Talk:Princeton University/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Sort faculty from alums

Can someone sort faculty from alums, and maybe edit the list? At the moment, it's a lot longer than the information about the school. Vicki Rosenzweig

I created separate sections for alumni and professors. The list is definitely too long right now--I was thinking about turning it into a separate page like this one. What do you think?

Also tried to standardize descriptions of people and added a lot of links to other wikipedia pages. Psp 20:04, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC) What about famous people who attended but did not graduate, the most notable being Scott Fitzgerald? - Ed Nilges

As far as I know, class membership and alumni status is conferred at matriculation, which is how the Alumni Council can straight-facedly call F. Scott an alum. I believe the correct notation is "Class of 'whatever; did not graduate." See [1]. jdb ❋ (talk) 4 July 2005 13:31 (UTC)


Never heard of this one. Source?: jdb ❋ (talk) 04:48, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Pre-ade - parade for first-year students; they walk from the Chapel to West College while being harassed by upperclassmen

Was re-added as:

  • Pre-rade - parade for first-year students; they walk from the Chapel to West College while being harassed by upperclassmen

Edit summary says this was confirmed by an '08. I don't doubt that it was, but we shouldn't add things that were invented in 2005 to the list of "traditions" until they've been established for a while. jdb ❋ (talk) 16:52, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm a graduating senior in the Princeton University Band, and I also confirm the pre-rade's creation this year. The band led the freshmen. The route goes from the Chapel out to Nassau Street, from which the freshmen enter the Fitz-Randolph Gate for the first time. According to superstition, students are not to leave that gate until commencement ceremonies. Tadanisakari 09:22, May 22, 2005 (UTC)

Aha. In a 250-year-old institution, we probably should give it a few more years before counting it as a tradition. jdb ❋ (talk) 4 July 2005 13:27 (UTC)
Agreed. I think it's reasonable, at minimum, to say that we should wait until it happens twice to say that its a tradition. It is generally considered Matt Margolin's brainchild, and if it survives him - and has the size and impact in fall 2005 that it had in fall 2004 - then let's put it as a tradition, indicating that it started in fall 2004 so is a very young tradition. However, if it appears that it has diminished popularity, or doesn't happen at all, well, then it's not a tradition yet. Sirmob 4 July 2005 15:42 (UTC)
Not four times, so that no-one remembers the beginning? Septentrionalis 20:19, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
We can debate how many times it takes, a tradition to make later - but it's more than one. I'd be comfortable with saying it's "a very new traidtion" if it's happened twice and, because it is university supported, is likely to continue. Sirmob 23:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


I publish student written guidebooks for over 200 individual universities in the U.S. In the most recent Princeton edition the students only refer to the P-rade not the Pre-rade or Pre-ade. They offer this explanation...

Formally, the Alumni Parade, the P-rade occurs the Saturday of class reunions. The twenty-fifth reunion class heads the parade, followed by each of alumni classes wearing their signature beer jackets. At the end of the P-rade, the graduating class runs onto Elm Drive to join the procession. Princeton’s oldest cheer, dating by some accounts from the 1890s, has the sound of a locomotive. It starts slowly and picks up speed and volume. This is a popular cheer during the annual P-rade.

Is the Pre-rade/Pre-ade a separate event?

from the College Prowler guidebook, Princeton University - Off the Record

Yes, see above; it must, in fact, be at a different time of year, since (almost?) all underclassmen are off-campus during the alumni weekend, and their rooms are filled like sardine-cans with returning alumni. Septentrionalis 18:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Gothic buildings

There are no gothic buildings on the campus dating to the eighteenth century. Only two buildings, Nassau Hall and Maclean House werre built before 1800. The first gothic structure was Chancellor Green, constructed in 1873. The first collegiate gothic building, Blair Hall, was finished in 1897. Most of the gothic structures were built in the twentieth century. [D.M.K.]

Wikipedia articles are editable by anyone. So you don't have to suggest changes on article talk pages, you can change the article itself. I'd suggest having a quick look at Wikipedia:Welcome, newcomers first though. Cheers, snoyes 15:15, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Scott Moore

I snipped: Scott Moore (Class of '08), a graduate of the Li Po Chun United World College, describes the scholarship as "a fillip for the evolution of internationalism and cultural diversification on campus".

Whatever. This is non-NPOV. (And unconvincing, given that as of December, an '08 will have been on the campus for exactly three months.) Why was this in the article to begin with? It appears to have been added from an IP address at UVa.jdb 23:49, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Tigers vs. lions

As to the tigers-vs-lions issue (I just reverted a change on this topic today): the sculptures outside of Nassau Hall are Tigers. They _were_ lions up until 1911, when the class of '79 replaced them with tigers. The original lion sculptures sat in storage until 1998, when they were reinstalled at the south enterence to Wilson College, between Wilcox Hall and Class of 1938 Hall. details jdb 16:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I've never seen this film. What does it have to do with Princeton? (I wanted to finish up the sentence, but I didn't know what would have been accurate. IMDB link for I.Q. --Idont Havaname 07:12, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Setting
    • Many of the scenes are filmed on the Princeton Battlefield. But there are a few on the Princeton campus, as well as on Nassau and Witherspoon Streets (Hamilton Jewelers and Lahiere's...a restaurant Einstein patronized...among other things). —ExplorerCDT 07:50, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Also, a scene was shot in what is now known as Frist Campus Center, Room 302 Tadanisakari 09:23, May 22, 2005 (UTC)
    • And the Cottage library( 04:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC))

"The stone"

  • The Stone - short for Firestone Library. Also can be used as a verb, as in "getting 'stoned" meaning writing a thesis in a carrel in the basement, C-floor

I've never heard this word. It's also it's also not in the Prince's vocabulary list. jdb ❋ (talk) 17:09, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ed Nilges spinoza1111:

I owed Firestone Library 200 bucks when I left the University's employ in 1992 and never heard it called the Stone.

I did meet The Secret Camel Smoker of Firestone Library who was a graduate student who smoked unfiltered Camels in the only room allowed at the time.


Oh, for heaven's sake, the "prestige" silliness that's infected and shut down any meaningful progress around the ivy league has come to roost. I've added a ref to the #1 U.S. News ranks. There's a ref to the times higher ed supplement rank (#9) here:; the original requires you to register (supposedly free, but I can't stand that sort of thing). Not sure how their ranks compare to U.S. news's, although all of this business of college ranking is fairly silly. (I suppose we have a page on that, too. On that same note, why has Princeton been #1 for 5 of 6 years? Is an alum an editor at U.S. News?) Maybe we can get back to fixing princeton's anemic history section now... jdb ❋ (talk) 00:50, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's not entirely clear to me why insisting that contentious claims be backed up with evidence is "silly". Having at least one link is infinitely better than no link at all. Nohat 02:02, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Does this article need this sort of ranking at all? Doing disambiguation on Princeton showed me that every college in America has a reason why they're as good as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton - always in that order. If this sort of thing has any importance, surely it would be more useful to go out and randomize these a bit to HPY, or even PHY. Septentrionalis '79 01:48, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

"Princeton is ranked number 1 (tied with Harvard) according to the USATODAY 2006 college rankings."

I've removed the above from the intro—does a university of Princeton's stature really need to quote a ranking from freakin' USA Today? I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with its prestige. - Gku 06:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Hear, hear. If the word "prestige" (and all its variants) were striken from all of the Ivy League articles, Wikipedia would be a better place. jdb ❋ (talk) 08:49, 22 March 2006 (UTC)


People interested in this page may be interested in Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/HYP (universities) 2. —Lowellian (talk) 23:56, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

No mention of John Nash

I added the section on the Phantom of Fine Hall to the Traditions section - Edward Nilges, uid spinoza1111.

grade inflation

From what i have read about in the news, princeton is currently doing a 180 to try to combat its rampant grade inflation problems. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with the school than I should incorporate this into the main article.

From many of our standpoints, grade inflation simply was never an issue. Princeton is in the middle of the pack for the most prestigious US universities: <a href="">[1]</a>. The 'A' level grades have dropped, university wide, from ~48% to 40%. However, in the natural sciences, they've stayed basically the same - at about 27% before the grade inflation policy began, and at about 27% currently. This is certainly below the national average. These student aren't exactly chopped liver too... With top graduate programs expecting A grades all over the place, I would hardly consider grade inflation 'rampant'. Princeton GPA's have been rather low historically (3.2-3.4 according to some references I can't remember) but their admission to professional schools have been quite excellent. Allegations of grade inflation, at least from my standpoint, within my field (in natural and mathematical science) are simply unfounded. The official stance is probably simply in place to remove or mitigate perceptions of an apparently 'run-away', 'rampant' problem, which, at the ground level, simply doesn't exist. Danielfong 05:21, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Relations with Princeton Theological Seminary

I am pleased to see that the anon comment on PTS has been toned down to a more neutral formulation. I would like, however, to see evidence that University alumni discuss the Seminary at all; much less to emphasize the separation. That's not my experience. Septentrionalis 15:52, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

As a relatively recent alum of Princeton University, I was surprised to see this "controversy" about the relationship between the University and the Theological Seminary alumni. When I was there, the University and the Seminary felt like separate institutions aside from reciprocating library privileges! 18:58, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

In addition to sharing library and other privileges, the Seminary and University operate a cross-registration program, enabling students to have either dual degree registrations or to take classes for credit in the either institution. There has never been a controversy about the relationship enjoyed by the Seminary and University. They are independent institutions (like other world-class Princeton institutions such as the Institute of Advanced Study (which is wrongly thought by some to be a school of Princeton University). Historical note: the seminary's name (Princeton Theological Seminary) predates the universitym which was called the College of New Jersey until the presidency of Francis Landey Patten (who left the U to become president of the Seminary). --Irishtimes 20:32, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I know someone who went to the seminary and she called it "Princeton". I later found out she attended the Seminary. I know that the Seminary is a great school and a leader of its kind. BUt it is NOT Princeton University. I called Princeton University, several schools/offices. to get information about this and I was surprised that the people at PU were VERY adament about the separation. I was told that basically they share the library and some courses were offered in a dual enrollement program-like MANY schools in the same town. BUt that they are VERY different schools with VERY different graduation & admission requirements.Eelmonkey 00:57, 5 September 2006 (UTC)


Suggest editing the "pong" definition to note that the game is currently known as "Beirut." No one on campus would ever refer to the game (any of a number of variations involving chucking ping pong balls into cups of beer) as "pong" or "beer pong" currently. This was also the case, for certain, as early as 1997 (the year I entered).

How things have changed...I remembered it as "beer pong" when I was there 1991-1995. Andrew73 00:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Reread the entry. There are two distinct games currently played at Princeton. Beirut and Beer Pong. Beer Pong uses ping-pong paddles to try to lob the ball into the cups of beer. Beirut is the more traditional game of throwing the ball into the cups. While some schools call the throwing game "Beer Pong," it is an entirely different game at Princeton. -Tadanisakari 19:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Brookhaven National Laboratory

The reference to Brookhaven National Laboratory does not belong in the lead section. First, it seems to me that the Laboratory is managed by Stony Brook University. While Princeton is affiliated with BNL according to this page [2], so are Columbia University, MIT, Cornell, Harvard and Yale. If someone wants to make clear exactly why the affiliation is noteworthy and belongs the lead section, I'd be interested, as it's not clear to me based on what I have found via Google. btm 01:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Fourth-oldest vs. Fifth-oldest

Okay, so there's a bit of disagreement about whether Princeton is the fourth- or fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in America. I see that Princeton was the fourth school to get a charter, but the fifth to be founded. I honestly don't know which is the "correct" measure, but if we agree that Princeton is the fourth-oldest school, then the list over at Colonial colleges needs to be corrected as well. Thoughts? -Tadanisakari 19:11, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I clarified that Princeotn was the fourth-oldest school to be chartered. But perhaps we should just say it's the fifth-oldest to be founded in the end. Andrew73 19:15, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Princeton is the only institution I'm aware of that uses "chartered" instead of "founded" when ranking its age. It seems a little silly, to be honest. Just go with the founding date; going with the charter technicality seems to be erring on the side of puffiness... and tigers aren't supposed to have manes.
Ok, that was dumb. JDoorjam 20:17, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
According to the list, and its own article, the technicality is the University of Pennsylvania, which while founded in 1740, did not actually teach anyone until 1749. (And the founding is, like Whig's, sorta dubious; a different organization which failed and was replaced by the ancestors of the University.) I will put forth-oldest to hold classes, and see if anyone reverts me. Septentrionalis 18:36, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I have no association with either school, BTW, but I've been picking away at this myself. I'd like people to discuss this some more at Talk:University of Pennsylvania#Academic processions and Penn-Princeton rivalry. In brief: a question and an opinion.

  • My question: does anyone know which institution marches first in academic processions, and how this is decided?
  • My opinion: in articles about individual schools the only thing that makes sense is to use the school's own "officially"-declared founding date, i.e. Penn and Princeton are both "fourth oldest," and put in footnotes. Which I've done. A case could be made for qualifying the founding year, probably in the case of every school, with a word like "ceremonial." IMHO the fact that Penn changed its founding year in 1899 in a way that affected its position vis-a-vis Penn needs to be stated plainly in the Penn article—and is, in the footnotes—and the fact that Princeton's rank of "fourth oldest" is not universally accepted needs to be stated plainly in the Princeton article&dash;and now is, in the footnotes. The reason for using the school's own claim is that IMHO all such claims on close examination appear to be strained, dodgy, and the result of clever sophistry in an attempt to claim earliest possible year. The chances of Wikipedians reaching a stable consensus on evaluating such claims is... a snowball's chance in hell. On the other hand, we do know what each college claims.

(The actual truth, of course, which has been divinely revealed to me, is that Princeton, Penn, and Columbia are in a dead heat, or so close as to make no real difference).

FWIW I am beginning to think Penn's 1740 claim is particularly strained and having a statue of George Whitefield doesn't change that.

Again, please discuss at Talk:University of Pennsylvania#Academic processions and Penn-Princeton rivalry. Dpbsmith (talk) 15:48, 28 January 2006 (UTC)


"Not only does the purchase of Orangena make Princeton among the few universities in the world with a supercomputer..."

Is this really true? I was under the impression that most schools had something supercomputers. Both schools I have been attended have several... They may not fall in the top 500 (I haven't checked), but "supercomputer" can be a pretty generic term Rm999 08:57, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Sounds wrong to me. Being an Apple fan, I recall that a year or two ago the University of Virginia made news with, yeah, here it is, System X, invariably described as a "supercomputer," made of a couple of thousand Macintosh G5's. It was said to be the third fastest computer at the world when it was first put online, and "the fastest supercomputer at any academic institution in the world (November, 2003 TOP500 List)." As of October 2004 was said to be running at 12.25 teraflops[3].
Supercomputers are typically defined as different from cluster or grid computers by cpu to cpu and memory system transfer speeds far outclassing the best cluster computers. While it's true that many cluster computers have much combined CPU speed, only so-called embarassingly parallel problems can be easily solved by them, as the interprocessor communication quickly builds until a cluster approach is completely ineffective. A supercomputer is also a fairly fluid term: today's desktops outclass old cray supercomputers, but the true state of the art in supercomputing has far outclassed the modern desktop in terms of speed growth, due to the now huge numbers of CPU's being used. Supercomputer itself is growing to be a vague statement, as most people would consider a computer one hundred times more powerful than the most impressive desktop available a 'supercomputer', while many on the top 100 list are one hundred times more powerful than that!Danielfong 06:20, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... here's the current list, , number 20, and still looks to me to the fastest at an academic institution. Nope, that would be Groningen, at number 9. Hmmm... Here's Orangena, at Princeton, at number 79. There are higher-ranking ones at MIT, BU, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden), University of Oklahoma, BYU, Nagoya University in Japan, University of Sherbrooke in Canada, Caltech, UCSD, and USC. You could count a lot more if you went down the list, and the list, although it is a list of 500, does claim to be a list of "supercomputers."
Unless I'm missing something in the way I'm reading the list, I say calling Princeton "among the few universities in the world with a supercomputer" is inaccurate. Of course, these vague statements... you could always say arbitrarily that we won't call it a supercomputer unless it's in the top 100, and gosh, a dozen universities is "a few." Dpbsmith (talk) 14:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I've changed it to:
Princeton University also recently purchased a supercomputer, Orangena, from IBM, as of 11/2005 the 79th fastest in the world (LINPACK performance of 4713; compare up to 12250 for other U. S. universities and 280600 for the top-ranked supercomputer, belonging to the U. S. Department of Energy)[4].
One could say "fastest in the Ivy League" if one wanted to... but who would want to? Actually, it looks to be the only supercomputer in the Ivy League.
Actually, it's quite an interesting assortment of universities on this list, defying neat categorizations. It would be a great puzzle question: "What list includes MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Bowie State University, and LSU, but not RPI, Georgia Tech, Yale, the University of Wisconsin, and Stanford?" Dpbsmith (talk) 14:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to do the pesky thing and point out that the Harvard Mark I pretty much in a class of it's own in it's time...Danielfong 06:12, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

please make it stop

"In fiction" was starting to become a list of every book, movie, or TV show that ever used the word "Princeton. I pared it down to just the media in which Princeton played a significant role. (I haven't seen/read most of these, so I may have made some mistakes.) jdb ❋ (talk) 07:32, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thank you. We don't need a list of everything that mentions the word "Princeton"; we're not an indiscriminate place of knowledge. Unless it's significant, it shouldn't be included in the section. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 21:09, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

External link

* Contains Princeton undergraduate theses.

This link does not seem useful to me; lots of universities have undergraduate theses. The difference is merely that Princeton requires them of all A.B. candidates (and since this site appears to require registration, a link to Mudd Library may be more useful anyway.) But I am open to persuasion. Septentrionalis 03:57, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

1) Princeton is nearly unique in requiring all A.B. candidates to complete an undergrad thesis. Most universities have on the order of 10-20% of their undergrad complete a thesis, princeton has 100%. In the article about Princeton, this is extremely notable, as it sets it apart in a unique and interesting way from other colleges.
2) A link to the Mudd library does not include -content-, making it subtantially less effect for students off campus.
3) While the site is not exactly filled (the research requires manual uploads), it's presence at dartmouth has been quite well recepted. I would argue that including a link to this site improves the quality of the article by improving the level of accessibility to the undergraduate theses, which might otherwise be too much effort to obtain.
4) I highly disagree with the notion of notable here. The argument over whether or not UPenn or Princeton was founded first seems thoroughly more ridiculous. Danielfong 04:18, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes Princeton is unique in having an undergraduate thesis requirement. However, this external link is not specific to Princeton, as it does not only contain Princeton undergraduate theses. The external links section is best focused on links that are specifically relevant to Princeton, otherwise, shouldn't we also include links to university libraries, college athletics, etc., etc.? Andrew73 11:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
The university libraries can be easily found via the university website, whereas this cannot. The university libraries provide a different service from I don't see how including would be the precident to include officially affiliated websites. I don't see how having the website include non-princeton undergraduate theses excludes this from being linked there. One point of contention is that there haven't been very many princeton theses uploaded (last time I checked, only 8). However I argue that with this link, that number will grow very quickly. Danielfong 20:31, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
The Princeton entry in Wikipedia should be focused on Princeton. The and Princeton are both interested in undergraduate work, but are not directly related to each other. Plus to include it in the external links section so that it will promote the popularity of isn't a valid reason either. Andrew73 21:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Deified Universities

Maybe I'm too quick to take alarm at the heading in this article, "History of the University," which I've changed to "History of Princeton." I'm hoping that capitalized-u-"University" is not a contagious form of boosterism.

Of course, it is appropriate to capitalize the word "university" when it is functioning as part of a title (which is kind of proper name), e.g. "Jonathan Dickinson was the first President of the College." However—as it says at [5]—Dickinson was also "the college's first president," lower-case c, lower-case p, not "the College's first President."

In a context where it is absolutely clear that "University" is functioning as a short form of the university's proper name, maybe a capital U is acceptable, but I fear that if it starts getting capitalized in one place people will start capitalizing it throughout--as happened recently within the University of Chicago article. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:40, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

It may well be deification, but "the University", so capped, is a usual short form of the name. I think the section would be better as simply "History"; "History of Princeton" could be read as the history of Princeton, New Jersey, a related but distinct subject. Septentrionalis 19:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Certainly works for me. Dpbsmith (talk) 19:37, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually... uh... you might... er... be right about "'the University', so capped, is a usual short form of the name" (i.e. when the context is that it is referring specifically to Princeton. Although different universities do seem to differ in their styles, and not to be perfectly consistent in their usage on their own websites. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:36, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
At one point I tried to removed all of the capitalized references to "the University" in the University of Chicago article, as it gives the article a hint of bias (whether that bias be intended or unintended); perhaps I just made it worse. I've found that the vast majority of the time when a common noun is stylized as a truncated form of an institutions's proper name, the document emanates from that institution. Hey whaddya know? It seems there has been consensus on this point: Wikipedia:MoS#Institutions. btm talk 06:43, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

GA on hold

In order to achieve GA :

Nitpicks for progression :

  • Inline external citations should be put in the References section.
  • Redlinks should be turned blue.
  • The lists at the end of the article should become prose. Lincher 00:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I have written the Fair use rationales and have also fixed up the external citations. So now I'm promoting the article to GA.--Konstable 02:24, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

The two Princetons

A dedicated student of New Jersey's civil boundaries insists that the first paragraph should read:

Princeton University is a coeducational private university on an extensive campus mostly in the Borough of Princeton and partly in the Princeton Township in New Jersey, United States.[6]

This, with its exaggerated edit summary, seems excessive weight for the two Princetons; especially since Princeton Borough was created in 1894 and Nassau Hall was built in 1756 (and then stood in South Brunswick Township, New Jersey). Is this the chief fact about the University?

All these facts are in Princeton, New Jersey, to which the present text links. It may be useful to note that Butler College is in a different municipality, in its due place. Septentrionalis 23:23, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Need to fix Neologisms

We need to figure out what we're doing with the neologisms section. As someone who deleted the lingo section from Charter Club recently said, take your pick, WP:WINAD or WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information. The lists are annoying, and one could double in size the lists based on reading the Freshman issue of The Daily Princetonian without adding anything of value.

I'm inclined to say that the whole thing needs to be merged back into the article in other places, that having the neologisms section actually hinders the article. To take a sample (DUP means that the same word is ALSO in traditions):

  • Bicker - DUP
  • D-Bar - Belongs to a (shockingly nonexistant!) section on graduate life
  • Dean's Date - Is honestly more of a tradition, like Dean's Date Theater. Or, even better, belongs in a section on Princeton's unique academic calendar.
  • Dinky - Since this is its own article on Princeton Branch,
  • Getting McCoshed/Getting PMC'ed - This is legitimate lingo, but then again princeton drinking culture could probably get its own article... I don't know where this goes
  • Hose - Belongs to eating clubs (Princeton University)
  • Intersession - Belongs in a section on Princeton's unique academic calendar
  • Junior Slums - This would be an example of lingo that doesn't really add anything to the reader of this article. It's a princetonism, to be sure, but it doesn't belong here.
  • Locomotive - Belongs in Princeton Reunions.
    • Or the section on sports. Septentrionalis 03:02, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Or both. In any case, I was just making the general point that it is movable, which I don't seem to hear any objection on. Sirmob 04:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

This is a significant undertaking but would improve the article, I think it's worth disussing before doing in this case. Sirmob 15:15, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I have followed debates on "lingo" and "slang" sections on numerous other school pages and in every case those sections have been removed. I agree with Sirmob that this section unambiguously violates a number of Wikipedia policies, so I will use another policy to Be Bold and delete it (as there is no longer any active debate). Nbruschi 23:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Eyes of a Tiger

Just because reverting the link to was not obviously noncontroversial, I wanted to write it into the talk. It's not entirely noncontroversial because the links section is kind of inconsistant quality in my opinion, but to add the blog at the beginning of its existence is jumping the gun by, I would say, at minimum a year or two; really I don't see it likely being inclusion-worthy ever, but as it stands it's not merely nonnotable, it's on the level of something made up in school one day. Sirmob 04:52, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

-- So you are going against what a wiki is for? Many of these articles are now being controlled so there is no free press anymore. If someone posted "myspace" when friendster had been around for many years, it would be removed - food for thought. MySpace now gets the last laugh. It's not something just made up in school. I'm not even in school anymore. I'm pretty sure a "princeton student" carries more weight than most. What I'm doing hasn't been done before. But, whatever, all my other projects I started at 15 are now very huge, so my blog that i'm starting is gonna be a hit. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Flasherize (talkcontribs) . (NOTE: I reverted edits to this comment by an anon ip, even though I am suspicious it was User:Flasherize just not logged in. I apologize in general and to Flasherize specifically if I made a mistake by doing so) Sirmob 19:53, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I am sympathetic to what you're saying, and I wish you the best of luck on making your blog effectual and important. However, after it becomes so, that is the time to put it on Wikipedia. I think the Wikipedia philosophy would absolutely delete "myspace" when frendster was big and myspace didn't exist, because Wikipedia does not want to try and predict the future. Sirmob 19:51, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Yea I got your point man. No problem, I run some companies by myself that have 10,000+ people and since no one helped me get big, i don't let others advertise either. Have a good one, hopefully your Princeton education went well. ;)

Library size

Previously, the article said

The university's libraries have over 11 million holdings; the main university library, Firestone Library, housing almost four million volumes, is one of the largest university libraries in the world (and among the largest "open stack" libraries in existence)

The ALA says that as of August 2005 the Princeton library held 6,224,270 volumes.[7] This seems like the right statistic to use, although this does not necessarily contradict "over 11 million holdings" for some suitable definition of "holdings." But in any case the 11 million isn't sourced. One can assume that the American Library Association is reasonably neutral and using comparable definitions in judging library size.

Similarly, "one of the largest university libraries in the world" is vacuously true, but since it is only the seventeenth-largest university library in the United States I don't think this jibes with what most people would understand to be meant by "one of the largest in the world. Again, this statement is not sourced.

Finally, the four million volumes in the Firestone Library are said to make it "among the largest 'open stack' libraries in existence). Again, vacuously true, but let's have a source, preferably one for the actual rank, because the University of Chicago's Regenstein holds 4.5 million, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds 7.5 million volumes in its main library, and Chicago is boasting of beating Illinois soon when they complete a planned expansion to 8 million volumes.[8]. Saying it is "among the largest" doesn't smell right to me; I'll bet a nickel at even money there are quite a few university library buildings with open stacks holding three to five million volumes (Widener has 3.5 million) and that Princeton is within a cluster of a dozen or so, not an outlier. I'll happily pay the nickel if someone cites a source to the contrary.

Princeton obviously has a superb library, but I'm not convinced that it's exceptional by Ivy League standards or that it is appropriate to use vague phrases like "among the largest in the world." Dpbsmith (talk) 21:10, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

P. S. So, is the Firestone is so big that it is slowly sinking into the ground due to the architect's failure to allow for the weight of the books?  :-) Joke. Smiley. Dpbsmith (talk) 21:17, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Library size

The Firestone website refers to 11 million "holdings," not volumes. The ALA list refers to 6,224,270 "volumes." Neither source is very clear on how they perform the count; I'm going to email the ALA with a query about this.

We shouldn't speculate on the meaning of the numbers but it is extremely unlikely that the ALA list is referring to anything other than entire library systems, since they refer to "Princeton University," not "Firestone Library," and e.g. they cite Harvard as having "15,181,349 volumes" whereas Widener has only 3.5 million.

In any case, the ALA is a neutral source and probably counts different university libraries in the same way, so I think it is a better source to cite for university library sizes than the universities' own sites. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:14, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, that depends on how the ALA actually counts. I'm sure they rely on the numbers given to them by the libraries and so there could be a difference in how they each give the numbers of their holdings. I doubt, for example, that Harvard's 15 million includes only books and no other holdings, e.g. manuscripts and other non-print items. --D. Webb 22:28, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
A link on the ALA page gets me to an Association of Research Libraries "ARL Stats" website. Various reports can be generated. I'm not sure whether there's a way to generate a link to a specific report, so I'm going to try inserting the html and we'll see how it looks. I'm listing Harvard and Princeton for comparison. I'm not sure that I'm much the wiser as to how Princeton gets to 11 million "holdings," unless they are including microforms (in which case the total would exceed 11 million)
I notice, however, that Harvard's library chooses to quote "volumes" [9] and their number, "more than 15.39 million volumes" accords well with the ALA's number. I'd assume that if Harvard chose to cite "holdings" and defined it the same way Princeton does, the number would be a 'lot higher than fifteen million.
Yale, too, chooses to quote "volumes" on their own library website[10] and the number they quote, "Total volumes in the Yale University Library system plus the Law School, as of 10/31/2005: 12,025,695," accords well with the ALA factsheet. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Report for 2004

Region 1 2
Membership Year 1932 1932
Canadian Exchange Rate 1 1
Volumes Held 15391906 6373184
Volumes Added, Gross 302173 154045
Volumes Added, Net 234580 148914
Monographs Purchased . 73510
Current Serials Purchased . 43593
Current Serials Not Purchased . 1041
Total Current Serials 100009 44634
Microforms 9665301 6364743
Government Documents . 715362
Manuscripts and Archives . 33058
Cartographic Materials . 324121
Graphic Materials . 110577
Sound Recordings . 84475
Video and Film . 3617
Computer Files . 7844

Proposal: Major Edit of the article?

I know that this article was nominated as a Good Article, but I think this article can be significantly improved. Thus, in the next few days, I'd like to discuss the possibility of organizing a major coöperative edit of this article to start sometime over the next week or two. Optimally, I'd like to see the Princeton article look like what the Rutgers University article will look like in the next few days. Both articles have needed a reworking. Right now, I'm using Cornell, Yale, Columbia and a few others as influences on how I rescope the Rutgers article. What I'm proposing is to do something similar here. Anyone up for joining me on the challenge? Any suggestions on what they'd like to see in the article?—ExplorerCDT 17:49, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that one such major edit would be to put the reqirements for graduation under "Undergraduate Program" rather than under "About Princeton." Currently the only thing under "Undergraduate Program is a pharagraph about the honor code so the heading is misleading.

Yearly expenses

A more interesting figure than Endownment (money which you doesn't spend on research) is the actual figure what the university does spend on research and teaching. Please add it to the page.

The importance of the endowment is that the interest on it does support research and teaching; in fact, much of Princeton's budget. Getting an exact figure for the part of the budget which is so spent would probably be original research, unfortunately. Septentrionalis 17:56, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Washington Monthly (again)

Most of the more popular rankings are tied to academic prestige, quality of students, quality and productivity of faculty, etc., and this reflects what I think is the common conception of what makes an excellent academic institution. Using these criteria, Princeton is almost always in the top five. While I only have a high-level understanding of how the WM rankings work, abruptly ranking Princeton 43rd certainly needs an explanation of the methods used. And I wonder if the WM is worth the several sentences needed to properly expain their methodology. I can be convinced otherwise, but please let me know what you think. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:54, 5 October 2006 (UTC).

  • You're probably right. I don't like the Washington Monthly rankings; they're not "real," and Washington Monthly is trying to prove a point. I'm afraid my edit was a knee-jerk reaction to selective removal of information, but I think you have a point. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:17, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Merger from Woodrow Wilson College

Bad idea....the Woodrow Wilson article has a lot of room for expansion and can stand on its own. Pillarpt 06:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Favor not merging. There's also a separate article on Rockefeller College. Andrew73 12:29, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Favour merging. Most of those articles can be reduced into a sentence or two, they are cruft articles.—ExplorerCDT 00:41, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

29-01-2007: Provanity deleted.--

I found this sentence

Other works include those of the John B. Putnam, Jr., Memorial Collection of twentieth-century sculpture, including works by such modern masters as Alexander Calder, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. to be annoying because it uses the words work and include twice, each, and that's not good writing. But more important, I pulled Claude Monet because I don't think any sculpture by him is part of the Putnam Collection. Carptrash 06:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

"By most standards, it is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S."

"By most standards" is a pure example of weasel terms.

It's not for Wikipedia to adjudicate this matter. The simple truth of the matter is that Harvard is really old, William and Mary and Yale are very old, and Princeton is one of a bunch of schools that were founded at about the same time.

But if we're going to get into it... the "founding" date is the date that matters and the point of institutional pride, because it governs the order of march in academic processions. Which is of course why you find disputes and creative interpretations of history with regard to founding dates, whereas there is usually little dispute about other dates, such as when classes were first conducted. So it is not correct to say that "by most standards" Princeton is fourth-oldest, because the founding date really has a special significance that is different from the others.

I once emailed Princeton on what happens when they host an academic procession, and was told that the custom is for the hosting institution to accept the guest institution's self-reported year of founding, meaning that Princeton lets Penn march ahead of them. A matter of gentlemanly courtesy.

So, Princetonians, you can decide. If you don't want to clutter up the paragraph, and you want an undisputed "fourth," you can say Princeton was fourth to conduct classes. If you want "fourth founded" or "fourth oldest," that had better be qualified as a claim, because that's what it is, no matter how justified it may be.

I'd add that even by 1818, Princeton (and the others) would not have been recognizable to any of us. Writing in 1818, a Scot, one John M. Duncan, in a book about his travels through the still-mildly-exotic North American continent, wrote:

A college was founded here [in Princeton] in the year 1738[sic], which gradually attained to a highly respectable rank as a literary institution... Academical institutions, like those of other kinds, are subject to many vicissitudes of fortune; and Princeton College, from the limited number of its Faculty, is more so than some others. In the sister establishments of Yale and Harvard, where the Professors are so much more numerous, a casual mediocrity of talent in one or two, is generally compensated by eminence in the rest; but here where a President, two Professors, and two Tutors, form the whole corporation, much more depends upon their individual abilities.
Upon the President, besides the general superintendence, devolves the instruction of the Students, in Theology, Moral Philosophy, Belles Lettres, and Logic; one of the Professors teaches the Greek and Latin languages, the other Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Chemistry.... [1]

Those five staff were teaching all of 150 students. Who knew tigers only as exotic beasts, didn't wear orange and black, didn't sing about going back to Old Nassau, and didn't try to bicker Ivy.

So it's all pretty silly, anyway. Between the early 1800s and the late 1800s, these schools transformed themselves into something clearly resembling the present-day institutions... just as the U. S. transformed itself from a nation where it was a major adventure for Lewis and Clark to cross the country, to one where you could ship goods reliably by rail and conduct business via telegraph.

It really doesn't matter whether the thin and symbolic thread of institutional continuity extends back to 1740 or 1746 or 1749. Dpbsmith (talk) 13:23, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Issues of mascots, staff size, or recognition seem a little tangential to the point you're making. —This is part of a comment by Sirmob , which got interrupted by the following:
They seem to be because, well, they are. Dpbsmith (talk) 23:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
However, I think the changes you made are an improvement, though I am dubious that the paragraph is now a bit heavyweight to be the second paragraph in the article - maybe the second and third paragraphs should be switched? Sirmob 16:43, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'll try something... but if you have other ideas, go ahead. Dpbsmith (talk) 23:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry; Rutgers was founded in 1766. Twenty years are not "a few". (Columbia's claim to continuity to its claimed founding date is stronger than Penn's; but not much. Columbia was run, after 1784, by different men, with a different charter; but this belongs there, not here. Penn does.)Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:31, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Reorganization and Good Article Review

I reorganized the article into more discrete sections (per the WikiProject Universities structure) and removed a lot of the cruft and boosterism to make the article more readable. As it stands right now, I don't believe this article qualifies as a Good article given the dearth of cited references and stubby coverage in important sections. I am putting it up for WP:GA/R so that some more sets of eyes can review and improve it.Madcoverboy 21:54, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

What needs to be addressed:
  • Embedded lists
  • poor verifiability due to inconsistent and sparse citations
  • Condense or summary-style discussion of prominent buildings, traditions, fictional representations merit
  • More attention to faculty & research, current administration, departments & programs, noted alumni, important historical eras like WWII, Cold War, last 25 years)
Madcoverboy 15:24, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

The issues raised at the Good Article Review have not been addressed and the result of the review is: delist. Additional comments can be found here. Geometry guy 15:41, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Pell Grant Statistic

In the student life section, this sentence keeps being added: "However, this statistic is potentially misleading, as the university offers its own aid in the form of grants." This is completely false. Pell grants are ALWAYS applied to a student who qualifies when calculating their need. Otherwise the university would be turning down thousands of dollars from the government for each student who qualifies. Say, for example, that student John Smith has $35,000 in need, and qualifies for a $2000 Pell Grant. The Pell Grant would be applied, and the university would offer it's own grant, namely $33,000. John would pay nothing (hence the no-loans financial aid policy). The only difference between princeton and another school is that at another school the $33,000 would not be all grants; John Smith would have to take out some loans. For this reason, there is nothing misleading about the statistic. Pell grants are not a perfect measure of economic diversity, but that is stated in the reference, and previously was stated in the article (I think someone removed it when cleaning up the article). Perhaps putting that disclaimer in would calm some nerves. However, it is the best metric available, and the fact that the university has a good financial aid system has nothing to do with it. Please discuss below (with references please!) if you feel I'm wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

{{editprotected|Please re-add the clarification removed by (talk · contribs) or delete the paragraph in its entirety, as it manages to be both misleading and POV in its current form.}}

It is not POV or misleading, as I pointed out in my comments above. You haven't given a reason why it is POV or misleading. I have an idea for a compromise. The following text was used before the article was cleaned up and reorganized a few months ago:
Although the school's admissions policy is "need-blind" Princeton was ranked last (based on the proportion of students receiving Pell Grants) in economic diversity among all national universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report.[2] According to the rankings, "the proportion of students on Pell Grants isn't a perfect measure of an institution's efforts to achieve economic diversity. Still, many experts say that Pell figures are the best available gauge of how many low-income undergrads there are on a given campus."
This way it is accurately conveyed that pell grant statistics are not a perfect measure, but are the best metric available. This way there is nothing POV or misleading. What do you think? 16:35, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
My take is that either this solution needs a citation for many experts say, or else perhaps the According to the rankings... sentence should be changed to 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... sirmob 19:45, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
That seems fine to me. So can we agree on following paragraph? 20:13, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Although the school's admissions policy is "need-blind" Princeton was ranked last (based on the proportion of students receiving Pell Grants) in economic diversity among all national universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report.[3] 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."
I've disabled the editprotected request. This article was just protected; it needs a cool-off period. Also, editprotected requests are for non-controversial changes. Cheers. --MZMcBride 20:53, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to make this change as there has been little comment and the article is no longer protected. sirmob 14:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Please please please, there has already been a page lock, a (kind of silly) sockpuppet accusation, and a 3RR over this single clause/sentence. I would really appreciate hearing more about why Princeton's grants so skew the ranking, if its true that they do, but please please please discuss these changes before making changes. sirmob 03:10, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Who is this comment aimed at? (I'm fine without the "However,…" sentence I first added as long as the one you first added stays.) dcandeto 11:28, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
It aimed at an event, not a person - it was in response to the edit/revert by Strothra and I definitely think the ranking needs some qualification - such as the language we agreed on above - but the stronger "However..." language needs some justification. I think that puts you and I in agreement. sirmob 12:06, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion neglects the fact that the statement itself is inaccurate - if you follow the link, you'll see that Princeton isn't last, it's technically tied for second-to-last with two other schools. Hence, I would recommend changing "Princeton was ranked last (based on..." to "Princeton was ranked near the bottom (based on..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

West Windsor??

What portions of the University are in West Windsor? Also, is the Forrestal Center considered part of the University?...because it's in Plainsboro.

Most of the West Windsor lands are playing fields. Forrestal is sometimes referred to as a separate campus. Why? Polytrope 13:28, 11 September 2007 (UTC)


This section seems kind of short. Where is anything about the Third World Center, the Women's Center, etc.? Their founding is part of the political history of the University. The University shut down after Kent State--not a word. You would think from this article that the 60s never happened at Princeton. No J.P. Stevens boycott, no waves of anti-apartheid activism, ROTC was never forced off campus, etc., etc. Shall we give it a go?Academic38 (talk) 23:06, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, find a source and add the material. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I've started working on it (in the History of Princeton University article), but others are welcome to add. Cheers.Academic38 (talk) 19:19, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

logos and seals, oh my!

I've removed the logo again from the bottom of the infobox. I've made this case before elsewhere on Wikipedia, but I really don't think you can justify including both a seal and a logo in university article. They both serve the same purpose, i.e., to identify the university with a recognized, approved symbol. As such, I believe including both fails criterion 3A of the non-free content criteria:

Minimal usage. Multiple items of non-free content are not used if one item can convey equivalent significant information.

Thoughts? Esrever (klaT) 17:53, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Duncan, John Morison (1923), Travels Through Part of the United States and Canada in 1818 and 1819, p. 169
  2. ^ "Economic Diversity Among All National Universities". Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Economic Diversity Among All National Universities". Retrieved 2007-02-05.