Dean Francis R. B. Godolphin of Princeton last week revealed that two members of last year's graduating class at Princeton were apprehended for forging their Senior these.
The two men, members of the English and the Modern Languages Departments, submitted exact copies of Masters' theses stolen from the Columbia University Library last winter. The University refused to reveal the students' names.
Professor A. T. MacAllister of the Modern Languages Department disclosed that he was able to track down the plagiarism because of a suspiciously excellent thesis of the student in his department. "The thesis readers observed that it was rather unusual for a regular third group man to turn in a top honor thesis," he said.
"One of them remarked that 'this is really a master's thesis,' and then we began to consider where the man might have plagarized his thesis. Since he lived in New York, we phoned the French Department at Columbia. That was the end of the trail."
Professors Robert G. Hallwachs and Thomas Riggs Jr. of the English Department became suspicious of the thesis written by a student in their department. When he turned out to be a close friend of the first plagiarist, they went through the same checking process with the same results. "Style cannot be counterfeited and you can always sense something wrong when a man's work is not his own," said Hallwachs.
Both men, when faced with the evidence, were forced to admit that the work was not their won, but they denied outside help.