Category Archives: Campus News

Tiger of the Week: Tom Finkelpearl ’79, New York’s New Cultural Affairs Commissioner

For the last 12 years, Tom Finkelpearl ’79 has been an advocate for arts outreach in Queens as president and executive director of the Queens Museum. This month, he received the opportunity to expand his reach to all five boroughs as New York City’s commissioner of cultural affairs, an appointment announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 7.

Finkelpearl’s work at the Queens Museum was a major factor in de Blasio’s choice. “When you’re making a choice on someone to lead an agency, you need vision and you need the ability to follow through in action,” he said at a news conference. “And Tom Finkelpearl proved to me that he knew how to do both.”

Finkelpearl, in remarks at the same event, noted that while New York City profits economically as a magnet for those who appreciate art and culture, the arts also have social value for the city’s communities. “And I think that this is an argument that hasn’t been well made by the city,” he said. “But if you look again, what happens on the community level with artists in all the neighborhoods of New York City, there’s something extremely valuable, moving, that’s good for communities. And I intend to try to understand how we can best express that value.”

WATCH the full news conference below, courtesy of the New York City Mayor’s Office.

Marcoux ’91 Chosen as Next Athletic Director

Mollie Marcoux ’91, a sports and recreation executive and former two-sport athlete at Princeton, was introduced as the University’s next athletic director in a press conference at Jadwin Gym April 15. Marcoux, who will take the helm as the Ford Family Director of Athletics in August, will be the first woman to lead the department, which includes 38 men’s and women’s varsity teams.

President Eisgruber ’83 made the announcement, hailing Marcoux’s 19 years of experience at Chelsea Piers Management in New York and Connecticut; her time as a coach and administrator at the Lawrenceville School; and her contributions as a student-athlete at Princeton, where she excelled in ice hockey and soccer and graduated cum laude from the history department.

“She is an ideal leader for our athletics program,” Eisgruber said. “She understands, because she has lived it, the commitment that Princeton makes to ensure that the term scholar-athlete bears equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.” Continue reading

Read PAW’s First Issue, Published on This Date in 1900

PAW’s first issue — April 7, 1900. Click on the photo to read a PDF version.

PAW’s first issue — April 7, 1900. Click on the photo to read a PDF version.

Have you ever wondered what class notes looked like when PAW began publishing in 1900? To mark PAW’s 114th birthday, we’ve scanned and posted the entire first issue, including notes that report on Booth Tarkington 1893’s latest book and the military exploits of Lt. Gordon Johnston 1896 that would later earn him the Medal of Honor.

Volume 1, Issue 1 also outlined the magazine’s mission; shared news from regional alumni dinners and campus events; updated Tiger fans with the latest baseball scores; published the first PAW memorial, for Samuel H. Pennington, Class of 1825; and included an advertisement for the Princeton Inn (now Forbes College), “A charming resort situated in the midst of the beautiful university town … University golf links adjacent.”

Click here to view the full PDF.

Bernanke Speaks About Challenges of Chairing the Fed

Ben Bernanke was a tenured professor at Princeton and chaired the economics department from 1996 until September 2002, when he went on public-service leave to serve on the Federal Reserve board. Four years later, he was appointed as the Fed chairman.

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, pictured in a 2010 visit to campus. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, pictured in a 2010 visit to campus. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

“The biggest thing I’d ever run before [the Federal Reserve] was the economics department at Princeton, so there were a lot of new things to think about,” Bernanke said in a speech at McCosh 50 on April 2. While his work as department chair gave him “a lot of experience working with prima donnas,” Bernanke said that leading the Fed was filled with new challenges.

“The thing that surprised me the most about the job was how much of it involved dealing with political figures,” Bernanke said. “The Fed is independent and apolitical, that’s very true — there were no politics in our decision-making. But it’s still very important for the Fed to coordinate with and explain itself to Congress and the administration.”

Bernanke was invited to campus by the Whig-Cliosophic Society to receive the 2014 James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service. Past recipients of this award include Golda Meir (1974), Bill Clinton (2000), and Antonin Scalia (2008). Continue reading

Wilder Explores Universities’ Early Ties to Slavery

Colleges that succeeded in the American Colonial period were reliant on slavery and the slave economy of the Atlantic world, Craig Steven Wilder said in a Feb. 25 campus lecture about his recently released book, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. Wilder, a professor of American history at MIT, joined Princeton history professor Martha Sandweiss in a conversation as part of the Carl A. Fields Center’s Black Heritage Month.

03book "Ebony and Ivory" by Craig Stevens Wilder.The history of the elite colleges of the Northeast is inextricably linked with the slave economy, Wilder said. “We don’t expect to look at colleges and see slavery — and that’s precisely why looking at colleges and seeing slavery is valuable, because in fact we start to see just how central the African slave trade was to the Atlantic economy and to the rise and sustenance of the English Colonies in the Americas.”

The publishing of Wilder’s book, a labor of 11 years, comes at a time when American colleges are increasingly interested in addressing their own complicated entanglement with slavery. Sandweiss has taught a course called “Princeton in Slavery,” in which students conduct close examinations of texts to uncover Princeton’s relationship to the institution of slavery. Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the College of William & Mary, among others, have undertaken similar projects. Continue reading

FTC’s Brill ’81 Discusses Privacy, Big Data

Julie Brill ’81 (Photo: Federal Trade Commission)

Julie Brill ’81 (Photo: Federal Trade Commission)

“Big data” analytics may lead to promising changes in our lives, but the collection and storage of deeply personal data also raises key privacy issues, said Julie Brill ’81, a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in a Feb. 20 talk at Robertson Hall.

Brill, who started working in consumer protection after law school, began a six-year term on the FTC in 2010. Addressing students, faculty, and community members, she noted the alarming amount of information that is now for sale from data brokers, particularly in the area of health.

“The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that one data broker includes in its consumer profiles information about 20 or more specific diseases, including cancer, diabetes, clinical depression, and prostate problems,” she said. “All of this creation, analysis, and use of consumers’ health information is happening outside of HIPPA, outside the U.S. regulatory regime designed to protect health information.” Continue reading