Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Understanding Virginia Tech

A desire to change one’s image in the face of others often serves as the driving force for the violence of school shooters, according to Katherine Newman, a professor of sociology and public affairs, who spoke about the Virginia Tech shootings at McCormick Hall April 23. Newman’s research on previous school shootings indicated that warning signs preceded almost all shootings, but that people were often reluctant to act on those signs. “There isn’t a single rampage shooting that wasn’t preceded by a whole litany of signals,” said Newman, who wrote the 2004 book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings.

In the cases of earlier shootings, people who interacted with the shooters were reluctant to report disturbing behavior out of a concern for their own reputations, Newman said. The Virginia Tech case is especially troubling because people reported the shooter’s alarming behavior, she said.

Keith Whittington, a politics professor who also spoke at the April 23 event, said the Virginia Tech shootings would not cause gun control regulation to change in a significant way. The shooting may, however, spur “more funding to make existing gun control laws work better,” he said.

Johnson ’97 brings ‘ownership, pride’ to men’s basketball

As a basketball player, Sydney Johnson ’97 played a key role in several memorable Princeton victories, including an overtime win over Penn in the Ivy League playoff in 1996 and the Tigers’ upset of UCLA in the NCAA tournament less than a week later. But the game that teammate Jesse Rosenfeld ’97 remembers when he thinks about Johnson came two years earlier.

Late in the 1993-94 season, Princeton squared off against Penn with the Tigers’ Ivy title hopes on the line. Johnson, then a freshman, scored a team-high 17 points and did an admirable job covering Jerome Allen, the Penn star who would be that year’s Ivy Player of the Year. But Princeton lost by 10, and afterward, Rosenfeld said, Johnson was nearly inconsolable. “It showed that sense of ownership and pride,” Rosenfeld said.

This week, when Johnson was introduced as Princeton’s head coach, he stressed pride in the program and in the University, calling Princeton a “unique and special place.” Johnson said that he was surprised when Joe Scott ’87 left the program in March and thrilled to be chosen as Scott’s successor. “I just knew that this was the right place for me,” Johnson said at an April 23 press conference. “There wasn’t much hesitation.”

Johnson, who captained Princeton’s team for three seasons, played professionally in Spain and Italy before becoming an assistant coach at Georgetown in 2004. Working under John Thompson III ’88, Johnson helped the Hoyas win the Big East and reach the NCAA Final Four in 2007.

Princeton in bloom

The colors of spring are in the air as Brian Strom ’06 jogs along University Place April 20.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Men’s volleyball takes on Penn State

Princeton men’s volleyball topped Juniata in an Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association quarterfinal match April 22 to reach the league semifinals for the first time in four seasons. The team’s reward? An April 26 matchup with powerhouse Penn State in State College, Pa.

The Nittany Lions, ranked No. 7 nationally, were undefeated in EIVA regular-season matches, and they placed five of six starters on the league’s All-East first team. The young Tigers understand who they are up against, but they are looking to make the most of their opportunity. “With only two seniors starting, it will be a good experience,” head coach Glenn Nelson said in a news release. “Penn State is very good, but we’ll go up there, give them a fight, and see what happens.”

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly, with reporting by Alex Gennis ’09.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Princeton portrait

H. Vincent Poor *77, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and his predecessor as dean, Maria Klawe, were on hand as Klawe’s portrait was unveiled during a reception April 13 at the Friend Center. Klawe is president of Harvey Mudd College.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Wilde ‘West’

Director Davis McCallum ’97, a former lecturer in Princeton’s theater and dance program, will stage his latest work, “West Moon Street,” starting April 21 at New York City’s Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street. The play, written by Rob Urbinati, is based on Oscar Wilde’s “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime,” and it will be presented by the Prospect Theater Company, which was founded by five Princeton alumni, including Cara Reichel ’96 and her husband Peter Mills ’95. For more information visit

Princeton in the Ivy League: A 50th Anniversary Countdown

In 2006-07, the Ivy League is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its start as an athletics conference and the 51st season of Ivy sports. To mark the occasion, PAW has selected a few notable numbers for Princeton’s top teams and athletes in the last half century. If you have other favorite numbers for our list, please send them to us.

51 – Consecutive years in which Princeton has won at least one Ivy championship, a feat matched only by Harvard.
47 – School record for consecutive wins, set by the women’s swimming team from 1998 to 2004.
42 – Uniform number worn by Bill Bradley ’65 during his illustrious basketball career, and before that, by football’s lone Heisman Trophy winner, Dick Kazmaier ’52. Though the University does not officially retire numbers, no men’s basketball or football player has worn 42 since Bradley and Kazmaier.
’39 – For 1939, the year in which PAW first tried to explain the term “Ivy League.” That fall, football was scheduled to play seven consecutive games against “Ivy” schools – Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, and Navy. Penn and Army were also considered Ivies, according to PAW.
38 – Varsity sports currently offered at Princeton. Among the Ivies, only Harvard fields more teams, with a national-best 41.
’33 – For 1933, the year New York Herald Tribune sportswriters Stanley Woodward and Caswell Adams first use the term “Ivy colleges,” and later “Ivy League,” during football season to refer to a cluster of prestigious institutions in the northeast.
30 – Points scored by football running back Ellis Moore ’70 (five touchdowns) in a 1967 win at Harvard.
26 – Regular-season wins for men’s basketball in 1997-98. The Tigers beat UNLV in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, lost to Michigan State in round two, and finished the year 27-2.
22 – Career interceptions for football defensive back (and television Superman) Dean Cain ’88. The mark remains a Princeton record.
19 – Consecutive wins by Princeton’s women’s lacrosse team after losing its first game in 2002. The Tigers avenged that early loss to Georgetown, beating the Hoyas in the national final to win the second of the program’s three NCAA titles.
16 – Ivy championships for Princeton softball, in 27 seasons.
15 – Ivy championships for Princeton field hockey, in 28 seasons.
14 – Wins, without a loss, by Princeton’s men’s lacrosse team in 1997. The Tigers won the NCAA title with a 19-7 win over Maryland in College Park, Md. From 1992 to 2001, Princeton won six national championships and nine Ivy championships.
4 – Seconds remaining (actually, 3.9) when men’s basketball’s Gabe Lewullis ’99 scored a backdoor layup to beat defending-champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament.
1 – Men’s squash player who has won four individual national championships: Princeton’s Yasser El Halaby ’06.

More at PAW Online

Under the Ivy – Was Princeton’s 1966-67 basketball team its best ever? Gregg Lange ’70 thinks so. Read why and write to PAW to make your case for other top Tiger teams.
More from Baker – Read an extended version of PAW’s interview with James A. Baker III ’52.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Welsh trio

From left, Michael McMillan ’09, Dan Kublick ’08, and Steve Pearson ’09 are shown in a scene from Theater-Intime's performance April 7 of Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood.” The play details a day in the life of a small Welsh village.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Not-so-friendly skies

In an interview in PAW’s April 4 issue, Walter F. Murphy, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, emeritus, mentioned that he has been placed on a terrorist watch list and he believes it is because he spoke out against President Bush in a lecture at Princeton. This week Murphy, a retired Marine Corps colonel, detailed his recent experiences with air travel in a post on the legal blog Balkinization. “I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines,” Murphy wrote. “One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: ‘Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.’ I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. ‘That’ll do it,’ the man said.”

Princetonians in the News

EBay chief executive Meg Whitman ’77 has been making a strong impression in politics with her work as a national finance co-chairwoman for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to Whitman helped the Romney campaign raise $23 million in the first quarter of 2007, tops among Republican candidates. … Woodrow Wilson School professor Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author on the report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change April 6, spoke on PBS’ News Hour about the consequences of global warming, including changes in agriculture, sea level, and public health. “Those are all things that start to happen at relatively low warming, and this presents policymakers with some stark choices,” he said. “How much warming are we going to accept? In fact, how much is inevitable? And where are we going to stop it?” … Former Iowa congressman and current Woodrow Wilson School lecturer Jim Leach ’64 interviewed fellow alum Bill Bradley ’65 about his new book, The New American Story, on “After Words,” a weekly C-SPAN books program, April 7. Video of the interview is available at Bradley, a three-term senator from New Jersey and onetime presidential candidate, also stopped in at a bookstore a few miles from campus March 28 on his book tour and appeared on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show April 9, where he joked about Princeton-area turnpike exits with host Jon Stewart, a native of nearby Lawrence Township.

Play ball

Princeton’s lone major leaguer, San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young ’02, opened his season with two solid starts, picking up his first win of the year against the San Francisco Giants April 9. In minor league towns across the country, several Princeton baseball alumni are vying to join him on professional baseball’s highest level.

Pitcher Ross Ohlendorf ’04, recently acquired by the New York Yankees, began the year with the triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, where he pitched five innings in a 5-3 win April 7. In the Padres’ system, outfielder Will Venable ’05 has moved up the ladder to the double-A San Antonio Missions, batting .313 in the first five games of the young season. Tim Lahey ’04, a catcher at Princeton who has become a relief pitcher in the pros, picked up his first save for the double-A New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) against the Portland Sea Dogs April 9, allowing no runs after entering the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning.

Other alumni in the minors include Thomas Pauly ’04 and B.J. Szymanski ’05, teammates on the Cincinnati Reds’ single-A team in Sarasota; Brian Kappel ’05 of the single-A Tacoma Rainiers, a Seattle Mariners affiliate; and Pat Boran ’02, who is slated to play for the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League.

Spring-loaded weekend

This weekend promises to be a busy one for sports on campus, with six varsity teams competing at home. Men’s tennis starts the action against Dartmouth at 2 p.m. April 13 and faces Harvard at 2 p.m. Saturday. Women’s track and field takes on Penn and Yale April 14, and men’s golf hosts the Princeton Invitational at Springdale Golf Club April 14 and 15. The baseball team will face Columbia in a pair of doubleheaders April 14 and 15, with the first games of each set starting at noon. The four games could prove important in the race for the Ivy League’s Gehrig Division title.

Women’s and men’s lacrosse headline the action at Class of 1952 Stadium April 14. The Princeton women, coming off a tough 6-5 loss to Yale in its last Ivy game April 7, will try to bounce back against Harvard at noon. Men’s lacrosse takes on the Crimson at 3 p.m. The 7-2 Tigers have won their last five games, including an impressive 12-8 victory over Syracuse April 7.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Picture of concentration

Freshman Ross Staine is set to deliver a pitch against Rutgers March 28 at Clarke Field. Staine was the third of four pitchers for Princeton as the Scarlet Knights won, 12-4.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Men’s lacrosse set to face off with Syracuse

Princeton men’s lacrosse relied on stifling defense and an outstanding performance in goal by Alex Hewit ’08 (14 saves) to beat Yale, 5-3, March 31. With a 5-2 record, the Tigers are ranked No. 5 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I poll, and they will face No. 15 Syracuse (3-4) April 7 at 3 p.m. in Princeton Stadium.

Men’s and women’s track and field also will be in action this weekend, hosting the Sam Howell Invitational April 6 and 7. The softball team, which posted a perfect 4-0 record in its first weekend of Ivy League games, will host doubleheaders against Harvard and Dartmouth, April 7 and 8 respectively.

Victory in Vermont

In July 2006, Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff ’79 wrote an essay in PAW about his latest project: launching a minor league basketball franchise called the Vermont Frost Heaves. The team, named after the bumps in Vermont roadways that form when the moist soil freezes, had a reasonably smooth road in its first season, winning 30 games and reaching the playoffs. Last week, the Frost Heaves defeated the Texas Tycoons 143-95 to win the American Basketball Association championship. “[I]n a league where the entire season’s payroll is capped at $120,000, no player will get rich,” Wolff wrote on the team’s Web site, “and for that very reason all have to figure out something non-monetary to take away from the experience. It might as well be a title —and that’s why minor-leaguers are more responsive to coaching than their NBA counterparts.”

Princetonians in the news

Physics professor Robert Socolow and ecology and evolutionary biology professor Stephen Pacala, the co-directors of Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative, were highlighted as “innovators” in Time magazine’s recent cover story on global warming. Socolow and Pacala’s novel approach to addressing climate change involves “not chasing a single magic bullet but harnessing seven different categories of reduction, using available technology.” … Aerial photographer David Maisel ’84 was featured on the nationally syndicated public radio program Studio 360 March 30. A slideshow of Maisel’s work is available on the Studio 360 Web site. … Former Princeton basketball standout and coach John Thompson III ’88 reached the NCAA Final Four as head coach of Georgetown’s men’s basketball team. The Hoyas lost in the semifinals to Ohio State, but their postseason success turned some of the basketball spotlight to the “Princeton offense” and Thompson’s mentor, former Princeton coach Pete Carril. Carril, who has a dozen former players and assistants now coaching in college and the pros, told The New York Times that he was thrilled to see Thompson on college hoops’ biggest stage. “The measure of any teacher,” he said, “provided he’s not an egomaniac, is to see anybody that he taught do better than he did.” … In the April 2 issue of New York magazine, Peter Hyman recounted the “other March madness” – the college squash individual championships – in a short but colorful piece that covered the “passionate attack style” of Princeton sophomore Mauricio Sanchez, this year’s runner-up and dubbed former champion Yasser El Halaby ’06 “the Michael Jordan of college squash.” … Kimberly Rogers ’05 was crowned Miss Philadelphia March 31. The pharmaceutical marketing consultant from suburban Philadelphia told The Philadelphia Inquirer that in her new post, she hopes to work toward preventing and addressing depression in young people.

Two months ’til Reunions

As alumni look forward to Reunions 2007 (May 31-June 3), the Weekly Blog looks back at Reunions 2006, as captured by the lens of student filmmaker Thomas Bender ’06.

For more videos of Reunions 2006, visit PAW Online.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly

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