Heather Butts ’94 Chronicles the Lives of African American Health Care Workers During the Civil War

Heather Butts ’94

Heather Butts ’94

In African American Medicine in Washington, D.C: Healing the Capital During the Civil War Era, Heather Butts ’94 chronicles the largely unsung service of African American health care workers during the Civil War.

Obtaining health care training was a difficult task for African Americans. Alexander Augusta learned to read in secret and had to leave the United States to study at a medical school in Canada, Butts writes. Augusta wrote to President Abraham Lincoln and the secretary of war, seeking an appointment as a physician in an African American regiment, and eventually was appointed surgeon of the United States Colored Troops. But even as he provided care for soldiers, Augusta faced racism. While traveling from the D.C. area to Philadelphia, he was surrounded by an angry mob that threatened his life. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: View of the World From Princeton University

pawcoverPrinceton history columnist Gregg Lange ’70 once called Rob Smiley ’80’s May 4, 1981, cover image — pictured at right — “the most successful PAW cover of all time, and my favorite by far.”

The illustration shows a map of Princeton and beyond, executed by Smiley as an inspired parody of Saul Steinberg’s famous cover for The New Yorker, titled “View of the World from 9th Avenue.” Steinberg’s map ran in 1976; Smiley’s ran five years later (with the standard PAW banner; the New Yorker-style type was added for a poster version of the image).

“The loving touches — the WPRB radio tower on Holder Hall, the prominence of the Nassau Hall bell, PJ’s Pancake House, and even the New Yorker typeface replacing the PAW banner, were executed brilliantly by Smiley,” Lange wrote. “The resulting homage has been one of the few PAW covers to be reproduced for the public by popular demand, not to mention sold for real money.”

Cross-Generational Career Tips: Classes of ’66, ’91, and ’16 Gather for Networking Event

Much has changed at Princeton between 1966 and today, but alumni can still recall the anxiety of deciding what to do after graduation. Through a special networking evening for the Class of 2016, members of the Class of 1966 and Class of 1991 returned to campus Feb. 24 to offer career advice and encourage current students to follow their passions.

The networking event helped to expose students to a wide range of fields, including law, finance, technology, and nonprofits, and revealed the nonlinear career paths of successful alumni. Planned in conjunction with Career Services, there were 48 students and 10 alumni at the event.

Students like Tiffany Chen ’16 said they enjoyed hearing anecdotes from alumni about their changing career goals. “For me, this was really reassuring and inspiring to see how many people didn’t have plans or completely went off what they were going to do. I don’t know yet what I want to do, and it’s nice to know that I’ll be OK eventually,” Chen said. Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Sitcom Star Ellie Kemper ’02

Ellie Kemper ’02 (Josephine Sittenfeld ’02)

Ellie Kemper ’02 (Josephine Sittenfeld ’02)

Six years ago, we checked in with Ellie Kemper ’02 just after the young comedian and actress landed a role on NBC’s The Office. “I am a huge fan of the show,” she told PAW. “Being on set with them is like being in a dream, except the dream is real and I can reach out and touch them. Except I am trying not to touch them too much, because I was raised right.”

That earnest charm and humor came through in her character, receptionist Erin Hannon, and Kemper found a niche on the show for its final five seasons. She also built a career in movies, with credits that include Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

Beginning next week, Kemper will take on a new role as the star of the Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Kemper plays a woman who is freed from a doomsday cult and decides to start fresh in New York City — a notable challenge for someone who has been locked away from the world in an underground bunker.

Fey told Dave Itzkoff ’98 of The New York Times that she and Carlock developed the show for Kemper, who has a history of playing roles that project “sunniness, but also strength.” Kemper added that the Kimmy character is “resourceful and crafty and incredibly tough” — which should give the actress a chance to show more of her own range. As author and friend Curtis Sittenfeld wrote in a January Vanity Fair profile, “she has an edge, of the good variety.”

Below, watch a trailer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, courtesy of Netflix. Continue reading

Names in the News: Princeton’s Oscar Ties, the Scheide Collection, and More

Kip Thorne *65 (Courtesy Keenan Pepper, via Wikipedia)

Kip Thorne *65 (Courtesy Keenan Pepper, via Wikipedia)

At the Academy Awards ceremony, Interstellar visual effects supervisor Andrew Lockley, who accepted the Oscar for visual effects, praised alumnus KIP THORNE *65 as “one of the smartest people on Earth.” Thorne, a physicist at Caltech, served as the scientific consultant (and an executive producer) for the film, which was featured in the inaugural PAW Goes to the Movies column. Thorne’s involvement with the film began eight years ago, when he and producer Lynda Obst started working on a treatment in which “all the wild speculation would spring from science, not just the fertile mind of a screenwriter,” according to Deadline.com.

Oscar Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game highlights ALAN TURING *38 and his contributions as a World War II codebreaker. But Freeman Dyson tells Joel Achenbach ’82 of The Washington Post that the film overlooks Turing’s greatest contribution: “He invented the idea of software, essentially.”

Last week, Princeton received an extraordinary collection of rare books and manuscripts from the late WILLAM H. SCHEIDE ’36, who died in November 2014. Valued at nearly $300 million, the collection includes a Gutenberg Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence, and notable musical manuscripts by Bach and Beethoven. The New York Times article about the gift cited a 2009 PAW story in which Scheide talked about smelling his books as “one way of getting acquainted.”

Former Massachusetts state treasurer STEVE GROSSMAN ’67 and Harvard Business School professor MICHAEL PORTER ’69 are teaming up at a nonprofit that aims to address income inequality by helping urban businesses grow, The Boston Globe reports. Grossman said he decided to take the new job at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City because “this is where you can change people’s lives.”

All They Do is Win: Princeton Women’s Basketball Improves to 25-0

No. 16 Princeton, the only undefeated women’s basketball program remaining in the country, already has achieved the highest ranking of any Ivy League team. With two more wins this weekend — over Dartmouth, 70-31 on Friday night, and Harvard, 78-57 on Saturday night — the 25-0 Tigers are three wins away from tying the 1970-71 Penn men’s basketball for the best start by any Ivy team in history.

Taking control early, the Tigers had no trouble scoring on Friday night. They went into halftime ahead by 18 points, and came out to score the first 12 points of the second half. The Tigers held Dartmouth to only 12 points in the first half, the fewest of any opponent this season. Junior forward Alex Wheatley led all scorers with 20 points.

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Saturday, however, proved to be slightly more of a challenge for the Tigers, as Harvard kept the game close into the second half. After four quick points by Harvard cut the Tigers’ 28-19 halftime lead down to 5, the Tigers opened up a 12-4 run, led by senior co-captain Blake Dietrick and juniors Annie Tarakchian and Amanda Berntsen, to give them a double-digit lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the game. While the Tigers shot only 30.8 percent in the first half, they improved in the final 20 minutes, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.

The Tigers are making history as a team this season, but in the midst of their collective successes have also been personal triumphs. On Jan. 10, Dietrick became the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points, and currently ranks third in three-pointers with 199. Continue reading