Leander Stockwell Jadwin graduated in 1928 after competing as a hurdler in track and field. He died eight months later in car accident.
Built largely with the money left to the University when Jadwin’s mother died in 1965, the building hosted its first athletic event on Jan. 25, 1969, when Princeton defeated Penn in men’s basketball.
Since then, Jadwin has become one of the key buildings on the Princeton campus and a major venue in the world of intercollegiate athletics. Today it is remains one of the great multi-purpose gymnasiums anywhere, with its five levels and enough floor space for eight football fields.
Jadwin is the home for Princeton men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s squash and men’s and women’s fencing, as well as a backup site for men’s and women’s tennis.
It also features most of the Department of Athletics administrative offices, as well as a weight-training center; an indoor turf field large enough to accommodate practices for sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and football and main-court seating for nearly 7,000.
It took four years to build Jadwin, which at the time looked into the open end of Palmer Stadium, which itself had originally been built in four months of 1914 and had been built on that spot because it afforded an unobstructed view of the lake. Jadwin is basically the fifth home for Princeton basketball, which played in Bonner-Marquand Gymnasium (where Campbell Hall now stands) from 1900-02, University Gym from 1903 until fire destroyed the building in 1944, Baker Rink from 1944 until Dillon Gym opened in 1947 and then Dillon from 1947 until 1969.
While it is a facility that might be short on frills, Jadwin is still going strong in its middle age. Any number of events happen under its unique roof each year, and hardly a day goes by without some activity, whether it is Princeton athletics, a summer camp, a practice facility for some team, a high school track meet or the local high school science fair.
In honor of its 40th anniversary, here is a look at the Top 40 moments in Jadwin Gym history, beginning with 31-40 and continuing with 21-30 Wednesday, 11-20 Thursday and 1-10 Friday.
Jan. 26, 1979 The New Jersey Nets defeat the New Orleans Jazz 110-104 in the only NBA regular-season game in Jadwin Gym history.
April 29, 1974 - Cat Stevens plays the first UGA-McCarter Theatre concert.
Feb. 24, 2008 Princeton avenges a regular-season loss and defeats Penn 6-3 after dropping two of the first three matches to win the women’s national squash championship for the second straight year. The win gives Princeton a team or individual national champion for the 22nd straight year.
March 10, 1999 Mason Rocca, Ahmed El-Nokali, Gabe Lewullis, Brian Earl and Chris Young all play all 40 minutes in a 54-47 win over Georgetown in the opening round of the NIT. Georgetown subs 66 times; Princeton does not sub once.
Jan. 24, 1977 The Harlem Globetrotters play at Jadwin Gym. The Globetrotters would return each of the next two years as well.
Jan. 25, 1969 Chris Thomforde scores 20 points and Geoff Petrie scores 19 as Princeton defeats Penn 74-62 in the first game ever played at Jadwin.
Oct. 7, 1987 Shortly before the start of basketball practice, a circus comes to Jadwin Gym. The weight of the elephants causes damage to the floor and to the beams underneath, forcing a scramble to fix the problem in time for the basketball season.
Feb. 4, 1979 One night after getting into a fistfight during the same event at the Millrose Games in New York City, the Morgan State women’s mile relay team sets an American record and ties the world record with a time of 3:44.561 at the Princeton Relays.
Feb. 25, 1980 Gail Ramsay of Penn State defeats Nancy Gengler of Princeton in the women’s squash national championship match. Ramsay goes on to become the Princeton women’s coach.
Nov. 27, 1978 The musical group Boston plays a concert in Jadwin Gym.