Princeton Weekly Bulletin   February 13, 2006, Vol. 95, No. 15   search   prev   next

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Page One
Record number of students apply for class of 2010
Universities fill dual role as servant and critic

Online journal offers ‘report on knowledge’
Astronomers discover smallest planet outside solar system
Researchers develop new method for studying ‘mental time travel’
University to contribute $1 million to Princeton Borough

Betterton announces plans to retire, Moscato named financial aid director
Peralta receives Sachs scholarship for study at Oxford
Fields memoir chronicles work at Princeton
People, spotlight

Nassau notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers



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Fields memoir chronicles work at Princeton

Princeton NJ — In his recently published memoir, Carl Fields describes the difficulty of trying to decide whether or not to accept a job at Princeton. It was 1964 and Fields, an African American, had to weigh carefully the prospect of working at a university that had just 12 black undergraduates and four black graduate students.

While it was no easy decision to come to Princeton, once here, Fields quickly made an impact and became the first high-level black administrator at an Ivy League school.

Photo of: book cover

“Black in Two Worlds,” published by Princeton-based Red Hummingbird Press


Titled “Black in Two Worlds,” the first half of Fields’ memoir recounts his seven years at Princeton, and the second half describes his work at the fledgling University of Zambia in Africa.

The book was published posthumously—Fields died in 1998—by Princeton-based Red Hummingbird Press. Excerpts from the manuscript previously have appeared in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Fields started his Princeton career as assistant director of student aid and, in 1968, was promoted to assistant dean of the college. In his memoir, he relays how determined he was upon his arrival to not be pigeonholed as an adviser only to black students. Once he became known as an adviser to all students, he worked tirelessly to introduce policies and practices aimed at increasing the enrollment and retention of African-American and other minority students.

Among his many accomplishments, Fields pioneered a Family Sponsor Plan with the local African-American community to provide support for incoming black students; he helped students form the first black student group on campus, which soon was followed by other ethnic organizations; and he was a driving force behind the founding of the Third World Center, which in 2002 was renamed the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding in his honor.

In a foreword to the book, President Emeritus Robert Goheen, who was at the helm of the University during Fields’ tenure, writes that by the time Fields left Princeton in 1971 for Zambia, the University had “come a long way toward being an institution in which young men and women of whatever race or persuasion could move about freely and with confidence, intermingling or not as they chose, being regarded and regarding each other as equals.”