The Princeton Alumni Weekly has been central to Princetonians' sense of community since 1900. Known by the appropriate acronym "PAW," it was launched as a weekly under the editorship of Jesse Lynch Williams, Class of 1892, a former Nassau Literary Review editor and later Pulitzer Prize winner.
The weekly schedule eventually proved unsustainable, and over the course of the years the production schedule has been reduced to 15 issues per year. Nevertheless, it remains the most regularly published alumni magazine in the country. Published by Princeton University Press until 1990, today the magazine is published out of a Nassau Street office and has a circulation of 65,000.
PAW's mission is "to report impartially news of the alumni, the administration, the faculty and the student body." The editor and staff answer to a board of 11 that includes seven elected alumni, ensuring coverage of controversy and criticism as well as praise of alma mater. PAW plays such a significant role in Princetonians' relationship to the University that in the troubled early 1970s, disaffected alumni launched a counter publication, Prospect. Partially inspired by former PAW editor Asa Bushnell, Class of 1921, it reached a circulation of 13,000 before disappearing in the 1980s.
Today, the letters to the editor ("Inbox") provide alumni a forum to voice opinions about the University's path. "Class notes" maintains those mystique chords of memory and with the letters is the most widely read section of the magazine. See how the magazine cover has evolved since the inaugural issue in April 1900.