It seems impossible to believe that it’s been 40 years since the founding of Nassau Weekly. Some things I remember so clearly: Putting the first issue to bed on a wing and a prayer, with pretty crude layout, and yet still seeing it make quite a splash when it appeared, because its tabloid format and open design was so striking, and so different from The Prince. I can’t, for the life of me, remember where our offices were. In Holder Hall? I seem to remember there was a view of Nassau Street. I remember the people: Alex Wolff ‘79 and Marc Fisher ‘80 and Remnick ‘81 — and, of course, Bob Faggen ‘82. The first cover story was by Lisa Belkin ‘82, a loving profile of an old-time Dinky conductor. David Galef ‘81, who would go on to contribute crossword puzzles to The New York Times, was our puzzle-master, and I seem to remember cutting and waxing tiny, typeset numbers to fit in the puzzle grid. There was a sense that we were doing something fun and daring. I remember going into a class with Anne Mackay-Smith, then the editor of The Daily Princetonian. She had a copy of that day’s Prince tucked in her books; across the table, as if in a duel, I had a copy of Nassau. Little could we have imagined that we were helping to create an institution that has lasted all these years. Our alumni track record has proved to be a pretty good one, I think, in the wider world of journalism. But it’s even more gratifying to think that something we started, with such high hopes but such uncertain prospects, has also endured and thrived. Congrats to you all, and three cheers for the old Nassau Weekly!


Todd Purdum ‘82
Todd Stanley Purdum is a national editor and political correspondent for Vanity Fair.