Reunions at Princeton almost defy description. Each May, over 20,000 alumni and their families gather for three days of reconnecting, remembering, and, well, partying. You can see a bit of what the festivities are like here.
Here are some things I noticed on this trip:
- There is a reason they call New Jersey the Garden State. The tree canopy over Princeton in late May is stunning.
- There is a bit more beer at Princeton reunions than at reunions for my other alma mater -- Asbury Theological Seminary. OK, a lot more.
- Some of our contemporaries from Princeton are now virtually retired. In their mid 40s. They did well on Wall Street and are now on to other things. Incredible.
- On the flip side, there are a lot of people from Julie's graduating class who are now clergy. They probably won't be retiring anytime soon.
- I played doubles with Glenn Michibata, the current tennis coach. I actually did pretty well -- it was on a hard court. I learned afterwards that Glenn had been ranked #1 in the world in doubles for a time in the 1980s. I'm glad I didn't know that going in.
Believe it or not, I often wonder if I'm glad that I went to college there. It sounds sort of ungrateful, doesn't it? What a gift my parents gave me and what an experience I had.
But on the other hand I never was completely at home in New Jersey. And today when people learn that I went there they make assumptions about my attitude or background that aren't necessarily true. Plus, that degree comes with an expectation of future accomplishment -- and it's not like I needed any more incentive to get worked up wondering whether I've done enough or not.
Yet in the end, I see God's hand even in my mixed emotions and mixed experiences. Without taking myself too seriously, I do think He wanted me to go there. It's where I met Julie, it's where I first sensed a call into some kind of ministry, it's even where I heard about Asbury. Maybe I should fret less and appreciate more.
I think I'll be going back for my 25th next year.