Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

Names in the news: Chart toppers

Gen. David Petraeus *85 *87 is Barbara Walters’ most fascinating person of 2010. Last year’s honoree also was a Princetonian – First Lady Michelle Obama ’85. [ABC News]
On a short list of the decade’s top CEOs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ’86 and Google’s Eric Schmidt ’76 each rank among the top five. [MarketWatch]
Twitter’s official 2010 list of notable new users includes Queen Noor of Jordan ’73 (@queennoor) and Donald Rumsfeld ’54 (@RumsfeldOffice). [Twitter.com]
A profile of crossword champion Dan Feyer ’99 includes a video of him demonstrating his speedy solving skills. [New York Times]
Recent graduate Jonathan Schwartz ’10 plays a key role in the much-anticipated Spider-Man musical. [Broadway.com]

East Wing a cappella: Tigertones visit the White House

The Tigertones made their White House debut Dec. 1 and plan to return for another reception next week. (Courtesy Will McCalpin ’12)

Click here for video of the group’s national anthem performance at a San Diego Chargers game Oct. 31.

Not many college students can say they have performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall or on the field at a San Diego Chargers football game. Even fewer could say they performed at a party thrown by First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 at the White House. The Tigertones can now say they’ve done all three.

Instead of going to class Dec. 1, the ’Tones traveled to Washington, put on their white-jacket tuxedos, and performed for about 500 guests and the first lady in the East Wing of the White House.
The invitation came only a few days before Thanksgiving, so they had little time to prepare.
“We were frantically learning some Christmas carols in the past week,” tour manager Will McCalpin ’12 said.

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Names in the news


In a recent interview, award-winning scientist Elaine Fuchs *77 discussed the wonders of skin cells. [New York Times]

Former basketball star Brian Taylor ’84 was spotlighted for his work as school administrator in Los Angeles. [Voice of America]

After graduation, Peter Dunbar ’10 rode his bike home — all the way to Oxford, Miss., in a span of three weeks. [Oxford Eagle — registration required; Dunbar’s blog]

A local feature story explores the University’s thesis catalog — and what it tells us about famous alumni like Elena Kagan ’81, Michelle Obama ’85, and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean ’57. [Star-Ledger]

Alumni newsmakers


Denny Chin ’75, pictured, a federal judge who was in the news last spring when he sentenced Bernie Madoff, is expected to be nominated to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. [Wall Street Journal]

Longtime ABC TV reporter and commentator John Stossel ’69 has joined Fox News, where he will host a weekly show on the Fox Business Channel and make frequent appearances on Fox News programs. [Newsday/Associated Press]

Lifelong Chicagoan Michelle Obama ’85 will support her hometown’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics at the International Olympic Committee’s meeting in Copenhagen next month. [Chicago Tribune]

The late George Kennan ’25 is one of two Cold War-era policymakers highlighted in the new book The Hawk and the Dove. (Kennan is the titular dove.) [Washington Post]


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

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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

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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

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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

First first lady

i-1deee4712d1d68d61adbfe37ff724558-obama.jpgTiger of the Week: Michelle Obama ’85

Two Princeton alumni have occupied the White House as presidents — James Madison 1771 and Woodrow Wilson 1879. On Jan. 20, Michelle Robinson Obama ’85 became the first Princetonian to take residence as first lady. That, of course, was a tiny footnote on a remarkable, historic day, celebrated with both pomp and reflection as Barack Obama took the oath of office as the United States’ 44th president.

Michelle Obama’s official White House biography describes her childhood home as a “brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago” — quite a contrast to the most famous residence in America. The new first lady expects that daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will bring a youthful family atmosphere to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “Our hope is that the White House will feel open and fun and full of life and energy,” she told 60 Minutes in November.

In addition to having an alumna in the White House, Princeton will be well-represented in the new Obama administration (see PAW’s “Obama Watch” for alumni slated to serve in cabinet and administrative posts). Several alumni, including some of Michelle Obama’s classmates and friends, were on hand in Washington for the inauguration. There even was a hint of Princeton orange and black in the scarf worn by Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson ’83 — or at least that’s what ABC’s Charlie Gibson ’65 guessed. On further review, it appears those colors were for Oregon State. Robinson is the head men’s basketball coach for the Beavers.

(Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP Images)

Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. All alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.