'No Kappas' at Tilghman retirement party*
University President Shirley Tilghman’s retirement may still be months away, but Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee ’69 is already hard at work planning her retirement party. Rick Ross, an artist reportedly admired by Tilghman, will perform at the event at Prospect House in late May, which will host top-tier administrators, leading University scholars, other Ivy League presidents, Tilghman’s children and first lady Michelle Obama ’85.
But not everyone was invited. The Daily Princetonian obtained copies of a series of interdepartmental memos between English professor and Rockefeller College Master Jeff Nunokawa and Durkee:
Jeff Nunokawa: I’m highly insulted that I wasn’t on the guest list. If I were invited, I could have guaranteed you cool English people.
Robert Durkee: The invites were purely symbolic. Anyway, I only did rich alumni and administrators. My administrator friends did faculty, sports coaches and stuff.
JN: Better. Better Better. But I want the invitation. What administrators did you have do the list?
RK: Nancy Malkiel, my best bud from back home.
JN: Oh, I don’t know her. Also, do you want me to compile you a list of cool faculty? I feel like she probably missed a lot.
RD: She did not. We have 17o people on the list and Prospect House can only fit 1oo-15o people.
JN: Okay ... I know a lot of English professors feel like they got overlooked. Probs not good.
RD: Such as? I know Nancy invited some comp lit professors and such.
JN: You missed a lot. Based on my conversations at dinner ...
RD: We literally sent them out 15 minutes ago.
JN: I’m just relaying the message. So far I know of only one English professor who got invited. And when you miss 90 percent of one of the top departments at this school, some people might get upset. Just trying to help you out.
RD: To be honest I don’t care. You can’t satisfy every single person in life. The building can fit 1oo people and we sent around 175. We had to cut so many people.
JN: Well, if you’re interested in inviting cool people just let me know.
RD: Tell me what you believe some potential improvements could be.
JN: Well, firstly, myself ... but also Paul Krugman, Mike Mullen, Robbie George and David Billington. You might want to think of them as you would a somewhat eccentric, but oddly reliable friend.
RD: I think I have seen one or two of these names on the list. Are these Kappas?
JN: No? They’re professors ... ?
RD: No Kappas.
JN: Huh? Well, Bob, I know that we as an institution do not recognize Greek organizations, but don’t you think it’s a little harsh to ...
RD: No, no, I don’t care about the other sororities. Just no Kappas.
JN: Oh, interesting.
RD: Alright how about this. I have some space for emergency additions to the list. Let me give you a +3 and bring the 3 best ones in the aforementioned list. As long as they’re not Kappas.
JN: So is it me plus three or three including me? I’m confused by your math.
RD: Including you. And that’s why your an English professor.
JN: And that’s why you’re not an English professor.
RD: Does that sound good?