Fitzgerald at Princeton

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Fitzgerald at Princeton

While he was a student at the Newman School, called St. Regis in This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald became enamored with Princeton. He attended the first Harvard-Princeton game since 1896 on November 4, 1911 and Princeton won 8-6 on a blocked kick that was returned for a touchdown (Tate, 199). His aunt offered to pay for his education at Georgetown, but Fitzgerald wanted to go to Princeton. When his grandmother died in 1913, she left money that made Princeton available. Fitzgerald did not do well on the entrance exams though, so he had to travel to Princeton to re-take the tests and have a personal interview. Supposedly, Fitzgerald convinced the admissions office that it would be cruel to deny him on his birthday and he began at Princeton in the fall of 1913.

Fitzgerald desired to play freshman football but his career was cut short. Depending on who you ask, he either wrenched his knee and was unable to play or was cut from the squad on the first day of practice (Tate, 200). With football out of the picture, he chose to participate in the Triangle Club, an original musical comedy group, and the Princeton Tiger, a humor magazine. Fitzgerald roomed off campus his freshman year because of insufficient dorm space. He took Latin, English, Physics, French, Personal Hygiene, and two math courses. He was critical of the English Department, saying that it made students lose interest in literature, but he educated himself by reading extensively outside of the class. In the spring of his freshman year, he wrote the book and lyrics to the Triangle Club’s Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi! which was to be performed that winter.

Fitzgerald began his sophomore year by failing a make-...

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...ald signed up for intensive military training, effectively ending his college career. He did not graduate with the class of 1917 but was included in the yearbook and received two votes for Most Brilliant, two for Handsomest, five for Prettiest, two for Thinks He Is The Best Dressed, eight for Thinks He Is The Biggest Politician, and six for Biggest Dramatist. Fitzgerald’s return for his senior year in the fall of 1917 was really only a waiting period and in November he was called to duty in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, leaving Princeton as a student forever. (Eble, .43).


Eble, Kenneth E. F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc, 1963.

Tate, Mary Jo. F. Scott Fitzgerald A to Z. New York: Facts on File, Inc, 1998.
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