Alumni Weekly, The Princeton (PAW),

Alumni Weekly, The Princeton (PAW), was founded on April 7, 1900, as ``a long distance telephone . . . to keep a live connection between the University and its alumni . . . for their mutual enlightenment, benefit and satisfaction.'' It replaced the Alumni Princetonian, a weekly edition of the Daily Princetonian that the undergraduate editors had been putting out for six years but that had sold subscriptions to only 500 of the then 6,000 alumni.

Jesse Lynch Williams 1892, a former Nassau Lit editor and later a Pulitzer Prize winner, was editor of the Weekly during its first four years; he gave it (as a later editor said) ``a flying start and a bright tone.'' Edwin Mark Norris 1895, the second editor, devoted twenty-one years to the magazine. Subsequent editors and their years of service have been: W. Irving Harris '20 (1925), Asa S. Bushnell '21 (1925-1930), John T. Rodgers '22 (1930), Edmund S. DeLong '22 (1930-1931), Datus C. Smith '29 (1931-1940) Douglas E. Stuart '35 (1940-1942), Frederick S. Osborne '24 (1942-1946), Ernest T. Stewart '41 (1946-1951), Philip W. Quigg '43 (1951-1955), John D. Davies '41 (1955-1969), Landon Y. Jones, Jr. '66 (1969-1974) and since 1975, Charles L. Creesy '65.

These editors have all doubtless shared the hope expressed by the fourth editor, Asa Bushnell, that, ``in the thousands of widely scattered Princeton homes, the query `Has the Weekly come yet?' might be heard more regularly than `What, is the Weekly here again?'''

They would probably assent, also, to the valedictory statement of the eleventh editor, Philip Quigg: ``With few exceptions, alumni magazines with the greatest editorial freedom are the most readable and in the long run serve best the institutions for which they exist. . . . If perchance the present editor has upon occasion been critical, we hope it may have added further credence to the burden of his message -- that Princeton is the best old place of all.''

Published and printed by Princeton University Press, with an editorial board of five members (three of whom are appointed by the Alumni Council, two by the Press), the magazine is distributed to virtually every alumnus through group subscriptions paid for by the classes and until 1977 was the only college alumni publication in the United States appearing weekly. That fall, it changed to biweekly publication during the academic year in order to offset rising costs and also to give the st~aff time to cover campus news more thoroughly in larger issues. The change only involved a reduction from twenty-eight to twenty-one issues a year, and PAW, as it was now formally known, still led all other American alumni magazines in the number of issues published annually.

The 1977 change also affected the Weekly's association with the quarterly magazine University, founded in 1959 as a means of communication with alumni of the Graduate School, parents of undergraduates, and other nonalumni friends. Under the new arrangement, University was to be made up of articles previously printed in PAW, with University's retiring editor, William McCleery, serving as consulting editor during the transitional year.

University had a turn-of-the-century counterpart in another quarterly which began in 1889 as the Princeton College Bulletin (after 1896 the Princeton University Bulletin) and continued until 1904. The Bulletin contained in rudimentary form some of the features of both the Alumni Weekly and University, as well as of the Weekly Bulletin and the Bibliography of Princeton Publications.


From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).

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