Princeton was integrating not only by race and ethnicity, but also by gender. Ms. Sotomayor was one of 20 Hispanics in her class, students estimate. Princeton had admitted women just a few years earlier, and “husband-hunters,” as one of the alumni still campaigning against their presence called them, were vastly outnumbered at the college.
When the students arrived, they were subject to constant suspicion that they had not earned their slots. “It was a question echoed over and over again, not only verbally but in people’s thoughts,” said Franklin Moore, a former Princeton administrator. Ms. Sotomayor and Mr. Thomas, honors students in high school, considered themselves qualified. But to prove their critics wrong, they studied with special determination.
“We can’t let these people think we just came off the street without anything to offer Princeton,” said Eneida Rosa, another member of the Hispanic contingent, describing how seriously she and Ms. Sotomayor took their studies.