Jadwin Gym, or more formally “the L. Stockwell Jadwin ’28 Gymnasium,” turns 40 this week.
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.
Aug. 2, 1983 Eddie Murphy performs his one-man show as part of his “Delirious” tour. He spends the first part of the show making fun of Mike Tyson and Brooke Shields, who are sitting in the front row.
Jan. 13, 2006 Meagan Cowher scores 35 points against Cornell one night after scoring 31 against Columbia, giving her the highest Ivy League weekend point total by a men’s or women’s player in Jadwin history.
Oct. 21, 1994 The award-winning basketball documentary “Hoop Dreams” debuts featuring a scene where the protagonists William Gates and Arthur Agee participate in the ABCD camp at Jadwin in front of most of the top college coaches in the country.
Oct. 24, 2008 Princeton retires the No. 42 across all sports in honor of football’s Dick Kazmaier and basketball’s Bill Bradley, arguably the two greatest athletes in school history. John McPhee, the Putlizer Prize-winning author who roomed with Kazmaier and wrote about Bradley, hosts the event.
Oct. 16, 1975 Arthur Ashe plays Bob Lutz and Vijay Armitraj plays Marty Reissen in exhibition matches at Jadwin as part of a tennis jamboree.
March 5, 1988 Kit Mueller and Dave Orlandini score 22 points each as Princeton defeats Ivy League champion Cornell 79-58. Princeton had been eliminated by three straight one-point losses in midseason before ending the year by hammering the Big Red; Princeton would win the next four Ivy titles.
Nov. 13, 1971 The Beach Boys play the first concert in Jadwin history. Among the songs played are: “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “California Girls,” “Heroes and Villains” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”
March 3, 1977 Renaldo Nehemiah of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High runs a hand-timed 6.9 60-yard high hurdles race in the New Jersey high school state championships. Nehemiah, arguably the greatest hurdler of all time, would have set the world record had the time been electronic.
Feb. 26, 1971 Brian Taylor scores 31 points as Princeton defeats Yale 108-64. It is the only time a team has reached 100 points in a game at Jadwin Gym and remains the last time a Princeton team reached 100 points.
Sept. 30, 2005 - Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice speaks as part of the 75th anniversary of the Woodrow Wilson School.