Tag Archives: Bill Frist

Names in the news


A New York Times profile of billionaire financier Carl Icahn ’57 asks “Does Icahn still make them tremble?” [New York Times]

Reviewer Douglas Brinkley calls David Remnick ’81‘s new biography, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, a “flawlessly written” exploration of the president. [Los Angeles Times]

Sophie LaMontagne ’00, co-owner of the popular D.C. bakery Georgetown Cupcake, will soon co-star in a TLC reality show, Cupcake Sisters. [Politico]

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Transforming health

Gingrich: Technology, behavior can improve health care and health

Information technology has helped to transform industries in the United States and abroad, but according to former U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, U.S. health care continues to lag behind. When Hurricane Katrina destroyed the paper medical records of more than 1 million patients, the federal government funded a project to replace the paper records, instead of opting for a less vulnerable, more efficient electronic system. That sort of thinking, Gingrich told an audience of students, faculty, and community members April 2, is not conservative or liberal. “It’s just dumb,” he said. “It’s obsolete.”
Gingrich, founder of the Atlanta-based Center for Health Transformation, was on campus to meet with students from former Sen. Bill Frist ’74’s course on health care and technology. After his three-hour visit with the Woodrow Wilson School students, he spoke to a full house at Dodds Auditorium, covering some of his pet peeves in the world of health care.
Technology, Gingrich said, has the potential to cut waste from the system and save lives. Paperless prescription systems, for instance, have been proven to reduce errors in medicating patients. Paperless records can trim some of the time that doctors and their assistants spend on administrative work. Gingrich scoffed at the idea that technology is risky or difficult to adopt. By a show of hands, he surveyed the audience – which included many local retirees – on their technological literacy, noting that most had used ATMs in foreign countries, snapped photos with their cell phones, and tracked UPS or FedEx packages online.
While technology could change health care, changing health itself will require changes in behavior, Gingrich said. Personal responsibility and cultural patterns can shift to improve health (he cited seatbelts and reductions in smoking and drinking and driving as past examples). Optimizing health and minimizing illness, he added, would have economic benefits for the United States. By Brett Tomlinson

Magic carpet ride

i-d3d3d49b9396527df5be799167dffeeb-WEB0409.jpgThe classic story of Aladdin earned top billing at Princyclopedia 2008, sponsored by the Cotsen Children’s Library and held in Dillon Gym March 29. Julia Solorzano ’10 got into the spirit with a ride on this “magic carpet,” a makeshift hovercraft consisting of a leaf blower and an inflated air mattress.
Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Club sport shorts: Table tennis; Quidditch for muggles

Princeton’s table tennis club, the three-time defending champions of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association’s mid-Atlantic division, will travel to Rochester, Minn., for the sport’s collegiate national championships April 11-13. Princeton placed second last year and returns with several of its top players, including Adam Hugh ’08, a participant in the U.S. Olympic trials.
On March 24, students from Princeton and Middlebury donned capes on their backs and straddled brooms as they faced off in a game of quidditch, the fictional game for wizards made popular by the Harry Potter novels and films. CBS Sports was on hand to cover the contest – a 100-0 Middlebury victory.

101 and counting

On the basketball beat

If you go to a Princeton men’s basketball game, you can expect to see at least two things: a 3-point basket and Jon Solomon. The Tigers have converted at least one 3-pointer in every game since 1986, and Solomon, the founder and editor of princetonbasketball.com and an honorary member of the Class of 1976, has covered Princeton’s last 101 Ivy League games at home and on the road — a streak that dates back to the 2000-01 season.
From the bleachers of out-of-town arenas or his regular seat in the second row of section S4 at Jadwin Gym, Solomon documents the details of each contest on his clipboard and posts stories, audio clips, and photos on his Web site afterward. He has followed the Tigers since childhood, when he faithfully read local newspaper accounts. Back then, Solomon assumed that all writers traveled with the team. Now, on many road trips, he’s the only Princeton reporter waiting outside the locker room. “I like the idea of the old-school beat reporter,” he says. “I take pride in being a constant.” (Away from the gym, Solomon has been a near-constant on the radio, hosting WPRB’s 24-hour Christmas marathon, from Christmas eve to Christmas day, in 19 of the last 20 years.)
For basketball games, Solomon rarely travels alone — his wife, Nicole, and his parents are Princeton fans as well — and he has a few favorite stops in each Ivy League city, from falafel in Providence to Thai food in Ithaca. Watching road games has had its rewards: Solomon says that two of the most memorable games in his Ivy streak took place away from Jadwin. In 2001, Kyle Wente ’03 hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to top Harvard near the beginning of Princeton’s league championship run, and five years later, Scott Greenman ’06 hit two long-range shots in a double-overtime win at Cornell.
Solomon’s 100th consecutive Ivy game was played at Jadwin Feb. 1, and the Tigers did not disappoint, taking a 7-point lead late in the second half against Dartmouth and holding the Big Green at arm’s length in a 57-53 win. The next night, Princeton again played well in the second half, topping Harvard, 68-54. With a 2-0 league record, the Tigers will continue their Ivy schedule against Cornell (4-0) at Newman Arena Feb. 8. Solomon plans to be there.

‘female Hamlet’

Irene Lucio ’08, front, and Rob Grant ’08 rehearse scene from Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” in preparation for a Feb. 8 debut at the Lewis Center for the Arts. Critics have compared the title character to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Click here for more information about the Princeton production.
Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Saturday is for science

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory launched its annual Science on Saturday program last month, and this week, Iain Couzin, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton, will deliver the fifth installment, covering “Collective Motion and Decision-making in Animal Groups.”
The 2-hour lectures start at 9:30 a.m. in the Gottlieb Auditorium on the Forrestal Campus. The program is “geared toward high school students,” according to a University release, but all are invited to attend. This year, selected sessions also will be broadcast live to the “interactive theater” at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.
For more information, including a complete schedule and links to videos of past lectures, visit the Science on Saturday Web site.

Names in the News

Brooke Shields ’87, star of NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, told Newsday that sees parallels between the women in the show and some of her Princeton classmates. “When I look at the people I went to school with — those who graduated when we graduated – they are all CEOs of major, major companies,” she said. “They were pretty hungry, all of them. In their way, they had passions that were very distinct.” … Former Sen. Bill Frist ’74 tried his hand at acting in a Super Bowl commercial for Coca-Cola that featured him side-by-side with Democratic strategist James Carville. The Associated Press declared Coke a winner in the cola ad wars, but USA Today‘s ad-meter ranked the Frist-Carville spot 29th out of 55 commercials. … The New York Giants’ Super Bowl win was sweet for Marc Ross ’95, who joined the team as its college scouting director last spring. Before the game, Ross was quoted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about his team’s powerful offensive guards. … TV commentator and former NFL lineman Ross Tucker ’01 answered questions about the Giants’ upset victory in a Feb. 4 Washington Post online chat. … The soccer magazine 90:00 will run an extended interview with U.S. national soccer team coach Bob Bradley ’80 in February, written by Giles Morris ’97. When asked about what makes a player great, Bradley said: “The yardstick is always the game. You can try as many tricks as you want and if you win games there [are] no issues. The game doesn’t lie.”

Year in review

2007: The Year at Princeton

A month-by-month look at the headlines, with links to PAW stories

Gen. David Petraeus *87 is confirmed as the top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq. Three months later, Time magazine selects the Woodrow Wilson School Ph.D. recipient for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Sen. John McCain writes the brief essay on Petraeus, calling him “bright, studious, morally committed, physically brave, [and] willing to carry a ‘heavy rucksack’ without complaint and with clear-eyed resolve.” Petraeus has appeared in PAW several times – in a 2002 interview, a 2004 feature story, and most recently, in an On the Campus column about student reporter Wesley Morgan ’10, who was embedded with Petraeus and others in Iraq last summer.

In women’s squash, undefeated Princeton competes at the Howe Cup, the sport’s national championship, and tops Brown, Yale, and Harvard en route to a perfect season and its first national title since 1999. “It’s quite an honor to be able to put together a group of women to win the national title,” coach Gail Ramsay tells PAW. “[Squash] is very competitive. Small, but very competitive.”

Princeton chemistry professor David MacMillan and his colleagues publish a paper in Science March 29 outlining a new way assemble organic molecules without using toxic catalysts. The approach, which could speed the development of new drugs, is a “creative breakthrough,” according to John Schwab, a program director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which helped fund the research.

Moshin Hamid ’93 releases his novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, drawing favorable reviews in the United States and abroad (The New York Times and Amazon.com both selected it as one of the year’s 100 best books). PAW profiled the author and published an excerpt of the book, which features the protagonist Changez, a native of Pakistan who attends Princeton, works in Manhattan, and develops a complicated view of the United States after Sept. 11. “Changez is not meant to be me,” Hamid tells PAW, “but I could imagine being him.”

Reunions 2007 draws about 20,000 alumni, family members, and friends to campus, starting on May 31, for receptions, family events, educational programs, and the annual P-rade. On June 5, 1,127 undergraduates and 716 graduate students receive their degrees and join the alumni community.

The University announces that Bill Frist ’74, the former Senate majority leader, will join the Woodrow Wilson School faculty in 2007-08 as the Frederick H. Schultz Class of 1951 Visiting Professor of International Economic Policy. A December PAW feature followed Frist and Professor Uwe Reinhardt into the classroom for their course, “The Political Economy of Health Systems.”


San Diego Padres right-hander Chris Young ’02 pitches in Major League Baseball’s All-Star game July 10, retiring one batter in the top of the fifth inning before giving up a two-run in-the-park home run to Ichiro Suzuki. Young is one of nearly a dozen alumni in professional baseball, including fellow pitcher Ross Ohlendorf ’05, who made his major-league debut in September with the New York Yankees.

On Aug. 2, Middle East studies scholar Haleh Esfandiari, who taught Persian language and literature at Princeton from 1980 to 1994, is released from a prison in Iran where she had been held on charges of espionage and endangering Iran’s national security. Esfandiari strongly denied the charges. She returned to work as director of the Middle East program for the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington Sept. 10.

Whitman College, the University’s newest residential college, opens its doors to students. The complex, named for lead donor and eBay CEO Meg Whitman ’77, was built at a cost of $136 million and houses about 500 students. Architect Demetri Porphyrios *80 aimed for a fresh take on collegiate gothic architecture. “The current architectural taste is neo-modern, deconstructive,” he tells PAW. “It’s centered on aggression, where these buildings are centered on beauty.”

The University Art Museum and the Italian government resolve ownership of 15 works of art from the museum’s collection at a meeting in Rome Oct. 30, ending nearly three years of inquiries and negotiations. The Italian culture ministry suspected that some of the museum’s artifacts had been acquired illegally. The University returned four works, transferred ownership on four others (but kept them on temporary loan), and secured permanent title to the seven remaining works under review. Museum director Susan Taylor maintained that all of the objects were obtained in good faith.


The University formally launches the largest fundraising campaign in its history — $1.75 billion over the next five years — with three days of events for alumni leaders, volunteers, and donors. Priorities in the campaign include Annual Giving; engineering, energy, and the environment; exploration in the arts; neuroscience, genomics, and theoretical physics; national and global citizenship; and the “Princeton experience.” Campaign co-chairman Robert Murley ’72 tells PAW that while Princeton’s goal may not be as lofty as the multi-billion-dollar campaigns at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, “on a per-capita or per-student basis it is a very large campaign. It certainly is large and important for Princeton.”

The Dec. 13 announcement of Sachs Scholar Pauline Yeung ’08 concludes a remarkable season of awards for Princeton seniors. Three members of the Class of 2008 were named Rhodes Scholars in late November – Sherif Girgis, Brett Masters, and Landis Stankievech – marking the first time since 1995 that three Princeton undergraduates were selected. Sarah Vander Ploeg ’08 was chosen to be a Marshall Scholar, while Yeung was selected for the Sachs Scholarship, a Princeton honor named for Daniel Sachs ’60. All five students will pursue graduate studies in Great Britain next fall.

A note to our readers
The Weekly Blog will not post on Dec. 26 but will return in the new year with more news and notes.