Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Office of General Counsel.
Office of General Counsel Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
1865-2016 (mostly 1971-1997)
343 boxes and 1 websites
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-166; 168-275; 286-313; 315-355
  • review: Box 167


The Office of General Counsel, established in 1972, provides legal counsel to officers and departments of the University, and serves as legal representative for the University in litigation, administrative matters, and transactions. The records contain correspondence, memoranda, interview transcripts, administrative material relating to the Office of General Counsel and other departments, legal documents, grant and tax reports, legal briefs, affidavits, depositions, as well as litigation material involving estates, trusts, gifts, University employees, and various individuals and corporations.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Office of General Counsel records document the financial and legal matters involving the University and the Office of General Counsel. While the records contain information that predates the formation of the office, the majority of the material dates from the official inception of the position of University Counsel in 1972. The records relate to legal matters involving litigation over estates, trusts, and gifts, as well as discrimination and injury cases involving University employees. In addition, information regarding financial audit and tax reports to several government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, can be found within these records.

Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.


Files are arranged as they were organized by the Office of General Counsel. The collection is arranged in the following series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Princeton University. Office of General Counsel.

The Office of General Counsel [as the Office of the University Counsel] was established in 1972 by President William G. Bowen. In the following decades, the Office of General Counsel continued much as Bowen had planned, providing counsel to officers and departments of the University requiring legal assistance, and serving as legal representative for the University in litigation, administrative matters, and transactions. In addition, the Office of General Counsel retains, oversees and provides liaison with outside law firms engaged on behalf of the University. Each of the General Counsel attorneys serves particular areas of practice relating to the University community. Such areas include affirmative action, benefits, construction, litigation, real estate and mortgages, and tax matters.

Prior to the establishment of the Office of the University Counsel, Princeton University's legal matters were generally handled by outside law firms. Local firm Smith, Stratton and Wise worked with local real estate transactions and New Jersey law questions. The firm Jackson, Nash, Brophy, Barringer, and Brooks of New York City dealt with trust, estates, and restricted securities matters. Additional aid from other outside law firms were employed by the University for such matters regarding federal tax disputes, federal securities litigations, and complex real estate development planning, to name a few. From the 1950s to early 1970s, Princeton employed two "in-house" lawyers on the administrative staff as part of the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA), Henry Sawyer Broad and Lawrence Robert Caruso. Broad, who was also employed by Smith, Stratton, served as legal counsel from 1956 to 1960. During 1958 and 1959, he served as legal counsel for the Committee on Project Research and Inventions, for which he provided legal assistance on Project Matterhorn, the controlled thermonuclear research effort undertaken at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Caruso served as Assistant to the Executive Officer for the Committee on Project Research and Inventions from 1957 to 1958, and as legal counsel from 1958 to 1971. From 1968 to 1971, he also served as Assistant Secretary of the University. As legal counsel, Caruso dealt with a wide variety of legal problems referred to him from all areas of the University including departmental offices, academic departments, and University-sponsored student organizations.

In 1972, President Bowen recruited Thomas H. Wright, Jr. '62 to be Princeton's first University Counsel. In that capacity, Wright provided legal advice to the President and senior administrative staff, and managed the outside legal services that were used by the University. Wright's main objective for this newly appointed position was to centralize the main legal issues regarding University affairs within his office and to use the outside law firms in connection to their particular expertise.

Over the course of several years, the Office of the University Counsel began to expand both administratively and functionally within the University. In 1974, Wright was appointed Secretary of the University following Jeremiah Finch's retirement. With this appointment, the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the University Counsel merged under Wright's leadership.

That same year, Howard S. Ende joined the Office of the University Counsel as Assistant University Counsel. As assistant, Ende reported to Wright and to administrative office heads, including the Director of Development and the Director to the Office of Research and Project Administration. Ende's primary responsibilities included legal review of information made available to potential donors; securities issues; anti-fraud statute questions; and review of individual gift or bequest agreements. He lent his legal advice in connection with receipts of securities, including restricted securities, real estate, and various forms of giving. In addition, he reviewed proposed contracts for specific research projects such as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and government and private industry contracts, purchasing systems, and specific University contract problems.

Ende also gave legal advice to the University regarding internal judicial procedures; federal guidelines for non-discriminatory practices; faculty and staff employment issues; federal, state, and local tax exemptions; and general financial management of securities and real estate.

In 1988, Thomas H. Wright was appointed Vice President of the University in addition to his positions as Secretary and University Counsel. Upon his appointment as Vice President, Wright requested Ende's assistance to reorganize and consolidate the University's legal office. In September 1989, the Office of Legal Services (OLS) was created with Ende serving as the Director and Senior University Counsel. The new office operated on its own budget and managed the University's legal affairs.

In 1990, Thomas Wright resigned his position as University Counsel to serve as Vice President and Secretary of the University. On December 14, 1990, Howard Ende was appointed General Counsel, reporting directly to Wright. With Ende's resignation as General Counsel in 2002, the Office of Legal Service's name was changed to the Office of General Counsel. As of 2006, Ende's successor Peter McDonough serves as chief legal advisor of the Office of General Counsel. The Office continues to reside at 120 Alexander Street.

Collection History


This collection has been transferred from the Office of General Counsel to the University Archives in periodic installments, most recently in March 1998 .

Box 167 was loaned back to the Office of General Counsel in 2011.


Periodic transfers of general records from the Office of General Counsel are expected indefinitely.


Appraisal information was not recorded at the time of accessioning.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2006 by Susan Hamson, Matthew Reeder, Rosalba D. Varallo, and Janaya Kizzie with the assistance of Samuel Clendon '07, Shannon DeVore '07, Page Dykstra '06, Kim Kamarebe '07, Natasha Marshall '05, Brett Masters '08, Christina McMillan '07, Lauren Ridge '08, and Devin Silva '06. Finding aid written by Rosalba D. Varallo in 2006. Series 5 added by Jessica Serrao in 2016.

There is a gap in the number sequence; there is no Box 314, and Box 167 is on loan.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Access to Series 1-Series 4 is restricted. Contact us through the Ask Us! form for further information. Series 5: Public Websites is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Office of General Counsel Records; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Boxes 1-166; 168-275; 286-313; 315-355
  • review: Box 167

Find More

Related Materials

The records of various University administrative offices, academic departments, organizations, and committees relate to, and sometimes overlap with, this collection. Of particular interest may be the records of the Office of the President; Office of the Provost; Office of the Vice President and Secretary; Office of Development; Office of the Controller; Office of the Treasurer; and the Office of Research and Project Administration.

Annual Reports to the President, which are held at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, include reports from the Office of General Counsel (Office of the University Counsel).

Other Finding Aids

Full text searching of this collection's archived websites is available through the Archive-It interface.


In the composition of this finding aid's history section, the following works were consulted: Office of General Counsel's website (located at; the Faculty and Professional Staff Index (located at as well as the faculty files held by the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library; the Administration and Deans card catalog files located in Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library; the Annual Reports to the President (AC068) by the University Counsel, Volume 51, 1972-1973, Administration, and by the Secretary and University Counsel, Volume 1, 1974-1975, Administration.

Subject Terms:
Actions and defenses.
College administrators.
College benefactors--New Jersey--Princeton.
Endowments--United States.
Executors and administrators.
Freedom of association--New Jersey--Princeton.
Landfill closures--New Jersey.
Research grants--New Jersey--Princeton.
Research--New Jersey--Princeton.
Sanitary landfills.
Trials (sex discrimination).
Universities and colleges--New Jersey--Princeton--Auditing.
Universities and colleges--New Jersey--Princeton--Business Management.
Universities and colleges--New Jersey--Princeton--Finance.
University investments--New Jersey--Princeton.
Genre Terms:
Financial records.
Grant proposals.
Legal briefs.
Legal documents.
Press releases.
Tax records.
Web sites.
Tiger Inn (Princeton, N.J.)
Ivy Club
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Palmer Square, Inc. (Princeton, N.J.)
Princeton University
Princeton University. Chapel
Princeton University. Employees.
Princeton University. Faculty.
Princeton University. Office of Research and Project Administration.
Princeton University. Office of the Controller.
Princeton University. Office of the President.
Princeton University. Trustees
Bowen, William G.
Frank, Sally, 1959-
Stony Brook Watershed (Hunterdon County and Mercer County, N.J.)