Happy 99th Birthday to a Class of 1936 Alum!



On Saturday, March 5, William Rambo traveled to PTS from his home in Northport, Long Island, to celebrate his 99th birthday! Rambo graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1936 and wanted to share a special birthday with family and friends at the school that nurtured his ministry.

Rambo and his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren from as far away as Seattle, Washington, gathered in the Mackay Campus Center to share lunch, hymns, gifts, and, of course, birthday cake. Bob Sharman, director of alumni/ae relations, presented him with a citation from the Alumni/ae Association and signed by President Iain Torrance.

Rambo is the executive presbyter emeritus of the Presbytery of Long Island, where he brought keen intellect and thoughtful insight to bear on the mission of the churches in the presbytery. He is known among Long Island presbyters as “Mr. Princeton,” since he can easily and accurately recall Presbyterian Church and Princeton Seminary history, it is said, more easily than one could find it by surfing Google or the PTS web site.
For Bill Rambo, Princeton Seminary is “all in the family.” His father, Harold S. Rambo, graduated in the Class of 1905. Both men were members of the The Friar’s Club, one of the Seminary’s eating clubs before the Mackay Campus Center was built. Bill served as the club’s abbot.

A favorite memory from his student days was meeting Albert Einstein. “The two of us met under the portico of Miller Chapel one day while we were waiting out a rain storm,” Rambo remembers.

Always mindful of the wider world in which Christians minister, Rambo learned Arabic while a student at Princeton Seminary, and read the Koran in its original language. He delighted guests at the lunch by reciting from memory quotations from the Koran in Arabic.

After lunch, the Rambo family adjourned to the quad in front of Alexander Hall, where Bill lived while he was a student, for photographs.