November postcard about Poe brothers

You’ve got mail

by University Advancement
February 15, 2023

Do you know which building on campus was the first to be named for a woman?

Why did the College of New Jersey (ultimately Princeton University) move to Princeton from Newark?

Where was Picasso’s first home for “Head of a Woman,” and when did it move?

“Postcards to Alumni” is a collection of monthly digital postcards featuring unique facts about Princeton’s history. The postcards were introduced in December 2022 by the Alumni Council’s Princetoniana and Communications and Technology (CAT) Committees who collaborated on the project.

November’s postcard on “Football, Six Brothers and Poe Field“ was just released:

“The first intercollegiate football game was played on Nov. 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton with rules decided upon by team captains and Rutgers winning. Football was well established when the Poe brothers — six sons of John Prentiss Poe, Class of 1854 (and cousin of Edgar Allan Poe) — starred for Princeton; they were members of six classes from 1884 to 1902. John Prentiss Poe Jr., Class of 1895, a popular freshman-year class president and star varsity halfback, left Princeton sophomore year but remained close with classmates, sharing his many adventures over the years, before being killed in action in France in 1915. He also spent two seasons as a Princeton football coach in 1902-03. In honor of their beloved classmate, his class created an athletic field in his memory. On Aug. 21, 1916, The New York Times wrote, “To the college student it may be only another baseball and soccer field, but to Princeton alumni and the other thousands who cherish Princeton history, it will always be ‘Poe Field,’ a memorial spot.”

The postcards are being shared monthly with alumni around the globe via numerous digital channels.

“Our work as a committee is not only about collecting and archiving history, memorabilia and traditions but also how to share it and engage alumni,” said Jean Hendry *80, former chair of the Princetoniana committee, who is leading this initiative. “We brainstormed projects that would enable us to connect with alumni on a regular basis. At the same time, we didn’t want a project that caused alumni to have to do anything other than feel a connection to the University. ‘Postcards’ seemed to fit the bill.”

To research and collect the facts, Hendry tapped the Princetoniana committee. While Princetoniana members are experts in Princeton history and traditions, they leaned on the CAT Committee’s expertise in technology to help design the digital postcards. Credit for the initial postcard design belongs to CAT Committee member Cindy Drakeman ’02 who sourced images, conceived the nostalgic postcard look and “stamp” designs, suggested using “Dispatch” on the postcard to lend a nostalgic feel, and created many of the postcards. Credit goes to Princetoniana committee member Tom Swift ’76 for designing the initial postcard.

“We were so happy when Princetoniana approached us with the postcard idea,” said Michael Lin ’13, former vice chair of the CAT Committee. “The pandemic brought on an increase and a need for digital communication and initiatives, and this is a great one, much like Orange & Black Day that our committee helped introduce last year. ‘Postcards’ provides yet another opportunity to engage with alumni across the world and share the love of Princeton, while also bringing awareness to the great resource of Princetoniana and its museum.”


“Postcards to Alumni” will appear as a monthly feature in Tiger News and on @PrincetonAlumni social media channels. The postcards will also be archived in the Princetoniana virtual museum.