From: Department of Public Information Princeton University

Telephone: 609-452-3605

Release: Thursday, June 3, 1971


Princeton, N.J., June 2 -- Ten years out of college and what portrait do they present, Princeton's Class of 1961?


Dr. Yung Wong, 1961, Director of Management Science with the New York firm of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., surveyed his 700 classmates, all men, as they made plans to return to campus this weekend (June 3-6) for their tenth reunion. Of the group, 442 completed anonymous questionnaires.


Results introduce a 174-page 10th-anniversary yearbook, most of it devoted to capsule biographies, edited by Dr. Wong, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the graduate business programs of New York University and Pace, and prepared in collaboration with his co-chairman, James C. Kellogg, a New

York City broker residing in Summit, N.J.


Comments one classmate in summary: "Oh, there is probably a little exaggeration, "but what did you expect from a class "that rarely attends church, averages a drink a night, and gives as much attention to Playboy as to Fortune?" -- descriptions based upon the tabulation of the questionnaires.


The class profile covers 12 areas, including appearance, location, pre-career, careers, finances, leisure, time, "vices," religious beliefs, political attitudes, Princeton feelings, family life, and husbands vs. wives.


Among the results:

About one-third feel they are better looking now than in 1961; more than half their wives think so. Most (86%) have retained their youthful hair color; however, almost half (44%) confess to losing some hair since college days. Many a crew-cut has gone -- 64% are wearing hair longer, and more hair can be seen on other parts of the face: about 40% sport sideburns, beards or mustaches.


There's a 14% increase in the number wearing glasses or contact lenses; and while 30% claim to have retained their college weight, three out of five admit to carrying around an average of 10 additional pounds.


The typical member of the class has lived in three different cities (and five homes) since leaving college. Sixty percent have settled in the East with the remainder scattered fairly evenly over the rest of the U.S.A. , except for 5% who live abroad. Forty percent are living in suburbia, while another 39% are bearing up under the pollution and perils of city life.


Three-fourths of the class have received graduate degrees (one-fourth, doctorate).


Half have served in the military. Three-fourths of these were officers, with only one-fifth seeing military action. Five percent of the class as a whole is in the active reserves.


Vocations of over half the class are concentrated in four main areas: law (19%), medicine (15%), education (13%), and banking or finance (11%). Average tenure in the present job -- and for most it's their second job -- is 3 1/2 years. The typical work week involves 50 hours at the office, six hours of job-related work at home, and five hours a week commuting. Business takes the employee away from home 8% of the year.


About 9 out of 10 say they are satisfied with their jobs and careers and indicate that not only would they choose the same occupation over again but they anticipate being in the same occupation five years hence; but only half of them expect to be with the same employer. While only two out of five feel their college "majors" are related to their present occupation, 86% find their education has helped in their careers.


The member of Princeton's Class of 1961, if he's typical, has gone from an average first salary of $6,000 to a present annual salary of $18,000, with an additional $5,000 yearly income from investments or contributed by working wives. Among occupational groups, those in banking or finance and in law have higher average salaries than the class as a whole.


Investments (mostly common stock) average out at $7,500; life insurance, $55,000; net worth, $45,000; addition to savings, $150 a month. Twenty percent of the wives work.


Half the class live in their own houses (35% of which are colonial styled), with an average market value of $43,000; the house has eight rooms and sits on less than a half acre. The 30% who live in apartments pay an average rent of $225 for four rooms. Forty-five percent have full or part-time domesĀ­tic help.


But, with it all, one-fourth of the class report some difficulty in living within income.


As expected, leisure time is filled with friends, reading, sports, hobbies and work in the community.


TV consumes an hour a night; 15 books are read a year; tennis and swimming are the favorite participant sports (football, the favorite spectator sport); vacations last an average of 2 1/2 weeks. Diversified community activities occupy 40% of the class, but for an average of only an hour a week. Dancing is rare (3 times a year, on the average), but home entertaining (their own, or as guests) is frequent (about twice a month).


When they sit down to read a magazine, chances are good it's Time (49% read it regularly). Fortune (11%) and Playboy (10%) draw about equal attention.


Sixty-one percent do not smoke; seven percent claim no use of alcohol. Twenty-seven percent have experimented with, or use, drugs and narcotics. Bachelors in the class show a higher incidence of drug usage than the married men; and, among occupational groups, there is an indication of slightly higher drug usage among those in medicine (although numbers involved are small). The majority of those who have used drugs or narcotics have done so within the last three years.


The majority of the class (70%) profess a belief in an established faith (46% Protestant; 10% Catholic; 9% Jewish; 5% other), with one-fourth attending religious services at least once a month. More than half the class (56%) state that their religious and moral beliefs have remained "unchanged" since college days. A majority (52%) favors sexual freedom as practiced by today's college generation (24% disagree; 24% have no opinion).


Politically, there are more Republicans than Democrats (42% versus 20%); more whose outlook is "liberal" (46%) than "conservative" (35%) -- with the remainder "middle-of-the-road." Half the class participates in some type of political activity and 10% have run for or held office.


On seven major national issues the class showed this sentiment: nuclear test ban, 89% for, 4% against; legalization of abortion, 87% for, 7% against; admission of Red China to the UN, 69% for, 15% against; space program, 52% for, 19% against; legalization of marijuana, 51% for, 29% against; abolition of draft, 47% for, 30% against; immediate withdrawal from Vietnam at any cost, 35% for, 56% against. The remaining percent in all cases was neutral.


More voted for Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968 than for his Democrat opponents; in 1964, however, the majority of the votes went to Lyndon Johnson. For the 1972 election 28% of the class indicate the intention of voting for Nixon, with Edmund Muskie second at 24%; John Lindsay is a close third (22%).


About 80% of the class is generally responsive toward Princeton after 10 years out. Seventy percent favor the move to coeducation; 90% believe the University has "kept up with the times"; 61% feel Princeton has done a good job with student unrest. About one out of two (46%) feel the University is "better today than previously" (24% disagree; 30% see no change).


On the average they attend three Princeton affairs a year (excluding football games and reunions), get to a Tiger football game once every two years, and have been back to the campus four times in the past decade.


Eighty-seven percent of the class is (or has been) married, for an average of six years. More than half the class (57%) met their wives during or before college; 4 out of 5 of the wives have college degrees; one out of ten is employed part-time and another one out of ten, full-time.


On the average, the family has two children (a son and a daughter), and one more child is hoped for. To round out the household, the majority (59%) have at least one pet. So far, the largest family consists of five children. Among those children who are of school age, most go to public schools.


A comparison of husband-wife attitudes reveals that 33% of the men and 27% of the women feel the wife's place is "in the home," while 65% of the men and 72% of the women say it is either or both in the home and/or on the job.


Ninety percent of the men feel they are the boss in the family and 70% feel they control the purse strings; the wives agree the males are "in control," but to a lesser degree -- 80% feel he's the boss and 50% agree the husband controls the purse strings.


Sixty percent of the wives say they know all or a great deal about the husband's work -- only 5% claim to know "practically nothing."


By and large the wives share their husbands' views and enthusiasms. Among areas with some difference: 10% more of the wives believe in an established faith; only 34% subscribe to today's collegiate sexual freedom (as compared with the males' 52%); in 1960 a greater number of wives voted for Kennedy than Nixon, and more prefer Muskie and Lindsay in '72 than Nixon.


A supplemental questionnaire sought biographic information. In a concluding comment on the profile in the 10-year class book, a writer adds: "But if you do not relate to the average, if, for instance, you are fatter, a practicing Greek Orthodox, with five children, a full-time maid, and no life insurance, a conservative Democrat who takes LSD and goes dancing regularly, do not despair and ponder on your deviant attitude."

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