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March 18, 2009
March 11, 2009
Panelists debate ‘justice after Bush’
In the wake of President Barack Obama’s historic election, scholars continue to look back and re-evaluate the conduct of the president who came before, George W. Bush. On March 10, four experts met at a Princeton panel discussion of “Justice After Bush: Should Former Administration Officials be Prosecuted?” sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School Program in Law and Public Affairs. The panelists discussed the feasibility and rationale for prosecuting the Bush administration for war crimes.
István Déak, a premier scholar on World War II war crimes and emeritus professor at Columbia University, began the talk with a brief history of postwar prosecutions and purges in Europe, where hundreds of thousands were either executed or forced from official positions after the Allied victory.
“The Nuremberg trials are not the example for us,” Déak said. Instead, he instructed the audience and panel to consider a policy more in line with a purge, which would dishonorably discharge people at fault. In Austria alone, he said, 300,000 civil servants from teachers to postmen were dismissed for their association with the Nazi party. “The aim of the purges was much more than punishment, [it was] the idea of changing society,” he said.
With a much more opinionated view, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been coordinating litigation on behalf of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, ardently supported harsh prosecution of the Bush administration. “You have to have criminal accountability to deter torture in the future,” he said.
Charles Fried ’56 opposed Ratner, finding his moral stance dubious. Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School whose former posts include U.S. solicitor general and associate justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, said that extending prosecution to members of the National Security Agency’s team, for wiretapping domestic phones and cyberspace, is equivalent to a “fetishization of law.”
“There is something odd about this certainty because it’s beginning to look a lot like the prosecution of losers by winners,” he said. “It’s beginning to look like vindictiveness.”
Scott Horton, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, agreed and suggested that an overtly non-partisan commission would be a better solution than prosecution to get at the truth behind war crimes allegations against the former administration.
Said Horton, “Truth is the mainstay of our democracy.” By Julia Osellame ’09
New book: Helping kids face shots
Almost any parent knows how frightened small children can become when faced with the prospect of getting a shot. As a child, Daphne Nizza Shaw ’93 had that fear of needles. She remembers running away from a nurse on one occasion. Her mother eased the dread by promising to buy her a toy after her doctor’s visit. Today, as a pediatrician in Texas, Shaw helps her own little patients deal with their fear of vaccinations. One tip she offers parents is to bring distractions — a stuffed animal, bubbles, or book — to her office.
After hearing so many children ask her, “Do I need a shot?” Shaw decided to offer her own distraction: a picture book about a little girl who tries to get out of shots by promising to clean up her doctor’s office. Shaw wrote the story, illustrated it, and published No Shots for Me. In the end, the character gets distracted by her imagination and braves the shots, realizing that vaccinations aren’t so bad.
Shaw counsels parents to talk to their children about shots well before they need to get them and to be honest that shots do hurt. “I don’t advise the sneak-up approach,” she says, referring to some parents’ strategy of withholding the information until the moment before the child faces a nurse holding a needle. Telling kids a month in advance, however, can provoke anxiety. Parents, she adds, should explain that vaccinations deter serious illness that can hurt much more than one shot. Shaw has noticed that patients who “think about other things or sing or blow bubbles or listen to their favorite book being read … can be distracted enough to be done with the shot before they knew it happened.”
Shaw has donated proceeds from the sale of her book to benefit organizations, including Texas Children’s Hospital and an organization that benefits Houston’s homeless, and she plans to donate a portion of future proceeds to the Lisa Bryant ’93 Scholarship Fund. By Katherine Federici Greenwood
UPDATE: The book can be purchased at www.noshotsforme.com. Princeton alumni can put “PU” on their name line when purchasing a book to direct a portion of the proceeds to the Lisa Bryant ’93 Scholarship Fund.
Fictional Princetonians: Answers
Congratulations to James Steward, who earned a copy of The Best of PAW by correctly answering all six of the March 4 Weekly Blog quiz questions. For those who were stumped, the correct responses are listed below.
1. Mel Ferrer ’39 played Robert Cohn in the film adaptation of The Sun Also Rises.
2. Doogie Howser was the precocious TV doctor who, according to the script, earned his Princeton diploma at age 10.
3. Cameron Diaz played fictional alumnus Mary Jensen in the 1998 comedy hit Something About Mary.
4. Batman attended Princeton — and dropped out — in the 2005 Christian Bale film Batman Begins.
5. Jude Law played wealthy (and fictional) alumnus Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
6. With a big job promotion on the horizon, Jack Donaghy of TV’s 30 Rock quipped, “I wish I had a Princeton reunion right now.”
February 25, 2009
Singer ’97 discusses the military’s robotics revolution
On the battlefield, robots can save lives by hunting for explosives or supporting troops from the air. And, as one unit in Iraq wrote in a letter of gratitude addressed to the manufacturer of a robot destroyed on a bomb-finding mission, “when a robot dies, you don’t have to write a letter to his mother.”
But security analyst P.W. Singer ’97 also sees practical and ethical pitfalls in the military’s use of robotic technology. In a Feb. 17 lecture at the Woodrow Wilson School, the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and 21st Century Conflict said that superior technology does not guarantee success (witness the low-tech improvised explosives planted by insurgents in Iraq). Additionally, the chance to outsource fighting to machines may lower the barriers to starting a war.
By increasing the distance between a soldier and his mission, robots are changing the way soldiers view warfare. “This is how one drone pilot described taking out troops from afar: ‘It’s like a video game,’” Singer said. “Now, as anyone who’s played the game Grand Theft Auto knows, there are things that we do in the video world — in the virtual world — that we might not do in the real world.”
The U.S. military’s use of robots in Iraq is widespread, Singer said — some 7,000 drones in the air and another 12,000 on the ground — and 43 other nations also are developing robots for combat. Non-state actors like Hezbollah have gained access to the technology as well.
“Terminator”-style humanoid infantrymen may not be as far-fetched as one would imagine. Scientists who have worked with robotics estimate they could be deployed by 2020. That would be a remarkable achievement, Singer admits, but it is an advance driven largely by “our inability to get beyond our need to destroy each other.” “So the question is this,” Singer said. “Is it us, or is it our machines that are wired for war?”
The Footnotes at 50
The Footnotes, an all-male Princeton a cappella ensemble, celebrated 50 years of making music with a Feb. 21 anniversary concert at Richardson Auditorium that featured special guests from Tufts University — an all-female group known as the Jackson Jills — and an alumni sing-along steeped in tradition.
Current Footnote Kevin Moch ’10 said the undergraduate groups performed the bulk of the show, and the “Footnotes Over Fifty,” a collection of alumni organized by music director John Preston ’11 and George Bassett ’67, added a few songs in the second half of the concert. “They were a huge hit,” Moch told PAW.
At the end of the evening, the Footnotes followed tradition and finished the performance with their signature song, “All I Ask For is You,” a Footnotes original. More than 40 alumni in attendance to joined the undergraduates on stage, and to the delight of students and alumni alike, Michael Greenstein ’65 took the solo.
Greenstein, a footnote among Footnotes, composed and arranged “All I Ask For is You.”
Pyne Prize winners, by the numbers
When sociology majors Alex Barnard ’09 and Andy Chen ’09 were named co-recipients of the Pyne Honor Prize Feb. 21, it was the first time in recent memory that both winners of the University’s top general prize for undergraduates came from the same department.
Fifteen different departments have produced Pyne Prize winners in the last 15 years (28 seniors were honored in that span). The Woodrow Wilson School leads all concentrations with five recipients, followed by English (four) and molecular biology (three). Anthropology, history, and mechanical and aerospace engineering each had two recipients.
The Pyne Prize, established in 1921 and named for Moses Taylor Pyne, Class of 1877, recognizes excellent scholarship, strength of character, and effective leadership by Princeton seniors.
Former museum director recalls looting in Baghdad
When American tanks rolled into Baghdad in April 2003, their arrival signaled the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The city also entered a period of upheaval that put precious artifacts from Iraq’s National Museum at risk. More than 15,000 rare and ancient objects from Mesopotamian history were looted in less than a week, said Donny George Youkhanna, the former director general of the museum, in a lecture at McCormick Hall Feb. 18. Despite the dogged efforts of Youkhanna and others, fewer than 4,000 of the artifacts have been recovered.
The looters were Iraqis, Youkhanna said, and they fit into three categories. One group raided the administration area and took what they knew they could sell, such as computers and fax machines. Another group went into the galleries of the museums and stole large, prominent artifacts. And a third group, which Youkhanna believes had inside knowledge of the museum, went to store rooms and stole precious items from the museum’s collection — “light things, small things, but very precious and valuable things.”
In the months and years that followed, some items were returned by Iraqis, and others were discovered by customs agents or in antiquities auctions outside the country. With help from international experts, the museum retrofitted its facilities to discourage future looting. “We had to heighten the fences to three meters, and [add] turning pikes on top,” Youkhanna said, showing a slide of the new fence. “To tell you the truth, I do not like it. It looks like a prison. But this is what we had to do.”
Youkhanna and his family received death threats and eventually fled Iraq. He was appointed as a visiting professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
February 18, 2009
‘Time’ links Ben Folds to Princeton’s Nassoons
When acclaimed singer-songwriter Ben Folds asks you to perform “Girl from Ipanema,” off the cusp, in front of a full house at Princeton’s McCarter Theater, you do it. So learned the Nassoons, Princeton’s oldest all-male a cappella group, while opening for Folds at his Feb. 11 concert.
The Nassoons first linked up with Folds in early December after Princeton’s Jonathan Schwartz ’10’s a cappella arrangement of Folds’ song “Time” won the group the chance to record on Folds’ upcoming a cappella album. Folds packed a skeleton crew and his own equipment into the Mathey College common room, where he recorded with the Nassoons for several hours.
“He was extraordinarily down to earth, and we had a blast with him,” said senior Nassoons member Brian Gurewitz. Before Folds left, the Nassoons joined him for a casual sing-a-long at the piano, where he took requests for their favorites of his songs.
The group gathered for extra rehearsals in the weeks leading up to Folds’ concert in Princeton, ensuring that their voices would be in good shape when they opened the show with Schwartz’s arrangement of “Time.” After the Nassoons finished their performance, the headliner asked them to sing one more song. He’d enjoyed their version of “Girl from Ipanema” during the recording session in December.
“We weren’t as prepared for that, but there certainly was a lot to be said for the spontaneity of the moment,” Gurewitz said.
The Nassoons chatted with Folds onstage and off, apparently not too fazed by his stardom. “Meeting Ben wasn’t unlike meeting a new friendly roommate,” Gurewitz said, “but it only took a short time to realize that despite his laid-back demeanor, he exudes talent. Ben seems genuinely interested in both the culture and style of collegiate a cappella music. I have a feeling he would have loved being in the Nassoons in college!” By Sarah Harrison ’09
Bonus: Watch the Nassoons perform Ben Folds’ “Time” in a fall 2008 music video.
Carril gets top billing on Jadwin floor
On Feb. 21, Princeton will honor former men’s basketball coach Pete Carril (at right, on PAW’s April 3, 1996, cover) by renaming the game court at Jadwin Gym “Carril Court.” Carril coached the Tigers for 29 seasons, winning 13 Ivy League titles and becoming one of the most beloved figures in Princeton sports history. His career concluded in 1995-96, the year that Princeton topped Penn in a one-game Ivy playoff and shocked UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
By the time that ’96 Princeton squad beat the defending-champion Bruins, Carril had “become known as the gruff Professor Almost,” in the words of Alexander Wolff ’79. His teams had suffered postseason near-misses against Georgetown, Arkansas, and Villanova. But, as Wolff noted in a 1996 PAW story, that view overlooked Princeton’s 1975 NIT Championship as well as regular-season defeats of highly ranked opponents: North Carolina (in 1971), Florida State (in ’72), Alabama (in ’75), and Notre Dame (in ’77). Carril’s Tigers also knocked Oklahoma State out of the NCAA Tournament’s first round in 1983.
Carril was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997, and his legacy continues through the work of protégés coaching in college and the pros, including 10 alumni (see below).
Not far from the tree
Ten Princeton alumni who played for Pete Carril currently coach professional or Division-I college teams. They are (top row, left to right) David Blatt ’81, head coach, Dynamo Moscow and the Russian national team; Mike Brennan ’94, assistant coach, American University; Brian Earl ’99, assistant coach, Princeton; Mitch Henderson ’98, assistant coach, Northwestern University; Armond Hill ’85, assistant coach, Boston Celtics; (bottom row, left to right) Sydney Johnson ’97, head coach, Princeton; Chris Mooney ’94, head coach, University of Richmond; Craig Robinson ’83, head coach, Oregon State University; Joe Scott ’87, head coach, Denver University; and John Thompson III ’88, head coach, Georgetown University.
Carril’s basketball connections also include Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody, a longtime assistant who succeeded Carril at Princeton; Sacramento Kings general manager Geoff Petrie ’70; Mercer County (N.J.) Community College head coach Howard Levy ’85; and Gary Walters ’67, the Princeton director of athletics, who played for Carril at Reading (Pa.) High School and later assisted him on the sidelines.
February 11, 2009
Film issues a call for action against human trafficking
In the call and response chants that rose up among slaves in the United States, the call signified a need and the response meant that “I hear you and I’m going to rescue you.” Musician and activist Justin Dillon uses this musical concept in his debut documentary film, Call+Response, to address the international problem of human trafficking and promote the modern abolitionist movement.
Dillon’s documentary was screened in McCosh 50 Feb. 10, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Cornel West *80, author and journalist Benjamin Skinner, and activist Bridgit Antoinette Evans.
Dillon’s film focuses on the sexual enslavement of young girls in Cambodia, Thailand, India, and the United States, and he includes several familiar faces who have spoken out against this modern form of slavery (among them musicians Moby, Talib Kweli, and Natasha Bedingfield; actresses Ashley Judd and Julia Ormond; journalist Nicholas Kristof; and former ambassador John Miller). With more than 17,000 people trafficked into the United States every year, the problem hits home, advocate Kathy Maskell of the organization Love146 says in the film.
In the discussion that followed the screening, participants spoke about creating sustainable action for the cause. “You have to play to your core competencies,” Skinner explained, highlighting examples of how plastic surgeons, musicians, and movie directors all have given differently to the cause.
In a call to Princeton students to mobilize behind today’s abolitionist movement, Evans explained that “it’s going to require students to start talking amongst themselves. … Students are a core energy in any major social movement, but they have to be organized.”
And, searching for the response, West pointed to the crowded lecture hall, two-and-a-half hours deep into the presentation. Said West: “For Princeton students to stay this long when they’re all so busy is already a sign that they’re hungry and thirsty.” By Sarah Harrison ’09
[Ed. note: Story updated Feb. 13]
Michelle Obama ’85 joins Nassau Inn wall of fame
Valerie Smith, left, the chairwoman of Princeton’s Center for African American Studies, and sociology department chairman Robert Wuthnow unveil a portrait of Michelle Obama ’85 in the Nassau Inn’s Yankee Doodle Tap Room Feb. 4. The Tap Room wall, an unofficial hall of fame for Princeton alumni, has honored distinguished graduates for more than a half-century.
Obama, whose photo hangs between images of former Secretary of State James A. Baker ’52 and astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad ’53, majored in sociology at Princeton before attending Harvard Law and working as a corporate lawyer and hospital administrator. No word yet on when the first lady plans to autograph the portrait (another Tap Room tradition). Her class will celebrate its 25th reunion in 2010.
(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Cover-worthy: Answers to the Feb. 4 Weekly Blog quiz
This 1987 alumna was a P-rade sensation in 1986, rising above the Class of 1946 contingent in a Statue of Liberty costume. (It wasn’t the first or last time that her photo was featured on the cover of a magazine.) Answer: Brooke Shields
PAW’s Oct. 21, 1958, cover shows President Robert Goheen ’40 *48 waiting to begin an interview with this famous CBS News reporter. The cover line reads, simply, “Hello, Ed.” Answer: Edward R. Murrow
This 1996 cover subject - a Yale Law graduate - was on hand to help Princeton celebrate its 250th anniversary. He returned in 2006 to speak at Class Day. Answer: President Bill Clinton
January 28, 2009
A heartfelt translation, nine years in the making
In 1998 when Herbert Jordan ’60 visited his daughter at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, he picked up her copy of a translation of the Iliad. He read the first page and “it electrified me,” he says. So he got his own copy and read every translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey he could find. A year later, tragedy struck when his only son died in a car crash at 16. At the urging of a friend, he began to teach himself to read Homer in the original Greek, as a way, he says, “to channel grief.” He spent a couple years learning the language, spending four to six hours a day on the task.
As he began to learn the language and read the Iliad, says Jordan, “I felt that I could relate to the spirit of the original better than any of the translators I read.” And he sensed “I was there, by the ships on the beach below Troy,” says Jordan, who has had a wide-ranging career as an attorney, CEO of a window and door manufacturing business, and founder of a maple syrup production business and a charitable legal service. He tried his hand at translating the epic poem of gods and warriors, line by line, into English blank verse. The hardest part, he says, was “learning to deal with Greek irregular verbs.” Along the way he had some help from Henry Taylor, a Pulitzer-prize winning poet, who went over his drafts, coaching him on diction and tone. When he started the translation, Jordan had no intention of publishing it. But University of Oklahoma Press was impressed and last October published it. A reviewer from Bryn Mawr Classical Review called Jordan’s translation “remarkably lively and poetic” and a “very easy, vivid read.”
Even though it took nine years in all to complete the Iliad, Jordan is already at work on his next project: translating the Odyssey. By Katherine Federici Greenwood
(Photo courtesy Herbert Jordan)
Men’s and women’s basketball: Previewing the Ivies
The Princeton men’s and women’s basketball teams each entered the two-and-a-half-week exam break on winning streaks — streaks they hope to continue when the Ivy League tips off the heart of its schedule Jan. 30.
The men were picked to finish last in a preseason poll of Ivy media, and with a 5-8 record in non-league games, the Tigers still have much to prove. But a solid win over Lehigh Jan. 7 gave Princeton a confidence boost. Only two Ivy teams have winning records outside the league: Cornell (10-6 in non-Ivy games), the defending champion and Ivy favorite, and Harvard (8-6 non-Ivy), which notched an impressive upset win at Boston College Jan. 7. Yale topped Brown in its first two Ivy contests and could join Cornell and Harvard as a league title contender.
When Princeton faces Dartmouth Jan. 30, the starting lineup likely will include three
four players who have never started an Ivy game: freshman Doug Davis, sophomore s Kareem Maddox and Dan Mavraides, and junior Pawel Buczak. Coach Sydney Johnson ’97 said that stressing defense could help the Tigers overcome inexperience. “We need to get stops in the winning moments, and then the offense will come,” he said in early January. “If you look at us at this point, compared to last year, clearly we’re defending better.”
On the women’s side, perennial Ivy powers Dartmouth and Harvard look strong again, but the big two expect challenges from Cornell, which shared the league title with the Big Green and Crimson last year, and Columbia, led by sophomore Judie Lomax, a talented transfer from Oregon State who has averaged 13.8 points and 13.6 rebounds per game this year. Beginning Jan. 30, the Princeton women (6-9 overall) will play all four of those top teams in a nine-day span — a major challenge for coach Courtney Banghart’s young squad, which won its Ivy opener against Penn Jan. 10.
Whitney Downs ’09, Addie Micir ’11, and Lauren Edwards ’12 have led the way for the young Tigers so far this season. In the Ivy’s midseason media conference call, Banghart said she was thrilled with her team’s energy and hunger, but a little concerned about how her team would react to the Ivy League’s intense Friday-Saturday schedule. Said Banghart: “I don’t think you can understand the back-to-back and the battle of tournament play every weekend until you’ve actually lived through it.”
Names in the news
Karen Smyers ’83, one of five inductees included in the first class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame, talked about overcoming challenges in her career. [Endurance Planet]
Lisa Jackson *86, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, was a “master juggler” as an official in New Jersey. [The New York Times]
International Rescue Committee president George Rupp ’64 helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of the group’s founding. [Miami Herald]
Don Oberdorfer ’52 discussed America’s diplomacy with North Korea and the status of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Il. [The New York Times]
The American Plan, a 1990 play written by Richard Greenberg ’80, returned to Broadway in a well-received revival. [The New York Times]
January 21, 2009
Dancing for the inauguration
For one Princeton student, the inauguration of President Barack Obama was quite the occasion to dance. Kate Adamson ’11 performed at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show, hosted by the California State Society, Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C.
Adamson, a member of Princeton’s Disiac Dance Company, linked arms with professional Broadway dancers and Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in a “Yankee Doodle” dance number, as well as in a can-can dance inspired by Obama’s slogan, “Yes We Can!” Patti Colombo, the choreographer of Broadway’s Peter Pan musical, arranged the routines.
Adamson left exam studying behind on Thursday evening to head down to D.C. for all-day rehearsals Friday and Saturday.
“It was such a great experience,” she said. “I was especially grateful to be part of this historical moment, and to be involved in this surge of patriotism and energy.” Adamson did it in style, wearing costumes designed by graduates of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom all were in attendance.
“The event was an intersection of two things that I am passionate about right now: dance and Obama,” Adamson said. Nothing like a good high-kick to welcome in the 44th president. By Sarah Harrison ’09
Princeton’s gym “for all seasons” turns 40
When Jadwin Gymnasium opened its doors in 1969, PAW billed the new facility as “a cage for all seasons”: a facility that could be used for basketball, track, wrestling, fencing, squash, tennis, lacrosse, baseball, and rainy-day soccer or football practices. And with a volume of 10 million cubic feet (250,000 square feet of floor space), it was possible to contest a half-dozen sports at once.
Jadwin remains one of Princeton’s most impressive buildings, 40 years after its opening. The men’s basketball team will mark the 40th anniversary of the gym with a game against Concordia Jan. 25, 40 years to the day after the Tigers christened the Jadwin court with a win over Penn (pictured at right on PAW’s Feb. 11, 1969, cover).
The gym’s namesake is L. Stockwell “Stock” Jadwin ’28, left, a Princeton track captain who died in a car accident shortly after his graduation. After Stockwell’s death, his parents, Stanley and Ethel Jadwin, continued to donate to the University’s Annual Giving campaign in their son’s name, and when Mrs. Jadwin died in 1965, she left $28 million to Princeton — at the time, one of the largest sums ever given to the University. The money supported the construction of Jadwin Gym and Jadwin Hall, as well as several academic initiatives.
(At top, the H-Y-P indoor track meet of 1969. Photos: PAW archive)
Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications is counting down the top 40 moments in Jadwin’s history. Click here to read:
Mielke ’07 competes in curling championships
Alumnus Matt Mielke ’07, profiled in PAW’s Jan. 28 issue, competed in the East Qualifier for the U.S. Curling Championships Jan. 7-11 in Brookline, Mass. It was an “up and down” week, Mielke said in an e-mail to PAW. The competition started well as Mielke and teammates Matt Hames, Bill Stopera, and Dean Gemmel won four consecutive matches in round-robin play. But in the final two round-robin matches, Mielke’s team faced Todd Birr’s team — one of the world’s top squads — and lost both meetings.
At 4-2, Mielke’s team moved on to the playoff round, where it drew Pete Fenson’s team, the 2006 Olympic bronze medalists. Fenson’s squad won, 6-3, knocking Mielke out of contention for one of the East’s three automatic berths in the national championships. The championships also will serve as the 2010 Olympic Trials.
Mielke’s team earned a second chance to reach nationals: By winning its consolation match in the playoffs, the team secured a spot in the “challenge round,” to be contested in Bismarck, N.D., Jan. 28-Feb. 1. Ten teams from the regional meets will play for four berths to the national championships. Fans can follow the results at usacurl.org.
January 7, 2009
Tilghman, Tigers among N.J.’s most influential
President Tilghman was profiled by New Jersey Monthly in a special January issue devoted to the state’s 101 most powerful residents. The magazine hailed Tilghman for investing in the sciences, reshaping student life, and inviting changes to campus culture. “The notion that the culture will be frozen in place at a university, which should always be pressing forward into the future, is, I think, just wrong,” Tilghman said.
Other powerful Princetonians spotlighted by the magazine include Michael Aron *70, a longtime senior political correspondent for the New Jersey Network; Lawrence Goldman *76, president and CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; David Grant ’72, president and CEO of the Morristown-based Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Lisa Jackson *86, Gov. Jon Corzine’s former chief of staff and the Obama administration’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency; and former Gov. Tom Kean ’57, who served as chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
Names in the news
Carlin Romano ’76 covered the American Philosophical Association’s conference in Philadelphia, speaking with alumni Cornel West *80 and Joshua Weinstein ’87. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman ’77 may be paving her way for a gubernatorial bid in California. [Los Angeles Times]
Selden Edwards ’63’s novel The Little Book earned high praise from reviewer Keith Runyon, who named it one of 2008’s best books and called it the best novel he’d read in nearly two decades. [Louisville Courier-Journal]
Outfielder Will Venable ’05 is aiming for a spot on the San Diego Padres’ opening-day lineup. [Marin Independent Journal]
Caltech chemical engineering professor Frances Arnold ’79 and colleagues are working to manipulate microbe communities and employ them in applications that range from drug delivery to fuel production. [Science News]
Congratulations to Jessica Dye ’05 of Brooklyn, N.Y., who won a $100 gift card from the U-Store in PAW’s drawing for readers who signed up to receive our e-mail alerts.
December 23, 2008
PAW’s annual look at Princeton’s top headlines, on and off campus.
In the first application cycle since early admission was ended, the University received a record 20,118 applications, up 6 percent from the previous year. It’s the fourth consecutive year in which admission applications have set a record. Janet Rapelye, dean of admission, said the number and the quality of applicants “exceeded our expectations.” … [Read more]
February: Ethan Coen ’79 wins Oscar
Ethan Coen ’79 and his brother Joel, the directors and screenwriters of No Country for Old Men, earned starring roles at the Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 24. Their film won four Oscars, including the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Another film with Princeton ties, Taxi to the Dark Side, was named the year’s Best Documentary Feature. Todd Wider ’86 and Jedd Wider ’89 served as executive producers of the documentary, which explores the arrest, torture, and death of an Afghani taxi driver at an American Air Force base.
March: Bob Goheen ’40 *48, Princeton’s 16th president, dies (By Merrell Noden ’78)
I was not sure what to expect back in the fall of 2006, as I walked through Robertson Hall on my way to meet Bob Goheen ’40 *48 for the first time. I came to Princeton in 1974, two years after Goheen had stepped down following 15 momentous years as University president. It’s hard to imagine how that time could have been more eventful: Goheen had welcomed minority students in real numbers, overseen the transition to coeducation, and transformed Princeton from an excellent undergraduate school into a world-class research university. To accomplish all that at any time would be an awesome achievement, but to do at a time of widespread paranoia, violence, and uneasiness about change was testament to the deep trust Goheen inspired in faculty and students alike. I knew the legacy but not the man. Goheen’s secretary offered to take me to his office. We rounded a corner and there, walking slowly before us, was Bob Goheen. Sensing that it would be ungracious to catch him, we slowed down to give him time to reach his office. A few moments later he stood up to shake my hand and then sat down, slightly breathless. His hair was rumpled, and he was not wearing his trademark bowtie. There was no self-importance or vanity about him. … [Read more]
For the last two years, Princeton’s Center for Innovation in Engineering Education has tried to provide an encouraging nudge for faculty pursuing new ideas in engineering classrooms. On April 7, the center received a major boost: a $25 million gift from Dennis Keller ’63, the founding chairman of DeVry Inc., and his wife, Connie, aimed at improving the links between engineering and the liberal arts at Princeton. … [Read more]
On Jan. 9, 2008, Alicia Soderberg, a postdoctoral research associate in astrophysics at Princeton, was studying the X-ray emissions conveyed from space by NASA’s Swift satellite when she recognized an extremely bright light on the screen of her computer, saturating the satellite’s view “as if we had pointed a digital camera directly at the sun,” she said. That light, Soderberg and colleague Edo Berger later confirmed, was a supernova — an explosion of a massive star. Their finding, named Supernova 2008D, or SN 2008D for short, was described in a paper published in Nature May 22. In a May 21 teleconference, Soderberg described the experience as being in the right place, at the right time, with the right telescope. “I truly won the astronomers’ lottery,” she said. … [Read more]
The P-rade is an event for Tigers of many stripes — and for many patterns, prints, and plaids, too. But this year, viewers perched on the banks of Elm Drive likely experienced a sense of déjà vu from two large contingents of alumni donning jackets that featured alternating, finger-width vertical slats of orange and black. The first group was the Class of 1983, marching at the head of the P-rade in brand-new Reunions blazers. The second was the Class of 1958, back for its 50th reunion and wearing the same pattern. (The Class of 1933, which originated those familiar vertical stripes, was not represented in the P-rade, but two widows of class members were on hand at the Old Guard luncheon to celebrate ’33’s 75th.) … [Read more]
The University announced a $100 million gift July 1 from Gerhard R. Andlinger ’52 to support energy and environmental research. The gift will create the Gerhard R. Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and will support construction of a 110,000-square-foot building, to be called Andlinger Laboratory, between the E-Quad and Bowen Hall. The center will include several new faculty positions; major research areas will include sustainable energy sources, techniques to improve carbon management, and energy efficiency. … [Read more]
August: Lind ’06 wins gold at Olympics
When Caroline Lind ’06 and her U.S. rowing teammates won Olympic gold in the women’s eight, they hugged, cried, smiled, and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” with gusto on the medal stand. And in the week that followed, whenever they left the Athletes Village, the gold medals came with them. “I don’t know if many athletes wear their medals,” Lind said, “but my entire team was like, ‘We’re wearing them!’” At clubs and restaurants and on the streets of Beijing, the women were treated like celebrities. By the time Lind returned home, her medal had a tiny nick near the bottom, and its ribbon was starting to pill like an old T-shirt. “It’s well-loved,” she said. Lind was one of 15 Princeton alumni and students who traveled to Beijing as Olympic athletes or coaches. … [Read more]
September: Gehry-designed Lewis Library opens (By W. Barksdale Maynard ’88)
Is Princeton ready for Frank Gehry? Skeptics peering over construction fences at the corner of Washington Road and Ivy Lane had their doubts. Some predicted that Lewis Library would be the scariest thing to fall to earth in central New Jersey since that Martian spacecraft jarred Grover’s Mill 70 years ago — “Mr. Wilmuth, would you please tell the radio audience as much as you remember of this rather unusual visitor that dropped in your backyard?” But when the fences finally came down in the summer, two years later than originally scheduled, the skeptics tiptoed inside. No sign of any tentacled Martians glistening “like wet leather.” A sure cure for lingering aesthetic doubts was a trip to the fourth floor, almost 100 feet up: the soaring ceilings, the mazelike plan full of surprises, the whimsical plywood furniture, and, best of all, the view through giant windows of the rest of this strange building — crooked walls, tilted roofs, shiny steel and painted stucco and orange brick colliding in wild, delightful confusion. … [Read more]
October: Krugman wins Nobel in economics
Looking somewhat sheepish before a packed press conference Oct. 13 in Robertson Hall, economist Paul Krugman accepted the congratulations of friends, students, and colleagues as the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. A professor in the economics department and the Woodrow Wilson School, Krugman earned the award for groundbreaking research in the fields of international trade and economic geography. He is more widely known for his twice-weekly column in The New York Times. … [Read more]
November: Alumni candidates succeed at the polls
Jared Schutz Polis ’96 got a new job Nov. 4. The Internet entrepreneur from Boulder, Colo., asked the people of the state’s 2nd district to “hire” him as their representative in Congress, and on Election Day, a strong majority of voters backed the idea. In an election that will send Michelle Obama ’85 to the White House as first lady next month, Polis was one of six Princetonians to win a congressional or gubernatorial race. … [Read more]
Princeton has settled its six-year legal battle with members of the Robertson family over control of the Robertson Foundation, the University announced Dec. 10. Under the settlement, the University will pay $50 million to a new foundation that will support the preparation of students for government service, and another $40 million to reimburse the Robertsons’ legal fees. The Robertson Foundation will be dissolved, giving Princeton control of the remaining funds, according to a University release. Robertson Foundation assets were worth more than $900 million on June 30, 2008, the end of the University’s fiscal year. … [Read more]