Biography and History

Benjamin Franklin Bunn was born on June 24, 1875 on his father's farm in Rockville, Pennsylvania. An early interest in teaching led him to attend Phillips Exeter Academy (Class of 1903) and Princeton University (Class of 1907). However, after holding a part-time job in the Princeton University bookstore while an undergraduate, Bunn became manager of the bookstore upon graduation, a position he held for the next 40 years. He retired in 1963.

Known fondly as “Uncle Frank,” “Bunny,” or “Mr. Princeton” to his classmates and friends, Bunn served as trustee, treasurer, secretary or advisor to many University clubs and associations including the Triangle Club, The Daily Princetonian, and Princeton Tiger. As manager of the Triangle Club for 50 years (1908-1958), he arranged for and accompanied the students on over 40 of their cross-country trips. Bunn was also the first manager of the McCarter Theater and oversaw the Princeton Summer Theater. He was active in planning many of his class reunions and served as 1907 Class President from 1956 to 1969. Bunn also restored the trophy cases in Dillon Gym following the fire of 1944.

His dedication to Princeton was honored many times. In 1947, Princeton awarded Bunn an honorary A.M. degree for his long and faithful service to the University. His longtime role as timekeeper at basketball, football and track events led to the creation of the B. Franklin Bunn Award for the best senior basketball player. The Daily Princetonian established an award in his honor for outstanding work by a sophomore editor.

As a resident of Princeton for 60 years, Bunn's interest and service extended beyond the University. He became the only Princeton graduate to serve as mayor of both the Township (1940-1950) and the Borough (1927-1929). He was a founding trustee of the Westminster Choir College; a deacon, elder, and treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church; and trustee of Princeton Hospital, the Princeton YMCA, and the Princeton Community Fund.

Bunn's wife, Grace Traub (whom he married in 1908), died in 1955. Bunn died on November 19, 1971 at the age of 96.

Source: From the finding aid for AC024

  • Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers. 1919-1963 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC024

    The Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers consist of financial, business and administrative records which Bunn maintained for many Princeton clubs and associations during his 50 years at Princeton University. The papers also contain correspondence with many Princeton and Phillips Exeter Academy classmates, Princeton administrators, and family members. The Triangle Club material contains letters from F. Scott Fitzgerald and notable members of stage and screen.

  • Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers. 1919-1963 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC024

    The Benjamin Franklin Bunn Papers consist of financial, business and administrative records which Bunn maintained for many Princeton clubs and associations during his 50 years at Princeton University. The papers also contain correspondence with many Princeton and Phillips Exeter Academy classmates, Princeton administrators, and family members. The Triangle Club material contains letters from F. Scott Fitzgerald and notable members of stage and screen.

  • Council on Athletics Trophy Committee Records. 1929-1949 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC235

    Following a fire that destroyed the University Gymnasium in 1944, a committee was formed by the Council of Athletics for the purpose of replacing as many of the athletic trophies of the University as possible. The collection consists of the records of the Council on Athletics Trophy Committee, including subject files containing photographs, drawings, purchase orders, and other general information about the trophies.

  • Donald Marsden Collection on Triangle Club. circa 1965-1968 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC383

    Donald A. Marsden is a member of the Princeton class of 1964, a Triangle Club alumnus, and author of the 1968 book The Long Kickline: A History of the Princeton Triangle Club. The collection consists of Marsden's materials related to his published history of the Triangle Club, The Long Kickline.