Biography and History

The Office of Communications is Princeton University's administrative department with oversight of media relations and publicity, official publications, web site design and development, and photographic services.

The history of the University's Communications Office can be traced to 1925, when Alexander Leitch was appointed Director of Public Relations. He was succeeded three years later by Frederick Spring Osborne, who was called Director of Public Information. During the following years the title switched back and forth with major departmental changes.

The first expansion into a real department was in 1946, when Edmund Schacleford DeLong was appointed above Osborne as Director of Public Relations and Dan Coyle became the third staff member. The new department moved from Nassau Hall to Reunion Hall one year later. It was renamed Department of Public Information again in 1954 and kept that name until 1973.

The department grew in the 1960s. Coyle, who had left in 1959, came back as Director of Public Information in 1965, and the department moved into Stanhope Hall. By then it had seven staff members, including an assistant to the Director, a person in charge of sports information, and William McCleery, who was appointed in 1964 as the editor of University, A Princeton Quarterly. McCleery soon moved to his own office in Maclean House.

In 1973 Coyle retired and the department was renamed the News Bureau, headed by John M. Fenton, the previous Associate Director who had joined the office in 1963. A second staff member was added for sports coverage, and McCleery was from then on listed separately in the University directories. Fenton soon left the new News Bureau, and in 1975 the department was renamed the Communications Office, with George Eager as the new director. A third person was added to the sports section, which moved to the new Jadwin Gymnasium. Both the division at Jadwin Gym and Stanhope Hall gained another staff member one year later, bringing the total to nine.

In 1981 Communications merged with Publications, which had been established in 1974. By 1990 the staff of the Communications/Publications Department numbered 16 in all, with subsections for news, the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, publications, and athletics. A later reorganization resulted in the creation of four Communications teams centered around the needs of the University in the 21st century; the administrative team, the news team, the publications team, and the web team.

Source: From the finding aid for AC168

  • Office of Communications Records. 1917-2015 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC168

    The Office of Communications is Princeton University's administrative department with oversight of media relations and publicity, official publications, web site design and development, and photographic services. The Office of Communications Records consist of subject files and photographs created by the office, some going back to the 1920s, when the first Director of Public Relations was appointed.