Walter Lord Society

The Walter Lord ('39) Society is a dining group, primarily open to students of Mathey and Rockefeller Colleges, that meets periodically to discuss politics, public events, and life at Princeton over dinners in the Mathey private dining room. The group was founded by Evan Thomas, Ferris Professor of Journalism and Mathey faculty in residence from 2007- 2014.

Joe StephensThe host of the WLS for 2016-2017 was Joe StephensWashington Post investigative reporter and Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence.  Stephens began a five-year teaching appointment in the journalism program of the Council of the Humanities in fall 2014. 

A three-time winner of the George Polk Award and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Stephens joined The Washington Post in 1999. One of his best-known investigative projects is "The Body Hunters," about pharmaceutical companies testing drugs on people in the developing world. He has also written about presidential elections, atrocities in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, the war on terrorism and political corruption

Further Information About Walter Lord ('39):

“I am interested in the people who are caught in great events more than the events themselves.”

As a high school senior at Baltimore’s Gilman School, Walter Lord (1917-2002) won the Princeton-Gilman Alumni Cup for his speech about the Titanic. Nineteen years later, he published A Night to Remember, the most famous and widely read account of that ill-fated ship.

At Princeton, Lord concentrated in History, and his senior thesis was entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Collins Line.” After graduating in 1939, he enrolled at Yale Law School, interrupting his studies to join the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, he was assigned in 1942 to the Office of Strategic Services as a code clerk in London. He was the agency's secretariat when the war ended in 1945. Afterwards, Lord returned to Yale where he earned a degree in law.  For more about Walter Lord, see the Wikipedia article "Walter Lord" or his entry on the Baltimore Authors website.

Walter Lord's Writings:

A Night to Remember (N.Y.: Holt, 1955).  The sinking of the Titanic (steamship).

Day of Infamy (N.Y.: Holt, 1957) Describes the events of December 7, 1941, before, during, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the reactions of the men who lived through the attack.

The Good Years: From 1900 to the First World War (N.Y.: Harper, 1960).  A history of the U.S. in the first decades of the 20th century.

A Time to Stand (N.Y.: Harper, 1961). The siege of the Alamo, Texas, 1836.

The Past that Would Not Die (N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1965). James Meredith and the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi.

Incredible Victory  (N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1967). The Battle of Midway Island, 1942.

The Dawn’s Early Light (N.Y.: W.W. Norton, 1972) – A history of the campaigns of the War of 1812.