PRINCETON, N.J. -- Actor Paul Newman has appealed to Princeton University to end a campus tradition in which participants binge drink, trying to consume a beer an hour for 24 hours.

Newman's Day, set for Saturday the 24th, derives its name from an apocryphal quote attributed to the actor: "24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not."

On Newman's Day, students have been known to show up for class inebriated or with beer poured into coffee mugs. Part of the event's challenge is to make it through classes.

Last week, Leo Nevas, Newman's lawyer, sent the university a letter calling for the tradition to stop.

"Mr. Newman is disturbed by the use of his name in conjunction with this alcohol-related event, and he would like to bring an end to this tradition," the university's newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, quoted the letter in a story last Friday.

The university responded, explaining it does not sanction the event.

Since it falls on a Saturday this year, there was concern some students would also observe it Thursday, the week's last day of class for most students.

"The fear is that some will do it on both days. That's dangerous," J.W. Victor, a junior and president of the Interclub Council, which oversees the university's 11 eating clubs, told The New York Times.

The run-up to the event has university officials and the community urging moderation.

Campus religious groups placed two full-page ads in the campus newspaper, saying "Think about it. Pray about it."

The ads' creator, the Rev. Stephen L. White, Episcopal chaplain at the university, said the message isn't an opposition to drinking. "What we are opposed to is the way some people who engage in Newman's Day drinking degrade themselves."