Author Archives: Brett Tomlinson

#ThrowbackThursday: Reunion Hall

(PAW, Sept. 21, 1965)

(PAW, Sept. 21, 1965)

This summer — like most — is a busy season for construction and maintenance across campus, stretching from the Arts and Transit Project to the Lake Carnegie dam. Fifty years ago, one building’s demolition was the “principal event” of the summer, at least in PAW’s telling. Reunion Hall, a 95-year-old former dormitory used for administrative offices, was torn down. Alan Richards captured this cover image of the work in progress, including a “Funeral, No Parking” sign in the foreground.

Built in 1870 and named to commemorate the reunion of the Old and New Schools of the Presbyterian Church, the dormitory was situated between Nassau Hall and Alexander Hall. While one University official quipped that its passing “would not leave a wet eye in the house,” the building had one claim to fame: In the fall of 1935, it was home to freshman John Fitzgerald Kennedy during his lone semester at Princeton.

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton From the Air, 1928

Click to enlarge. (From the PAW Archives, Oct. 5, 1928)

Click to enlarge. (From the PAW Archives, Oct. 5, 1928)

From PAW’s Oct. 5, 1928, issue:

“An arresting view of the University campus, showing the handsome group of newer dormitories which have sprung up during the past decade at its southwest corner — Lockhart, 1905-Foulke, 1904-Henry, Laughlin, 1901, and Pyne Halls.”

Can any alumni spot their old rooms?

Princeton Athletes Compete for Their Countries

Katie Reinprecht ’13 (Team USA)

Katie Reinprecht ’13 (Team USA)

U.S. field hockey midfielder KATIE REINPRECHT ’13 wasted little time in her squad’s debut at the Pan Am Games July 13. She scored in the second minute against Uruguay, sparking what would become a 5-0 victory for the United States. Sister JULIA REINPRECHT ’14, also a starter, helped to preserve the shutout on defense.

The field hockey stars are among more than a dozen Princeton athletes — alumni and undergraduates, from varsity and club sports — competing internationally this summer.

Men’s basketball standout HANS BRASE ’16 led Germany to a silver medal at the World University Games in South Korea July 13. The German team pushed the United States to double-overtime in the championship game before falling, 84-77. Brase’s Tiger teammate SPENCER WEISZ ’17 is representing Israel at the FIBA U-20 European Championship in Italy.

Women’s water polo teammates ASHLEIGH JOHNSON ’16 and ASHLEY HATCHER ’15 faced off in the Pan Am Games. Hatcher, playing for Argentina, scored three goals in three games (a win and two losses), while Johnson, a goalkeeper for the United States, held Cuba to three goals in a commanding 18-3 win during the group stage. Johnson will be playing for gold tonight when the Americans face Canada in the championship game. Continue reading

Service Abroad: O’Connell ’14 Volunteers in Ukraine

During Princeton’s graduation events last year, Mark O’Connell ’14 noticed a common theme delivered by the speakers: the importance of giving back, with the corollary idea that service “can take many shapes and forms.”

Mark O’Connell ’14, second from left, with friends and fellow volunteers at Ukraine’s Military Medical Clinical Center of the Western Region. (Courtesy Mark O’Connell)

Mark O’Connell ’14, second from left, with friends and fellow volunteers at Ukraine’s Military Medical Clinical Center of the Western Region. (Courtesy Mark O’Connell)

Earlier this month, O’Connell found his service niche in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, where he and a group of friends volunteered at three local hospitals. The recent college grads rewrapped bedsores, shadowed surgeons, and assisted injured veterans.

O’Connell, who is half Ukrainian, grew up in Connecticut and studied Ukranian history, culture, and grammar at weekend classes in New York City. He majored in sociology at Princeton and began working at a tech startup in January. But he also has an interest in health care and public health, which made the volunteer trip an ideal opportunity.

The last year and half has been particularly difficult for the people of Ukraine, and though Lviv is geographically removed from the country’s conflict with Russian separatists, the fighting remains on the minds of its residents. “The entire country is under duress — politically, economically, and socially,” O’Connell said. Continue reading

Names in the News: Berlin ’07 on Lunch Ladies and Admissions; Berlind ’52’s Tony Winners; More

Lev Berlin ’07 (Courtesy Lev Berlin)

Lev Berlin ’07 (Courtesy Lev Berlin)

Can a high-school lunch lady help you get into Princeton? Maybe, LEV BERLIN ’07 wrote in an essay for Time.com — or maybe not. It’s not clear whether a phone call from his lunch lady to a prominent alumnus helped his application, but in any case, Berlin advises, “Be nice to your lunch ladies, people.”

Broadway producer ROGER BERLIND ’52’s string of hits continues. Berlind co-produced two of the 2015 Tony Award winners: Best Play honoree The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Skylight, which won in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Author and professor RUTH BEHAR *83 has joined with poet and fellow Cuban-American Richard Blanco to launch a new writing project called “Bridges to/from Cuba,” which aims to give Cubans a forum for sharing their hopes for the future of U.S.-Cuba relations. Behar, who moved from Cuba to New York City at age 5, is the author of Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in Between Journeys. Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Jay Xu *08, Expanding the Reach of Chinese Contemporary Art

Jay Xu *08 (Courtesy Asian Art Museum)

Jay Xu *08 (Courtesy Asian Art Museum)

When PAW profiled Jay Xu *08, director of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, in 2012, the Ph.D. alumnus spoke about bringing museum visitors into closer contact with emerging Asian artists. “Asia is one of the most dynamic regions right now in terms of opportunities and challenges,” he said, “and this museum will be a wonderful platform for visitors to explore that.”

Xu’s work toward that goal continues with “28 Chinese,” an exhibition of works by 28 contemporary Chinese artists that opened earlier this month. While established stars (Ai Weiwei, Huang Yong Ping) are included, the gallery also aims to introduce a new generation of artists. A review in SFWeekly hailed the “provocative photography, installations, painting, and new media,” and the San Jose Mercury News noted the “undeniable impact” of works in the exhibition, including several by artists who use traditional materials in nontraditional ways.

Earlier this year, Xu was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences — one of 16 new members from the arts and humanities. Xu, the first Chinese-American director at a major American art museum, joined the Asian Art Museum in 2008 after chairing the Department of Asian and Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Continue reading