Since 2010, the PAAEC has accepted and judged essays for the PAAEC book award. Winning students are recognized and presented with an inscribed commemorative book from a Princetonian author (see below). Each year, a maximum of three juniors from each high school in New Haven, Middlesex, and New London counties are able to apply. Essay topics change annually and are announced each spring. Previous participants have not only enjoyed their awards, but have also gained a greater appreciation of Princeton's unofficial motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations," which is derived from an 1896 speech by university president Woodrow Wilson, class of 1879.
Princeton alumni interested in helping judge essays should contact Barry Nann '57, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each essay is read by multiple reviewers, so we are always looking for more volunteers! Further, please contact Barry if you are interested in presenting an award at your local school; it is an especially nice touch to present the inscribed book to a student from your former high school!
"As a very young Guilford High School grad in 1952, some 63 years ago, I had the honor of being accepted in Princeton with the class of 1956. After many years' absence from my home town, [my wife] Nancy and I returned to live here a few years ago and we connected with the Princeton Alumni Association of Eastern Connecticut. For the past 3 years I've had the real pleasure of presenting the Princeton Book Award to winning Guilford juniors who have prepared thoughtful essays on selected Princeton graduates.
Among the many colleges and universities that award book prizes, Princeton has been singular in having an alumnus make the presentation in person. The obvious pleasure and excitement shows in the award winners' faces and the GHS administration is quite pleased to have our involvement. (I also get a big kick out of rhetorically asking the audience--students, teachers, parents--how long ago I graduated--always gets a good response.)"
--Scott Conover '56, PAAEC vice president and GHS alumus
Winners receive a commemorative book written by a Princetonian author. The awarded books for past years, which have been inscribed by the author, are listed below. Blog posts detailing the winners from a given year can be accessed by clicking the year itself.
- 2010 - (various titles)Toni Morrison - Princeton Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing
- 2011 - The Next JusticeChris Eisegruber '83 - Princeton President
- 2012 - Sizing Up the Universe
- Toni Morrison - Princeton Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing
- 2014 - Silk ParachuteJohn McPhee '52 - Princeton Professor for Life, Literature of Fact