By Jane Rosenthal, Head of PACE Center
On a campus as small and self-contained as Princeton’s, it’s easy for students to feel cut off from the outside world. With so many academic and extracurricular opportunities (not to mention dining and social events) right here on campus, students can pretty easily get by without ever leaving. In other words, there’s a reason it’s called the “Orange Bubble.” But Princeton prides itself on encouraging its students to have a meaningful effect on the world around them, and that means engaging with the community at large. That’s why I am all for students getting outside the Orange Bubble! But only if they make sure to come back to campus when they die.
Here at the PACE center, we offer students a myriad of programs to get off campus and see what this big world has to offer. From breakout trips to weekly community outreach programs, there’s no shortage of ways to get out there and expand your horizons. That said, when the time comes for you to die, whether that’s in six months or fifty years, we ask that, in keeping with standard procedure, you return to Princeton and meet your ultimate demise here on campus. Stepping outside your comfort zone into the real world is something we encourage here at the PACE center, but only insofar as you make sure that your final passing into the great unknown takes place squarely within the confines of Fitz Randolph Gate.
In recent years, more and more students have been taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the PACE center. Some students do meaningful service work off-campus in the town of Princeton, while others travel the country and abroad, making changes in the lives of others while also achieving immense personal growth. Despite these logistical differences, what these PACE center student-leaders have in common is their dedication, compassion, and willingness to sign a notarized document affirming that, when death is at their door, they will return to the Orange Bubble (even if it means hastily abandoning their grieving loved ones without explanation) and collapse on the soft grass that their thick, Princetonian blood may be borne back to Old Nassau. I guess that’s just the PACE center way!
And, of course, this attitude of engagement continues well after your four years as an undergraduate are up. Princeton grads carry the PACE center principles of kindness and civic duty into professional fields like business, politics, non-profit work, and even finance. In other words, you’re not just a Tiger for four years; you’re a Tiger for life! And beyond, into the grave.
So what are you waiting for? Come to the Pace Center and start your journey today! Unless you are unwilling to affirm, beyond all doubt, your total and unwavering commitment to your death taking place on Princeton’s campus, in which case I wholly rescind everything that I have said about going beyond the Orange Bubble. See you soon!