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Princeton Sons Take Note of Daughters in Their Midst

March 01, 1987|LARRY PRYOR

"Old Nassau," Princeton University's alma mater that was written in 1859 by a freshman at the then-all-male university, read: "In praise of old Nassau, my boys, Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Her sons will give, while she shall live, three cheers for old Nassau." Then Princeton began admitting women in 1969 and the words didn't quite work. Janet Sarbanes, a sophomore and daughter of Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), wrote a letter to the school paper last fall and said she was uncomfortable singing a school song that excluded women students. "I basically said that I thought it was time for a change in the words to 'Old Nassau,' " she said. "I said it could be done very easily and all it took was some thought." A professional lyricist who is a Princeton graduate did that, and the new words were approved last week by the university's board of trustees, student government and alumni council. "In praise of old Nassau, we sing , Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Our hearts will give, while we shall live," etc., it now reads.

--Residents of Traer, Iowa, a community of 1,700 people about 110 miles northwest of Des Moines, have joined in a one-year pilot energy-saving project. They agreed to turn in their light bulbs for free replacements of low-energy bulbs. "It looks like we're going to have a very good percentage of residents involved," said Kent Holst, general manager of Traer Municipal Utilities, as he surveyed a fire station crowded with residents carrying grocery sacks and laundry bags filled with bulbs. Each home should save $50 a year, he said, and the utility plans to spend $30,000 less on electricity from wholesalers. Ellen Young brought in a box of 47 bulbs. "We have a very large country house," she said.

--Back to the campus, this time Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., which paid respects to Mary Lyon, who founded the nation's first permanently endowed college for women 150 years ago. Thousands of graduates from Alaska to New Zealand gathered on the stately campus to raise a birthday glass of sherry in Lyon's honor. In balloon-festooned dormitories, undergraduates consumed a traditional steamed pudding called "Deacon Porter's Hat" after one of the college's early financial backers. And many of the school's 24,000 living alumnae attended seminars, lectures and parties on five continents. "The sun won't set on Mary Lyon today," said Carolyn Berkey, alumnae director. Graduates gathered for tea in the Dean's Yard in Westminster, England, and released 1,000 blue balloons over London. Another group bought a year's worth of raw meat for a lioness called Mary Lyon at the zoo in Portland, Ore.

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