New book: Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, by Christopher Bascom Rawlins *97, foreword by Alastair Gordon (Metropolis Books/Gordon DeVries Studio)
For some Princeton students, Dean’s Date is a campus-wide marathon of suffering; for others, it was a day for dancing on NBC’s The Today Show in Manhattan.
Millions of viewers watched the Princeton University HighSteppers, a co-ed step team at the University, stomp, slap, and shout live in Rockefeller Plaza on May 14. The team arrived in Manhattan at 5:15 a.m. and had its final rehearsal at 8:30 before beginning to shoot teasers for the live segment.
HighSteppers president Somers Fairchild ’15 called the experience “exhilarating,” noting that many of the group’s members had been eager to participate even though the event coincided with Dean’s Date. “Usually it’s kind of… I don’t want to say ‘pulling teeth,’ but it’s hard to get people to perform because people are busy all the time,” he said. “But I got flooded with emails [saying yes].”
After discovering the HighSteppers from YouTube videos of competition performances, The Today Show staff emailed the group to ask if they would perform for the show’s Varsity Week. “Of course that was a yes,” Fairchild said. After the email, which Fairchild received three weeks ago, the group began supplemental practices for their TV appearance at the same time as they were rehearsing for a guest performance at the BodyHype Dance Company spring show.
The group arrived back in Princeton at 11:30 a.m., giving some members time to continue working on their Dean’s Date papers to make the University’s 5 p.m. deadline. “I napped for an hour and tried to finish all my work,” said Fairchild, who turned his final paper in at 4:58.
Video: Watch the HighSteppers’ Today Show performance below.
May 15, 2013
As CEO of the Advisory Board Company, a leading consulting firm for hospitals and health systems, Robert Musslewhite ’92 has plenty of business experience to draw upon. But in his recent contribution to The New York Times’ “The Boss” column, Musslewhite cited a key lesson from an earlier experience: swimming at Princeton.
An injury to one of the Tigers’ top swimmers forced Musslewhite into the lineup as the anchor of the 200-yard medley relay team at the NCAA Championships in 1989, his freshman year. Teammates Mike Ross ’90, Ty Nelson ’91, and Rich Korhammer ’89 handed a lead to Musslewhite, and he managed to hold off his opponents in a tight finish, winning the national title. Musslewhite wrote that the race “showed me how discipline and hard work could put you in a position to be lucky.”
Musslewhite’s path after Princeton included earning a law degree from Harvard, clerking for a Federal District Court judge, and working in management consulting. He joined the Advisory Board Company in 2003 and became CEO five years later. In 2012, he was among Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year honorees for the Washington, D.C., area, and earlier this year, Modern Healthcare named him as one of 300 nominees for its list of the most influential people in health care.
Like many of our Tiger of the Week honorees, Robert Musslewhite ’92 was nominated by a PAW reader. Do you have an idea for a future Tiger of the Week profile? Let us know.
May 14, 2013
May 13, 2013
What could be better than seeing your picture in PAW? Seeing your picture in PAW — that favorite photo you snapped at the P-rade, a sentimental shot of your roommates returning to your freshman dorm, or maybe an image of the Saturday fireworks. Share your Reunions 2013 photos with us for the chance to see them in the pages of our July issue — and win prizes. For more information about our annual reader photo contest, click here.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
From combing through reference materials to crafting a piece of performance art, the senior thesis offers challenges and rewards, along with a few rituals (such as growing a “thesis beard”). WATCH
Our PDF version is a great option for tablet users. DOWNLOAD
A list of graduate and undergraduate alumni deaths recently reported to the University. READ MORE
Highlights from the May 15 issue:
Agony! Ecstasy! The thesis is a senior’s final lonely journey.
The future of education? As the world gets a taste of Princeton through online education, Princeton gets ideas to improve at home.
Twelve months ago, the women’s water polo team was ranked No. 10 nationally and earned the sixth seed at NCAA Championships, where it took on a California power in the first round. As a clear underdog against No. 3-seed USC, Princeton fell behind 6-1 at halftime before losing 14-2.
Last weekend, the Tigers returned to NCAAs as the sixth seed, again with a No. 10 national ranking, and they again faced a third-seeded West Coast powerhouse. Princeton again fell behind at halftime, 6-2 — and that’s where the similarities ended. Instead of succumbing to another second-half blowout, Princeton allowed only two goals after intermission and scared UCLA with a late rally before falling 8-6.
Head coach Luis Nicolao said he felt this year’s team entered with a different attitude than the one that made its NCAA debut in 2012. “We’re more experienced and deeper,” he said. “Other than three or four bad minutes in the second quarter, we played really well.”
A two-goal loss may not sound like a big deal, but in this case, it was practically historic — it marked the closest any East Coast school has come to knocking off a California team in the first round of NCAAs (the previous best was Indiana’s 8-5 loss to UCLA in 2011). In a sport dominated by only a handful of schools — UCLA, USC, and Stanford have combined to win all 13 national titles, and the runner-up has come from that trio 11 times — Friday’s game indicates that the rest of the nation, and the East Coast in particular, may be catching up.
Many eyes were on Ashleigh Johnson ’16 in her NCAA Championships debut, and she delivered in a big way. A highly touted recruit who turned down offers from several of the California powers, Johnson made nine saves to keep the Tigers close against UCLA — and followed with 15 saves against two goals in a rout of Iona, then 14 saves in a 12-10 overtime win over fifth-seeded San Diego State that secured fifth place.
Johnson’s total of 38 saves broke the tournament record of 36, set by Loyola Marymount’s Rachel Riddell in 2005. Not a bad showing for a rookie.
“She had a great weekend,” Nicolao said. “She allows you to do so much on defense … she’s an intimidating force for opponents.”
Johnson made several big saves down the stretch of Sunday’s fifth-place game, including a tough one to her right side that preserved a 10-10 tie with 1:30 left, but Princeton’s field defense in front of her played an equally important role. Several steals helped the Tigers hold San Diego Sate scoreless for the final 11-and-a-half minutes of play, allowing Princeton to come back from a 10-7 deficit to win in overtime. Jessie Holechek ’15 scored both of the Tigers’ goals in extra time.
After finishing sixth in 2012 and fifth this year, the Tigers can dream of improving even further and doing what no East Coast team has done before — beating one of the three California powerhouses at NCAAs — especially with most of their core returning next season. Getting back to the tournament is no guarantee (Princeton needed overtime to escape the Eastern semifinals in each of the last two seasons), but if they do so, no opponent will feel comfortable with Johnson in the cage.