Homecoming 2016 - Campus, Game, and Weather Set Stage for Class Gathering
By Howard Zien '71, Class Treasurer
Photo credit: Howard Zien
have been to enough homecoming weekends to know what the ingredients are that
make the weekend successful.
The opportunity to return to Campus and be reminded of the sights, sounds and
smells of 45 years ago.
The return of like-minded friends, classmates, significant others and friends
who return for very much the same reason.
A victorious or exciting football game -- preferably both.
Beautiful sunny weather so we can relax and enjoy the gentle autumn air.
year, we were able to tick off the first three with no difficulty.
campus looks as good as ever. It doesn't
look a day over 270 years. Though I must
admit there are so many new buildings that it can be a bit disorienting to
still believe I spent four years there. One thing that hasn't changed: in Princeton even the trees look wise.
turnout this year was a bit less than prior years (This was due to item 4, the
inclement weather, which we shall get to shortly). But it always seems that what a smaller turn
out sacrifices in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. The 71-ers who attended, myself included, had
the opportunity to converse in more depth and length than we otherwise might
have. I am sure all our classmates felt
as I did, grateful for the opportunity to reconnect in more depth and make new
friendships , than we would at a heavily attended event.
turnout at Tiger Inn after the game was mellow indeed. Everyone was thrilled to be there and to be
inside the warmth of the '71 library.
speaking of the game, it met every expectation.
In recent years, the schools and teams of the Ivy League marvel at the
quality of the teams that Harvard is able to assemble. The beginning of the game seemed like a Harvard
route. But Princeton, with resolve, was
able to tie the game and take it to overtime.
Unfortunately, it was in overtime that the game was decided. And not in Princeton's favor.
the time, relatively early in the season, this seemed like an event of little
consequence. Now 3 weeks later, Harvard
is undefeated and Princeton has but one loss.
Turns out that the outcome on Homecoming Day had significance that may
span the entire season.
we discuss the most prominent aspect of the weekend, at least Saturday --The
weather. First, let me provide some context. In Princeton and the northeast we have been
experiencing a magnificent autumn, with sunny skies and temperatures frequently
in the 70's. And the Sunday immediately
after homecoming Saturday, this weather returned.
on Saturday, there was the first chill of autumn accompanied by wind and
rain. The pre-game University-wide
tailgate in the courtyard between Fine Hall and Palmer Stadium. has become a
cherished tradition, with the University providing food and drink to all who
attend. Since the event is held the
courtyard which is in the open air so it was it was surprising for those of us
who did attend how many naturally covered spaces there are in this open
plaza. And they were all put to good use
during the tail gate by the enterprising food services staff.
the stadium, it was a challenge to keep umbrellas from snapping inside out. But the game was extremely well attended and
the Princeton students and fans were totally immersed in the game and its, at
first surprising, but ultimately slightly disappointing outcome.
else to do but retire to Tiger Inn for the class reception. As important as football was moments ago, it
gave way to warm greetings, warmer memories, talk of our magnificent reunion
and life at large.