Tag Archives: Names in the news

Names in the news: Rumsfeld ’54 on wrestling, Lander ’78’s Breakthrough Prize, and more

i-cb871462d587ce5377455ff9e2535dd3-wb_alumni.jpgFormer defense secretary — and former varsity wrestler — Donald Rumsfeld ’54 added his voice to the call for the Olympics to keep wrestling in the games. [Washington Post]

Genomics pioneer Eric Lander ’78 was one of 11 inaugural recipients of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the world’s richest prize for medicine and biology. Princeton Professor David Botstein also received the prize. [New York Times]

Princeton Professor Douglas Massey *78 contested the notion that Mexican immigrants come to the United States to have children, noting that social science shows work as the overwhelming draw. [U.S. News & World Report]

Elena Kagan ’81 and Sonia Sotomayor ’76 supported cameras in the courtroom before they became Supreme Court justices, but both have changed their position since joining the high court. [New York Times]

Commentator Pete Hegseth ’03 examined the rhetoric and substance of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. [National Review]


Names in the news: Academy Awards preview

Jedd ’89 and Todd Wider ’86 (Photo: Courtesy Wider Film Projects)

Brothers Jedd ’89 and Todd Wider ’86 have earned an Academy Award nomination for the short documentary film Kings Point, which tells the stories of five senior citizens living in a Florida retirement community. The two producers teamed with director/producer Sari Gilman to create the film, which won the Grand Jury Prize for best short at the 2012 Silverdocs documentary festival.

The Widers were executive producers of Alex Gibney’s 2007 feature-length documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, which won a 2008 Academy Award and a 2009 Emmy, following its release on HBO.

At least two other alumni have a personal connection to Oscar nominees in the Best Picture category: Jamie Horton ’78, a Dartmouth College theater professor who had a small role as U.S. Rep. Giles Stuart in Lincoln; and Hal Saunders ’52, a former State Department official who was a real-life player in the events depicted in Argo.

Horton, who submitted an audition tape at the urging of a friend, told Dartmouth Now that director Steven Spielberg selected regional theater actors for several roles in the film. “As an actor and as an American, it was an amazing experience to work on this epic movie, and it’s one that I will treasure,” he said.

Saunders is portrayed by actor Bill Kalmenson in Argo, though he noted in an email to Class of 1952 secretary that it is “a non-speaking role.” Saunders was an assistant secretary of state during the Iran hostage crisis. He currently serves as director of international affairs at the Kettering Foundation.

A handful of Princetonians have won Academy Awards, including actors James Stewart ’32 and Jose Ferrer ’33; writers Ring Lardner Jr. ’36 and Bo Goldman ’53; writer, director, and producer Ethan Coen ’79; Pixar animator Michael Kass ’82; and most recently, Pixar software engineer David Laur ’84. The University also was the focal point of an Oscar-winning film, Princeton: A Search for Answers, which won the 1974 award for best short documentary.

Update: An alert and loyal reader noted another film with alumni connections — How to Survive a Plague, a best documentary feature nominee this year. Howard Gertler ’96 produced the film and Loring McAlpin ’83 was an associate producer. The documentary follows the work of two groups — ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — “whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.” The film won best documentary at the Gotham Independent Film Awards last year.

Names in the news: Filibustering, hacking, chick lit, and more

i-cb871462d587ce5377455ff9e2535dd3-wb_alumni.jpgSen. Jeff Merkley ’82, D-Ore., is one of the leaders in a movement on Capitol Hill to reform the filibuster. [The New Yorker]

New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth ’04 spoke with “On the Media” about her story detailing attempts by Chinese hackers to infiltrate the Times’ computers. [WNYC]

In a recent interview, author Jodi Picoult ’87 quipped that “it would be news to the 47 percent of people who write me fan mail who happen to be men to find out that I write chick lit.” [New York Times Magazine]

New Orleans lawyer and civic leader William Hines ’78 was selected as Rex 2013, king of Carnival, for the city’s famed Mardi Gras celebration. [Times Picayune]

Frederick Ilchman ’90, curator of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, helped to put together an acclaimed exhibit of works by the 16th-century painter Veronese, now open in Sarasota, Fla. [Wall Street Journal]

Financier Maggie Todd ’05 told the story of how she lost her hand in a freak jet-skiing accident, and how it’s changed her life in ways large and small. [New York Magazine]

Names in the news: Arts edition

Brooklyn playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins ’06 was selected for a five-year residency at the Signature Theatre Company in New York City. [Playbill.com]

Lia Romeo ’03’s social-media-themed play Connected won’t open until Feb. 8 (at the Kranzberg Arts Center in St. Louis), but her characters are already performing online by posting Facebook status updates. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Jordan Roth ’97, the president of Jujamcyn Theaters, has become principal owner of the company, which owns and operates five Broadway theaters. [Broadway.com]

Photographer Accra Shepp ’84 earned praise for his recent work, on display in Street Shots/NYC, an exhibit at New York’s South Street Seaport Museum through April 5. [The New Yorker]

Names in the news: Sotomayor ’76 on 60 Minutes, Homeland awards, more

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’76 spoke about her upbringing in the Bronx with 60 Minutes in her first broadcast interview since joining the court. [CBS]

Homeland, the Showtime series created by Alex Gansa ’84 and Howard Gordon ’84, won the Golden Globe for best dramatic series. The show also won the best drama Emmy in September. [Los Angeles Times]

Bloomberg Businessweek explored whether CEO Meg Whitman ’77 can “reverse Hewlett Packard’s free fall.” [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Connecticut native and 2012 Olympian Donn Cabral ’12 signed autographs to raise money for the Newtown Memorial Fund. [NBC Connecticut]

Names in the news: “All the news that’s fit to print” edition

i-cb871462d587ce5377455ff9e2535dd3-wb_alumni.jpg Seeing Princetonians featured in The New York Times is nothing new, but in the last few days the Gray Lady has seemed particularly orange and black. Here are a few of the alumni stories PAW noticed, with sections in brackets. Add your own links in the comments below.

A Q&A with Alex Gansa ’84 and Howard Gordon ’84, co-creators of the Emmy-winning TV series Homeland, explored the influences and politics behind the writing process. [Magazine]

“It’s not as easy being Meg Whitman [’77] as Meg Whitman might have expected,” the Times opined in a profile of the Hewlett-Packard CEO. [Business]

Fifty years after his creation, Spider-Man has brought his crime-fighting skills to Brooklyn, with help from writer Stuart Moore ’83. [N.Y./Region]

According to George Hirsch ’56 and Amby Burfoot, recent fabrications from a pair of high-profile distance runners contradict the spirit of the sport. [Sports]

Native Americans “have always been part of how America defined itself,” wrote David Treuer ’92, but the legacy is filled with contradictions. [Opinion]

PBS’ documentary Half the Sky, featuring Sheryl WuDunn *88, Mikaela Beardsley ’92, and Jamie Gordon ’92, is “thoroughly edifying, handsomely produced and buoyed by brave, resilient people fighting for basic equality,” according to a Times reviewer. [Television]