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November 28, 2012
November 21, 2012
November 20, 2012
November 19, 2012
The University’s presidential search committee did plenty of listening last week, holding four open forums in three days to seek suggestions and comments.
The first, which took place during a meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), drew observations from students, faculty, and staff on a successor to President Tilghman, who is stepping down at the end of the academic year. The other forums targeted specific groups — members of the local community, staff, and graduate students.
The committee heard a wide range of views, with some common themes but sometime contradictory recommendations. At the CPUC meeting, one speaker urged the committee to consider endorsing a candidate from outside academia — a businessman or scientist “with a fresh perspective” — while another said experience with research and the faculty was most important.
Other advice: Select a candidate who values “interaction among different departments,” who embraces diversity, who is concerned about mental-health issues, who will ensure that Princeton continues to play a leading role in higher education, who will pay more attention to the humanities and social sciences, who has a vision of “where Princeton fits in the technological society of the 21st century,” who is more than just a competent leader but is willing to take some risks and “can inspire us to excellence,” and who has a “strong tie to the traditions of Princeton.”
And then there was what might be called the X factor — that the search committee should pick a candidate who “will excite you … You are our great hope.”
November 15, 2012
When the Tiger football team lights up Cannon Green on Nov. 17, it will be Princeton’s first celebratory conflagration since 2006 — and the first bonfire for every undergraduate on campus. We’ve combed through the PAW archives to provide a little advice.
Tip No. 1: Don’t jinx it.
This no longer applies for 2012, but it is worth mentioning for the future. When Princeton beat Harvard in 2005, the campus was beginning to sense the end of a 11-year bonfire drought. Jim Consolloy, then the University’s grounds manager, feared that after a dry autumn, the century-old white ash trees that surround Cannon Green might be at risk, so he made arrangements to soak the trees in advance. Yale put his fears to rest with a comeback victory at Princeton Stadium. A year later, Princeton managed to sweep the Big Three and light the bonfire; the trees were not harmed.
Tip No. 2: Be patient.
Student pranksters started the 1951 bonfire a bit early — actually, a day early. Half of the wood burned before the fire was put out, and the pile had to be rebuilt hours before the big event. PAW On the Campus columnist Geoffrey L. Tickner ’52 blamed both the students and the proctors charged with protecting the wood. “With the woodpile unguarded,” Tickner wrote, “their skullduggery was easy.”
Tip No. 3: Show up on time.
In 1988, captain Jason Garrett ’89 was expected to light the bonfire, but when the time came, the star quarterback was nowhere to be found. (PAW reported that he’d been in the weight room.) Garrett’s center, Bob Surace ’90, did the job in his absence. Surace will be back on Cannon Green Saturday, this time as the Tigers’ head coach.
November 13, 2012
History professor Tony Grafton, speaking at Princeton’s annual Veterans Day Service Nov. 12, called on the University to provide more support for those who have served in the military.
“Probably Princeton will never again have its own field artillery unit, with 70 horses and hundreds of members, as it did in the 1920s, or a course on ‘hippology’ in its curriculum,” Grafton said to about 125 people in the University Chapel. “But we can, and should, do a great deal more than we have.”
Grafton, who has written on the importance of the academy understanding the role of the armed forces, said that Veterans Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the debt that Americans owe to its veterans.
“As professors, students, and members of the Princeton University community, we should demand that our university support the military in every way that is consistent with its own larger enterprise, and that it offer opportunities to as many veterans as possible, as it did in the years just after World War II,” Grafton said.