The Great Urksby: Princeton Revisited

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NEW YORK (MainStreet)—I recently returned for my fifth-year college reunion at Princeton for what, as this GQ piece clarifies, is one of the most raucous and grandiose events of its kind – a four-day pilgrimage attracting some 20,000 people, with alums dressing in goofy orange and black as if a container of Halloween has spilled over the edenic gothic campus in springtime.

Makeshift bars infiltrate Princeton's quads and courtyards, compartmentalized by fences and tents to preempt enforcement of open container laws. The rites culminate in Saturday's P-rade, where generations of Princetonians march through the campus's main artery, with the oldest conveyed in festooned golf carts and the youngest chugging beer and champagne.

What starts as a hajj to Central Jersey quickly becomes a jihad to propriety.

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Personally, I returned to congregate with old friends I do not have the opportunity to see (mostly the result of geographical constraints), introduce my wife to the atmosphere and people who constituted a formative period in my life, and revel in the traditions that distinguish this institution from others of its ilk.

Yet I happened to be returning in a $300,000 vehicle. By way of explanation, I had updated my Facebook status:

"Tomorrow at my fifth-year college reunion, I will be driving a Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB. It's obviously not the luck of the draw in the press fleet schedule; it's because I'm a kajillionaire."