The new school year has been slowly getting underway here in Princeton, with all of that it entails–school spirit, reunions with friends after the summer, festivities, and free giveaways galore. The days before class got started were packed with one event after another, designed to convince eager new freshman that Princeton is the best place around, and to remind already-nostalgic seniors what they’ll soon be missing. Below, some snapshots of orientation week at Princeton:
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This year was my first year to make it to the legendary Princeton Reunions, and they completely lived up to the hype. The festivities kicked off Thursday night, with parties and bands under all the tents. We were staying in Pyne, which shares its courtyard with the 5th reunion, always the rowdiest and latest-partying tent, where the music and revelry sounds late into the night…and into the next morning.
Saturday I attended the annual alumni rugby match, because Josh was playing for the current team, which each year challenges the returning alums for a friendly game. For the first time in a few years the current team fell to the alums (mostly because the champion 2004 team was back for the 5th reunion). During the day was the highly-anticipated P-Rade, which lasted from 2-5 (which can give you an idea of how many alums there were on campus). The P-Rade was led by the 25th, but afterward alums (and their families) marched in descending age, beginning with the oldest alumnus, Malcolm, class of 1925, who had the honor of carrying the silver cane and riding in a golf cart. Most of the oldest guys ride alongside a current student in a cart, but a surprising number of guys from the 1930’s classes proudly walked the whole way, joining in the Princeton Locomotive cheer and stopping only to clink beer cans in a toast with students on the sidelines. The P-Rade was a whirlwind of Princeton spirit and ridiculousness, from the class of ‘59’s “Tipsy Tiger Trolley” and ‘69’s “Magical Mystery Mobile” (blaring “Yellow Submarine” of course) to various decked-out vehicles, costumes, signs, banners, and music. A particularly touching section was the class of ’44, who back for their 65th, honored the 89% of their class who served in WWII with army jeeps, signs, a military band, uniforms, and large faceboards of classmates who died in battle. Lastly, the class of 2009 stormed onto Poe Field for the grand finale.
After our week in Charlottesville, Josh and I drove up to Ann Arbor, MI for a few days. On the way I had the opportunity to visit my great friend Snook in Pittsburgh, where she goes to school at Pitt. I had never been to see her college town before, so we got a whirlwind tour of campus, which is in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. First stop was the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (where Snook works) which is surrounded by several nice parks and dinosaur models.
Nearby was the Cathedral of Learning, the main landmark of the University of Pittsburgh campus, and 42 stories high. Since we were there on a Sunday, a lot of the supposedly really cool nationality rooms were closed, but we took the elevator up to the Honors College, where we had a great view of the city. Also in the same area was the home plate where Babe Ruth hit his last home run (the plate is now preserved on the floor of the academic building which now stands where the stadium once was).
After being holed up in various study spaces on campus (I must have been to every library at least once) over the past two weeks, I’m finally free…which means I’m a senior now I suppose, scary! Princeton has been a gorgeous place to be this spring, as usual, and I’ve had some of these pictures sitting around for awhile, from a walk I took with my mom to the grad college when the trees were still in bloom.