princeton seniors on aid will graduate with an average indebtedness of $2,360, compared to the national average of about $20,000.

Rankings

From 2001 to 2008, Princeton University was ranked first among national universities by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR). In 2009, it dropped to second, behind Harvard. It has been ranked eighth among world universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and sixth among world universities by THES - QS World University Rankings. This last source also ranked the university third in North America.

In the "America's Best Colleges" rankings by the Forbes magazine in 2008, Princeton University was ranked first among all national colleges and universities. The Forbes ranking also takes into consideration national awards won by students and faculty, as well as number of alumni in the 2008 "Who's Who in America" register.

In Princeton Review's rankings of "softer" aspects of students' college experience, Princeton University was ranked first in "Students Happy with Financial Aid" and third in "Happiest Students", behind Clemson and Brown Universities. These studies, however, discuss only undergraduate happiness.

The university's individual academic departments have been highly-ranked in their respective fields. The Department of Psychology has been ranked fifth in the nation and its individual graduate programs have received high national rankings as well. The behavioral neuroscience program has been ranked sixth and the social psychology program has been ranked seventh. The Department of History is currently ranked second, relinquishing the top spot to Yale intermittently in the last decade.

Princeton University also participates in the (NAICU)'s University and College Accountability Network (U-CAN).

Princeton University has an IBM BlueGeneL supercomputer, called Orangena, which was ranked as the 79th fastest computer in the world in 2005 (LINPACK performance of 4713 compared to 12250 for other U. S. universities and 280600 for the top-ranked supercomputer, belonging to the U. S. Department of Energy).

Student life and culture

Princeton's residential colleges host a variety of social events and activities, guest speakers such as Edward Norton, who showed a special sneak preview of Fight Club, and trips. The residential colleges are best known for their performing arts trips to New York City. Students sign up to take trips to see ballets, operas, Broadway shows, sports events, and other activities.

The eating clubs, located on Prospect Avenue, are co-ed organizations for upperclassmen. Most upperclassmen eat their meals at one of the ten eating clubs. Additionally, the clubs serve as evening and weekend social venues for members and guests.

Princeton hosts two Model United Nations conferences, PMUNC in the fall for high school students and PICSim in the spring for college students. It also hosts the Princeton Invitational Speech and Debate tournament each year at the end of November. Princeton also runs Princeton Model Congress, an event that is held once a year in mid-November. The 4-day conference has high school students from around the country as participants.

Although the school's admissions policy is "need-blind" Princeton, based on the proportion of students who receive Pell Grants, was ranked as a school with little economic diversity among all national universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report. While Pell figures are widely used as a gauge of the number of low-income undergraduates on a given campus, the rankings article cautions "the proportion of students on Pell Grants isn't a perfect measure of an institution's efforts to achieve economic diversity."

Traditions

  • Arch Sings - Late-night concerts that feature one or several of Princeton's thirteen undergraduate a cappella groups. The free concerts take place in one of the larger arches on campus. Most are held in Blair Arch or Class of 1879 Arch.
  • Bonfire - Ceremonial bonfire that takes place in Cannon Green behind Nassau Hall. It is held only if Princeton beats both Harvard University and Yale University at football in the same season. The most recent bonfire was lit November 17, 2006, after a twelve-year drought.
  • Bicker - Selection process for new-members that is employed by selective eating clubs. Prospective members, or bickerees, are required to perform a variety of activities at the request of current members.
  • Cane Spree - An athletic competition between freshmen and sophomores that is held in the fall.
  • The Clapper or Clapper Theft - The act of climbing to the top of Nassau Hall to steal the bell clapper, which rings to signal the start of classes on the first day of the school year. For safety reasons, the clapper has now been removed permanently.
  • Class Jackets (Beer Jackets) - Each graduating class designs a Class Jacket that features its class year. The artwork is almost invariably dominated by the school colors and tiger motifs.
  • Communiversity - An annual street fair with performances, arts and crafts, and other activities that attempts to foster interaction between the university community and residents of the Princeton.
  • Dean's Date - The Tuesday at the end of each semester when all written work is due. This day signals the end of reading period and the beginning of final examinations. Traditionally, undergraduates gather outside McCosh Hall before the 5:00 p.m. deadline to cheer on fellow students who have left their work to the very last minute.
  • FitzRandolph Gate - At the end of Princeton's graduation ceremony, the new graduates process out through the main gate of the university as a symbol of the fact that they are leaving college. According to tradition, anyone who leaves campus through FitzRandolph Gate before his or her own graduation date will not graduate. Entering campus through the gate is not considered to compromise a student's graduation.
  • Gilding the Lily - Promotion ceremony at the 25th reunion of a class. Alumnae of the University (aka "Tiger Lilies") enjoy the courting of male classmates, amid song and much drink (see Newman's Day). Traditional chants include: "In Princeton Town the Youth abound, and do young Tigers make. Women return as Gilded Lilies, the men as Frosted Flakes".
  • Holder Howl - The midnight before Dean's Date, students from Holder Hall and elsewhere gather in the Holder courtyard and take part in a minute-long, communal primal scream to vent frustration from studying with impromptu, late night noise making.
  • Houseparties - Formal parties that are held simultaneously by all of the eating clubs at the end of the spring term.
  • Lawnparties - Parties that feature live bands that are held simultaneously by all of the eating clubs at the start of classes and at the conclusion of the academic year.
  • Locomotive - Chant traditionally used by Princetonians to acknowledge a particular year or class. It goes: "Hip... hip... rah rah rah tiger tiger tiger sis sis sis boom boom boom bah!" Following it are three chants of the class that is being acknowledged. It is commonly heard at Opening Exercises in the fall as alumni and current students welcome the freshman class.
  • Newman's Day - Students attempt to drink 24 beers in the 24 hours of April 24. According to the New York Times, "the day got its name from an apocryphal quote attributed to Paul Newman: '24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not.' Newman has spoken out against the tradition, however.
  • Nude Olympics - Annual nude and partially nude frolic in Holder Courtyard that takes place during the first snow of the winter. Started in the early 1970s, the Nude Olympics went co-ed in 1979 and gained much notoriety with the American press. For safety reasons, the administration banned the Olympics in 2000 to the chagrin of students.
  • Prospect 11 - referring to the act of drinking a beer at all eleven eating clubs on The Street in a single night. With the recent closure of Campus Club, this has been replaced by Prospect 10. However, because Cannon Club is due to reopen in Spring 2008, Prospect 11 will once again become a tradition among undergraduates.
  • P-rade - Traditional parade of alumni and their families. They process through campus by class year during Reunions.
  • Reunions - Annual gathering of alumni that is held the weekend before graduation.
  • The Phantom of Fine Hall - A former tradition that, before 1993, was the legend of an obscure, shadowy figure that would infest Fine Hall, home to the Mathematics Department, and write complex equations on blackboards. Although mentioned in Rebecca Goldstein's 1980s The Mind-Body Problem, a book about Princeton graduate student life (Penguin, reissued 1993), the legend self-deconstructed in the 1990s when the Phantom turned out to be John Forbes Nash, the inventor of the Nash equilibrium. The former Phantom, by then also haunting the computation center where, courtesy of handlers in the Mathematics Department, he was a sacred monster with a guest account who shared the 1994 Nobel Prize and is now a recognized member of the University community. (Unlike the book, the film version of A Beautiful Mind does not attempt to be factual; its screenwriter called it "a stab at the truth… but not by way of the facts.")

Athletics

The Princeton Review, a publication that is unaffiliated with the university, declared Princeton the 10th strongest "jock school" in the nation. It has also been ranked consistently at the top of TIME's "Strongest College Sports Teams" list. Most recently, Princeton was ranked as a top 10 school for athletics by Sports Illustrated. Princeton is well known for its men's and women's crews, which have won several NCAA and Eastern Sprints titles in recent years.

Princeton won a record 21 conference titles from 2000–2001. By the end of 2004, Princeton had garnered 36 Ivy League conference titles from the 2001–2004 sports seasons.

The university's field field hockey team has taken every field hockey conference title since 1994.

Princeton's men's and women's squash teams have earned a strong reputation during the past decade. The men have won the Ivy League championship from 2006-2008 and have placed second nationally in five of the past seven champtionships.

Princeton's basketball team is perhaps the best known team within the Ivy League. It is nicknamed the "perennial giant killer," a nickname that it acquired during Pete Carril's coaching career from 1967–1996. Its most notable upset was the defeat in defense of UCLA, NCAA basketball champion, in its opening round and Carril's final collegiate victory in that season's collegiate basketball playoffs. During that 29-year span, Pete Carril won thirteen Ivy League championships and received eleven NCAA berths and two NIT bids. Princeton won the NIT championship in 1975. The deliberate "Princeton offense" is a legacy of his coaching career. It is employed by a number of other collegiate basketball teams.

From 1992–2001, a nine year span, Princeton's men's basketball team entered the NCAA tournament four times. Notably, the conference has never had an at-large entry in the NCAA tournament. For the last half-century, Princeton and Penn have traditionally battled for men's basketball dominance in the Ivy League; Princeton had its first losing season in 50 years of Ivy League basketball in 2005. Princeton tied the record for fewest points in a Division I game since the 3-point line started in 1986–87 when they scored 21 points in a loss against Monmouth University on December 14, 2005.

The university's men's lacrosse team has enjoyed significant success since the early 1990s and is widely recognized as a perennial powerhouse in the Division I ranks. The team has won thirteen Ivy League titles (1992, 1993, 1995–2004, 2006) and six national titles (1992, 1994, 1996–1998, 2001).

Princeton's women's track & field team has also enjoyed great success under Head Coach Peter Farrell.

The Princeton women's volleyball team has won thirteen Ivy League titles and, in 1998, its men's volleyball team became the first non-scholarship school to make the NCAA Final Four in 25 years.

Princeton also boasts a strong women's soccer program. In 2004, the team went to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. It became the only Ivy League team (men's or women's) to do so in a 64-team tournament. In 2005, the women's soccer team made the NCAA Final Four to become the first Ivy League team to accomplish this feat.

The first football game played between teams representing American colleges was an unfamiliar ancestor of today's college football because it was played under soccer-style London Football Association rules. The game, between Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), took place on November 6, 1869 at College Field (now the site of the College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers won by a score of six "runs" to Princeton's four. The 1869 game between Rutgers and Princeton is notable because it is the first documented game of any sport called "football" between two American colleges. It is also noteworthy because it occurred two years before a codified rugby game would be played in England. The Princeton/Rutgers game was significantly different from American rules football today but, nonetheless, it was the first inter-collegiate football contest in the United States. Another similar game took place between Rutgers and Columbia University in 1870 and the popularity of intercollegiate competition in football would spread throughout the country shortly thereafter.

Song

Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement, convocation, and athletic games is Princeton Cannon Song, the Princeton University fight song.

Old Nassau

Old Nassau has been Princeton University's anthem since 1859. Its words were written that year by a freshman, Harlan Page Peck, and published in the March issue of the Nassau Literary Magazine. The words and music appeared together for the first time in Songs of Old Nassau, published in April 1859. Before the Langlotz tune was written, the song was sung to Auld Lang Syne's melody, which also fits. The text of Old Nassau is available from Wikisource.

However, Old Nassau does not only refer to the university's anthem. It can also refer to Nassau Hall, the building that was built in 1756 and named after William III of the House of Orange-Nassau. When built, it was the largest college building in North America. It served briefly as the capitol of the United States when the Continental Congress convened there in the summer of 1783. By metonymy, the term can refer to the university as a whole. Finally, it can also refer to a chemical reaction that is dubbed "Old Nassau" because the solution turns orange and then black.

Notable alumni and faculty

Princeton University has been and is home to a renowned group of scholars, scientists, writers, and statesmen that includes four United States presidents, two of whom graduated from the university. James Madison and Woodrow Wilson graduated from Princeton, Grover Cleveland was not an alumnus but served as a trustee for several years while he spent his retirement in the town of Princeton, and John F. Kennedy spent his freshman fall at the university before leaving due to illness and later transferring to Harvard University.

In fiction

Literature

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary debut, This Side of Paradise, is a loosely autobiographical story of his years at Princeton. A Princeton Alumni Weekly on Princeton fiction called it the "Ur novel of Princeton life.
  • In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, the character Robert Cohn attended Princeton.
  • Geoffrey Wolff's The Final Club is a coming-of-age book about Nathaniel Auerbach Clay, a fictional member of the Princeton Class of 1960 (Wolff was an actual member of this class). The Final Club is written as homage to F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby.
  • Princeton plays a large part in the second half of Stephen Fry's Making History, in which the protagonist, Michael Young, attends Princeton.
  • Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is partly set at Princeton and the characters Changez and Erica are fictional members of the Princeton Class of 2001. (Hamid was an actual member of the Princeton Class of 1993).
  • The book The Rule of Four is set on Princeton's campus and the campus of neighboring Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • In Her Shoes, a novel by Jennifer Weiner '91: Rose Feller is a Princeton grad. Her younger sister Maggie camps out in a Princeton library.

Film

  • Scenes for the upcoming 2009 film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were filmed at several locations on campus in July and August of 2008.
  • In A Beautiful Mind, the Academy Award-winning film about the famous mathematician John Forbes Nash, the depiction of Nash's initial days at Princeton were filmed on campus. Although the film is a fictionalized biography, in real life Nash did receive his doctorate from Princeton and is currently a Senior Research Mathematician at the university's Mathematics Department.
  • The movie I.Q., which stars Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins with Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, takes place in Princeton. The scene in which Tim Robbins' character gives a lecture was filmed in Room 302 of the Palmer Physics Laboratory, which is part of Frist Campus Center.
  • The university is one of the destinations of Harold and Kumar, the main characters of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Though the characters visit campus locations filled with undergraduate students, the film was actually filmed in the graduate dormitories.
  • In the film Risky Business, Tom Cruise portrays a high school student whose father wishes him to attend Princeton. Joel Goodeson, Cruise's character, is interviewed by a Princeton alum.
  • Spanglish, a film featuring comedian Adam Sandler, is presented as an essay on a fictional Princeton application. The film was released in 2004.
  • In the movie A Cinderella Story, a major part of the storyline revolves around Chad Michael Murray's and Hilary Duff's characters both aiming to attend Princeton to study writing.
  • Across the Universe's Jude, played by Jim Sturgess, comes to America to find his lost father at the university. While he is there, he encounters Max, played by Joe Anderson, an actual Princeton student.
  • Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale's character in the critically-acclaimed film Batman Begins, attends Princeton as an undergraduate. Though he informs butler Alfred Pennyworth that he likes the university "just fine," he drops out and flees to China.
  • In the Coen Brothers' 2008 film Burn After Reading John Malkovich plays CIA analyst and Princeton class of 1973 graduate Osborne Cox.

Television

  • The characters of House, M.D. work at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. The exterior shots of the fictional builing feature Frist Campus Center as the alleged outside facade of the hospital. In reality, the university lacks a medical school and the fictional hospital is directly based on Yale-New Haven Hospital, the only Ivy League hospital that combines the name of the host university with the physical location of the hospital. Lisa Sanders, M.D., of Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven is one of the show's three medical advisors.
  • In the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Carlton Banks' dream school is Princeton University and he eventually attends the university as the series ends.
  • In Family Ties, "Young Republican" Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) spends the first two seasons of the series preparing to attend Princeton. While visiting for an on-campus interview, Mallory has an emotional crisis. Ultimately, Alex chooses to tend to her rather than complete his interview, thus destroying any possibility of attending Princeton.
  • In the Beverly Hillbillies, Mrs. Dysdale's son Sonny mentions attending Princeton (and Harvard and Yale), and Harvard and Princeton pennants hang on his wall.

Gallery

See also

References

External links

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