Chairman’s Address – September 2007 Issue

annaWelcome, Freshmen, to Princeton University. You have no doubt heard that once again we are ranked Number One. Yep, we have been pumping iron for 8 straight years, beating back Harvard and Yale. Sure, it’s true that 64 college presidents are protesting the U.S. News and World Report ratings system. Not surprisingly, all of these losers aren’t even in the top 10.

Now you might ask, dear Freshmen, what is it that has propelled us to this exalted sphere? Raw, muscular, scholarship? Nobel prizes, of course! Now cynics will point out that since 1901 Harvard has had more than twice as many as us — but if you just adjust for prize-inflation, we’re clear winners.

And how about political clout? The cynics say that for the the past 18 years every U.S. President has gone to — Yale. Well that’s just grad school inflation. Bill and Hilary didn’t go to Yale — only two actual Harvard College grads have been President–and one of them was a freshman here first! And we Tigers have bonafide political clout, too: don’t forget Rumsfeld and Frist – their portraits will proudly hang in glory forever in the hallowed halls of — Cap and Gown and Cottage Club. And notice, friends, that Dean Slaughter is in China this year boning up for — remember you heard it here first — a stint in Hilary’s cabinet. No shortage of Princeton political prowess where the X chromosome is concerned.

Let’s not forget the true “bottom line” when it comes to measuring the quality of higher education: cold, hard cash. To remind you, take a look at that $100 million dollar, spare-no-expense gothic shrine to a by-gone era! Ask Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay — nobody can beat us when it comes to money! Harvard’s alumni donor rate is 39% and dropping, while we are 60% and climbing! Princeton in the Nations Service? How about Princeton in the Nations Pursestrings? Ask Ben Bernanke, Fed Bank Chair, who got his tenure at P.U.

So, welcome, Freshmen, to Princeton Estates. And don’t worry — in Tiger Town you will never be excluded for lack of income — you will only be hosed if you’re socially undesirable. Nassau Hall has so much alumni money to burn it will subsidize you to join any club you can Bicker into! Our administration will do ANYTHING to keep the club aristocracy sated.

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And on that note we welcome you our loyal readers to this our 125th anniversary year. It is hard to believe that such luminaries as F Scott Fitzgerald actually dirtied their hands working on this rag. But it’s true. We’ve been read in bathroom stalls at Old Nassau since before the invention of toilet paper (which, on second thought, may have been the impetus for the first actual printed issue in 1882). And despite the blather above, we are distributed free to every room (and bathroom) and elitist institution on campus. So join us putting an issue together some Thursday night at Quad. We have a massive endowment we need to spend down before we graduate and head off to Business School, so come contribute to our cajoling and playful calumny.

Anna Offit

125th Chairman

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