Tag Archives: 2009 Year in Review

Top five most-commented stories of 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpgProviding more opportunities for alumni to comment on stories and letters was one significant goal of PAW’s 2008 Web site redesign, and in the last year, a growing number of readers weighed in online. Below are links to the five items that drew the most comments.

1. Princeton’s feminization (May 13)

When an alumnus bemoaned the loss of the “distinct masculine flavor of an all-male college,” readers roundly rejected his lament. But there was one issue up for debate: whether or not PAW should have published the letter.

2. The envelope, please … (March 4)

Our Web feature spotlighting award-winning Princetonians on the screen, stage, and television drew an enthusiastic response — and nominations of a few alumni we’d missed.

3. The cosmic apocalypse (Feb. 11)

This feature story about research of the Big Bang attracted thoughtful replies.

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Top five Princeton sports headlines of 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpg i-155090ba46f5e257dd450aefe63375bb-LIVE.SP_Sharkey.jpgThis year’s Tiger sports headlines included a parade of championship teams and two high-profile coaching departures. Read our choices, and add your favorites in the comment section below.

1. Field hockey reaches Final Four

In the semifinal round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 20, the Princeton field hockey team put forth a valiant effort against top-seeded Maryland, but the Tigers came up just short, losing 7-5 to the Terrapins. “We have an amazing core of young women who give everything they have,” coach Kristen Holmes-Winn said afterward. “They are an incredible foundation. We will be able to build on this as a program. Once you get a taste of this, it’s hard to go back. We will be fighting and clawing to keep getting better.” (Full story in PAW’s Jan. 13, 2010 issue)

2. Laxmen’s Tierney and Metzbower resign

Athletic director Gary Walters ’67 found himself looking for a men’s lacrosse coach after Bill Tierney resigned June 8 to accept the head-coaching job at the University of Denver and longtime assistant David Metzbower chose to leave Princeton rather than replace Tierney. The moves came just weeks after a season in which Princeton went 13-3, beat Syracuse (the eventual national champion), and lost in the NCAA quarterfinals to Cornell, with whom Princeton shared the Ivy League title. … (July 15)

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Top five campus headlines of 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpgSome of this year’s top headlines on campus were shaped by national news (the economy, the start of the Obama administration), while others were unique to Princeton. Read our choices, and add your favorites in the comment section below.

1. Value of the endowment declines 22.7 percent; University cuts spending

The year’s top headline actually was a series of related economic stories documented in PAW, beginning with early estimates of a 25 percent endowment drop (March 4), the first round of spending cuts (April 1), and a revised estimate of the endowment’s decline (April 22). Subsequent stories examined the University’s review of its investment strategy (July 15), more details about budget cuts (July 15), departures of staff who accepted voluntary retirement incentives (Sept. 23), President Tilghman’s defense of the University’s investment policies (Oct. 21), and finally, a closer look at what happened with the endowment and what comes next (Dec. 9).

2. Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 leaves Woodrow Wilson School; Christina Paxson named new dean

Slaughter, the dean who oversaw seven years of growth and revitalization at the Wilson School, resigned in January to begin public-service leave as the chief of policy planning in the State Department (Feb. 11), joining several alumni and faculty who took positions in the Obama administration (May 13). Paxson, a longtime Princeton professor, was selected to succeed Slaughter in June (July 15) and later spoke with PAW about her plans for the school (Sept. 23).

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Top five alumni in the news in 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpgScores of Princeton alumni have made headlines in government, business, law, arts, entertainment, sports, and other pursuits in 2009. Read our choices for the top newsmakers this year, and add your favorites in the comment section below.

i-e1d096c7189b4eb9750dc4c8cb2b1ecc-sotomayor09.jpg1. Sonia Sotomayor ’76

When Sotomayor was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court Aug. 8, she became the first Hispanic justice and the third woman to serve on the court. She also is the court’s 11th Princeton alum.

i-8646b1b0d0fcbef3ef47a6bbcbd8f530-schmidt.jpg2. Eric Schmidt ’76

Google, the undisputed king of search engines and online advertising, is reaching into new markets ranging from mobile-phone apps to online word processing, and Schmidt, the CEO with a computer-science background, has led the way.

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Top five PAW features of 2009

i-ed760e23f75ec2a84bb110ee3db59e02-2009.jpgThe following stories ranked at the top of PAW’s Web traffic statistics in 2009.

1. Inventing the future, by Joel Achenbach ’82

i-ded881e150adb756b0c95f9e16d1174c-012809.pngNathan Myhrvold *83 has one of the premier résumés of the digital age. He didn’t merely work in software; he founded Microsoft Research and spent 13 years as an all-purpose sage and eccentric genius at the side of Bill Gates.

He didn’t merely study physics and math; he studied them at Princeton, where the physics and math faculties are among the best in the world — and then he flew off to Cambridge for some tutelage at the feet of Stephen Hawking.

He doesn’t merely like to cook: He’s a master chef (and has worked in one of Seattle’s best restaurants) who once won a barbecue contest in Memphis. He doesn’t just take pictures: He’s an award-winning wildlife photographer. … (Jan. 28)

2. Mrs. Obama goes to Washington, by Peter Slevin ’78

i-179a701f73c00590412118a27f956e64-031809.pngIt was Inauguration Day. The 44th president had just taken the oath of office, and his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson ’83, was checking out his sister’s new digs, better known as the White House. A staff member, one of 93 who work for the first family, gave Robinson and his wife, Kelly, a tour that took them to the Truman Balcony, overlooking the South Lawn and the Washington Monument beyond.

“We took in the view and the history. My wife and I were just shaking our heads,” Robinson says. “When you grow up in a place that’s one-bedroom, one-bath, you’re not thinking at any point, ‘My sister’s going to live in the White House,’ or ‘My mother’s going to live in the White House.’ “

Live there they do, completing an improbable journey that took Michelle Obama ’85, the daughter of a city utility worker, from a small walkup in South Shore on Chicago’s South Side to the heart of American political power. … (March 18)

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