Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Moving out

Su Wang ’09, left, and Amanda Bowers ’09 carry some of their dorm room furniture out of Blair Hall May 26, the day that Princeton undergraduates completed spring term exams. Commencement for the Class of 2007 will be held June 5.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Rowing for gold

The Princeton men’s heavyweight, men’s lightweight, and women’s lightweight crews will compete at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships May 30 through June 2 on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. The lightweight women look to be the Tigers’ most promising crew this spring. They were undefeated in the regular season and finished second behind Wisconsin at the Eastern Championships May 13.

Alumni in the news

Filmmaker Deborah Fryer *93’s latest documentary, SHAKEN: Journey into the Mind of a Parkinson’s Patient has won awards at several festivals, including Best Documentary at the SCINEMA Science Film and Multimedia Festival and Best Short Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival. Information about the film, which profiles patient Paul Schroder, is available at … New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is showing works by Frank Stella ’58 in two exhibitions: “Painting into Architecture” and “On the Roof.” The shows, which run through July 29 and Oct. 28, respectively, mark Stella’s first solo presentation at the Met. Stella's extraordinary works of 1958 were featured in PAW’s Nov. 8, 2006, issue. … The Associated Press chronicled ABC News anchorman Charles Gibson ’65’s rise to the top of the network news ratings. Gibson was profiled in PAW’s April 4 issue.

Just around the corner

Reunions 2007 begins May 31, and the Weekly Blog is providing a final look back at Reunions 2006, as captured by the lens of student filmmaker Thomas Bender ’06. This short shows the 30th annual Dante Reunion, where former students of Bob Hollander ’55, professor of European literature and French and Italian, emeritus, gather to relive – or continue – one of their favorite Princeton courses.

For more videos of Reunions 2006, visit PAW Online.

Don’t miss the 2007 Reunions Guide

If you’re coming back to campus for Reunions, be sure to pick up a copy of PAW’s 2007 Reunions Guide at the registration desk. This year’s guide features cover art by Detroit News editorial cartoonist Henry Payne ’84, an essay by Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach ’82, a crossword puzzle from Stella Daily ’00, a feature story about the late sculptor Joe Brown, an alumni trivia quiz, a map of this year’s P-rade, and more. UPDATE: PAW's 2007 Reunions Guide is now online.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Laser light show

Scott Howard, an electrical engineering graduate student and teaching assistant for ELE 102, “New Eyes for the World,” sets up a homemade laser May 18 in the undergraduate optics laboratory. the course introduces non-science and interdisciplinary students to modern topics of engineering optics that they encounter in daily life.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Alumni authors swing for the fences

Going to a baseball game can be a confusing experience, even for longtime fans. Does the infield fly rule apply when two fielders collide and drop the ball? And where can you get a decent slice of pizza in Yankee Stadium? Two alumni authors have set out to answer questions like these in new books released this spring.

Michael Morse ’91 explores the rules of the game in All New Baseball Brainteasers (Sterling 2007), a 60-question quiz covering real-game scenarios. Question 42, for instance, covers a 2004 game in which Minnesota Twins infielders Michael Cuddyer and Doug Mientkiewicz collided on an infield fly with the bases loaded and one out. Though the ball dropped to the dirt, the batter was called out, correctly, due to the infield fly rule. The confused runner on first was tagged out as well when he strayed from the bag. Morse calls on his training as an umpire as well as his experiences sitting in the bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium to write puzzling but entertaining questions.

John Buchanan ’87 and his brother Andy focus less on the rules and more on the ballpark experience in their “Wise Guide” books about famous Major League stadiums. So far, the pocket-sized guidebook series includes volumes on Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium, covering everything from food and drink to ballpark music. In the Bronx, the authors note, you can count on hearing “YMCA” at the end of the fifth inning and Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” after a Yankee win. The Buchanans also are big on ballpark trivia. Fenway’s “Green Monster” in left field, they say, began as a wooden wall, was later covered in tin, and since 1976 has been coated in hard plastic. Information about the “Wise Guide” series is available at For information about other books by alumni and faculty, visit New Books at PAW online.

Alumni in the news

Brad Smith ’81, senior vice president and general counsel for Microsoft, is a prominent figure in the company’s efforts to draw royalties from the distributors and users of certain free software, according to a feature in Fortune’s May 28 issue. … Bob Bradley ’80, who was profiled in PAW’s March 7 issue, was named head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team May 15. Bradley’s team had won three international matches and tied a fourth in his four months as interim coach, and New York Times columnist George Vescey wrote that Bradley “earned this job by never acting like an interim coach.” … Princeton religion professor Cornel West *80 discussed Don Imus, the n-word, and the future of hip-hop in a May 19 Billboard interview. Though West has been critical of some rappers, he said he keeps an open mind about the future. “50 Cent may be another Malcolm X and turn out to be a serious progressive,” he said. “You just don’t know. That’s why I’m not giving up on him, the Game and other rappers. I’m just trying to respectfully challenge them and make them accountable.” West is both an observer and a participant in the genre: His new album, “Never Forget,” is due in stores June 19.

Track standouts travel to regional meet

More than a dozen Princeton athletes in men’s and women’s track and field will compete in the NCAA East Regional Meet in Gainesville, Fla., May 25 and 26. Top competitors for the Tiger men include David Nightingale ’08 (5,000 meters), Justin Frick ’10 (high jump), and Andrew Park ’07 (pole vault). All three posted season-bests that ranked in the top five in the region. On the women’s side, Princeton’s strength lies in the distance events. Catha Mullen ’07, Jolee Vanleuven ’09, and Christy Johnson ’10 will run the 5,000 meters, and Caroline Mullen ’07 and Liz Costello ’10 will run the 1,500 meters. Those five runners helped the women’s cross country team finish 23rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November 2006.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sculptural setting

Graduate student David Hsu enjoys the late-afternoon sun May 12 as he sits below the Jacques Lipchitz sculpture, Song of the Vowels, between Firestone Library and the University Chapel.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Caps, gowns, and Princeton alumni

Graduation at the University of Pennsylvania had a Princeton feel this year, with Princeton philosophy professor K. Anthony Appiah speaking at the baccalaureate ceremony May 13 and former secretary of state James A. Baker III ’52 delivering the commencement address May 14. Baker called on his experience in government service to talk about the qualities of good leaders. “History will judge you, the Class of 2007, based on your leadership,” he said, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “In fact, it will judge all of us based on our leadership.”

Penn was not alone in turning to a Princeton graduate to impart words of wisdom. More than a half-dozen alumni have addressed or are slated to address this year’s mortarboard-clad grads. May 13 ceremonies included speeches by author Eric Schlosser ’81 at Pitzer College in California, former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke *70 at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ’72 at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Alito also will address St. Mary’s (Ind.) College’s class of 2007 May 19. Tom Kean ’57, the former New Jersey governor and chairman of the 9/11 Commission, will be the commencement speaker at the State University of New York, New Paltz, May 20. Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp ’89 will address Mount Holyoke College graduates May 27, and ABC News anchor Charles Gibson ’65 will be speaking at Union College June 17.

New Jersey verses

In his first published collection of poems, Bridge and Tunnel (Turning Point, 2007), John Hennessy ’87 draws on childhood and adolescent experiences in his home state of New Jersey, capturing images of the industrial skyline in passages like the opening stanza of “The Polish Question,” which describes “Merck’s brick chimneys,/ Exxon’s clear blue flames,/ dirt causeways to the public works,/ the slackened jaws of loading cranes…” Hennessy brings “highly musical truth-telling, wonder, and humor to the unbeautiful industrial landscape,” according to poet Mary Jo Salter, the Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College. For information about other books by alumni and faculty, visit New Books at PAW online.

Back in the race

After losing five seniors from last year’s undefeated varsity eight and starting this season with two losses, the Princeton women’s open crew found its rhythm in April and May, winning a four-team race at home April 21 and taking home a bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints May 13. The Tigers’ strong finish was rewarded May 15 when the NCAA Rowing Committee selected Princeton as one of the 12 teams that will compete in all three events at the NCAA Championships May 25-27 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Ivy League rivals Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale also will be racing, along with last year’s overall national champion, California. Princeton won the varsity eight national championship in 2006 and finished third in the overall standings.

Alumni in the news: The Time 100

Two Princeton graduate alumni were selected for Time magazine’s May 14 list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Gen. David Petraeus *87, America’s top commander in Iraq, was profiled by Sen. John McCain, who called him “bright, studious, morally committed, physically brave, [and] willing to carry a ‘heavy rucksack’ without complaint and with clear-eyed resolve.” Petraeus was profiled in PAW in January 2004, when he was working to preserve peace in Mosul, a city on the Tigris River in northern Iraq.

Princeton geosciences professor Tullis Onstott *81 also earned 100-most-influential status for his innovative work discovering rare organisms in extremely harsh climates like polar ice or miles beneath the earth’s surface. Such finds could aid astrobiologists searching for life on Mars. PAW took a closer look at Onstott’s research in October 2004.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


A veteran professor walks the plank

At Maitland Jones Jr.’s 8:30 a.m. organic chemistry lecture May 4, the audience was unusually large, with faculty colleagues seated in the rear of the auditorium and a collection of family members on hand, wearing T-shirts that featured a photo of the professor in happy repose on a field of green grass. Jones, one of 14 professors taking emeritus status this year, joked, “There’s more widespread interest in the Fischer proof than one might think.”

The lecture, covering Emil Fischer’s work with glucose, was to be Jones’ last at Princeton, and the professor began by pouring his customary mug of tea before picking up a stick of chalk and working his way across the wide, eight-paneled blackboard. He paused in the middle to introduce emeritus professor Walter Kauzmann, who hired Jones 42 years ago. When Jones erased the board to start the second section of his lecture, he urged his students to remember the needs of professors and include funds for fresh erasers and chalk when they make donations to the University as alumni.

Soon after that comment, Jones’ lecture was cut short when a group of former students dressed as pirates rushed the aisles and staged a mutiny of sorts, presenting Jones with a treasure chest that included a hat, two T-shirts, and – as if on cue – generous supplies of erasers and chalk, wrapped in gold foil. But the prizes came with a price: the students tied Jones’ hands and took him outside to the fountain next to Robertson Hall, where they forced him to walk the plank. Jones did not go quietly, freeing one hand and playfully jousting with a plastic sword, but he eventually obliged, plunging ankle-deep into the water.

While the pirate party drew smiles from most, not all were pleased with the brevity and levity of Jones’ lecture. John Fleming, an emeritus professor of English and comparative literature who delivered his own farewell lecture a year ago, deadpanned, “I wanted to learn what the Fischer proof is.”

Photos by Jesse Platt ’07

Physics never sounded better

On April 21, a group of Princeton students set aside their work in particle physics, condensed matter and the like to turn their attention to works by Chopin, Mozart, and Handel at the physics department’s 19th annual recital. Nearly two dozen graduate students, undergraduates, staff members, faculty, and friends of the department performed in this year’s two-and-a-half hour program, which drew a full house at Taplin Auditorium. Other artists from physics displayed paintings and photographs at a post-concert reception in Jadwin Hall.

The recital is the brainchild of Laurel Lerner, the assistant to the physics department’s director of graduate studies, who is a musician and piano teacher. Nearly 20 years ago, after hearing about the musical talents of several graduate students, Lerner organized a talent show for physics students at a rehearsal studio in Woolworth Hall. In the years since, the event has grown, thanks in part to planning help from friend and fellow staff member Eva Zeisky.

Lerner said many believe there’s a link between musical acumen and talent in math or science, and Princeton’s students have supported that theory. The first-year graduate students in physics this year seem particularly strong, and Lerner is hoping for repeat performances next year. While it may be difficult for busy students to find time to practice a musical instrument, she said that many try to incorporate hobbies in their schedules. “It’s very healthy,” Lerner said, “and [the recital] brings us all together.”

Tracing the lives of teens

For his latest play, Done, theater and dance lecturer R. N. Sandberg ’70 interviewed more than 100 teenagers to find out more about their lives and their social dynamics. The project initially was commissioned by the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., and intended for a school touring program, Sandberg told the Rhode Island magazine Lifebeats. “As I developed the play from my interviews with young people, teachers and administrators told me ‘Are you crazy? We can’t show that kind of stuff in schools!’” Sandberg said. “So I wrote the ‘school play,’ [called In Between] but it became clear that there was a bigger, more dangerous play I wanted to write that was really true to the kinds of things I heard and saw in the lives of the teenagers I was talking to.”

Done found a home at the Providence (R.I.) Black Repertory Company, where it opened April 20. The show’s run continues through May 20. For information and tickets, visit

Beach break

Liz Williams ’09 returns a serve during an impromtu volleyball game on the sand court in Rocky-Mathey courtyard on May 4, the last day of spring term classes. Spring exams for undergraduates begin May 16.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Lacrosse teams open postseason on the road

The Princeton men’s lacrosse team will travel to Georgetown for a first-round matchup against the sixth-seeded Hoyas in the NCAA Championships May 13. The game, which starts at noon, will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The Princeton women’s lacrosse team will face third-seeded Virginia in Charlottesville at 1 p.m. May 13.

The Tiger men, led by standout goalie Alex Hewit ’08, allowed the fewest goals in Division I during the regular season while posting a 10-3 record, including a 5-1 mark in Ivy League games. Princeton’s women, who are making their 10th consecutive postseason appearance, were 10-6 this year.

More at PAW Online

Work and family – A 25th reunion survey about life after Princeton answers some questions and raises others, Cynthia King Vance ’80 writes.
Under the Ivy – Gregg Lange ’70 writes about Paul Robeson’s Princeton roots and wonders what might have been.
On the Campus – Laura Fitzpatrick ’08 drops in on a new campus art studio and the International Festival Gala.

Princeton’s Web entrepreneurs

Do you know of alumni who have started Web-based companies in the past year? PAW would love to hear about them, for possible inclusion in a story for the magazine. Write to PAW and let us know.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

International flair

Victoria Laws ’08 and Oscar Castro ’09 of the student dance troupe Ballet Folklorico de Princeton perform April 28 during the annual Communiversity celebration, which brings together the University and the town for a variety of festivities.

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Back on track

After posting several solid performances at last weekend’s Penn Relays, including a gold-medal finish by the team of Liz Bergold ’08, Christy Johnson ’10, Catha Mullen ’07, and Liz Costello ’10 in the college division 4-by-800-meter relay, the Princeton women’s and men’s track and field teams will return to competition at home this weekend as they host the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, March 5 and 6 at the Weaver Track and Field Stadium. Tigers to watch include Mullen, who finished second in the 3,000-meter run a year ago, and Alex Pessala ’09, the defending Heps champion in the men’s hammer throw.

Princetonians in the news

Virginia Postrel ’82, author of The Substance of Style, spoke about the city of Los Angeles' plans to replace some if its iconic palm trees with oaks or sycamores in an April 27 radio segment on American Public Media’s Marketplace. The palms, she said, are a symbol of Los Angeles, in the same way that the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge are symbols of New York City. … President Tilghman spoke about encouraging students to pursue science and engineering in an interview on CNN’s In the Money April 28. While Tilghman said there are several reasons for declining interest in the sciences, she highlighted one compelling reason for rejuvenating that interest: “[T]he motivation has got to be that you want to spend your life discovering things and creating new things. In fact, creating economic prosperity. If you looked at the last half of the 20th century, it’s been estimated that 70 percent of the economic prosperity that was created in the United States was created by scientists and engineers, their innovation, their creativity.” … Computer science professor Ed Felten spoke to senators about botnets – “coordinated computer intrusions, where the attacker installs a long-lived software agent or ‘bot’ on many end-user computers” – at an April 25 briefing in Washington. Felten wrote about the briefing on his blog. … Three alumni received notable professional awards in April. Former Lockheed Martin chairman and CEO Norman Augustine ’57 *59 earned the Bower Award for Business Leadership from the Philadelphia-based Franklin Institute. John Thompson III ’88, the men’s basketball coach at Georgetown, was named coach of the year by the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. And Woodrow Wilson School Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 received the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law at the University of Virginia.

One month ’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. This short shows scenes from the Old Guard luncheon, a time-honored tradition that includes the presentation of the Class of 1923 Cane to the oldest returning alumnus. Last year, centenarian Malcolm Warnock ’25 received the honor.

For more videos of Reunions 2006, visit PAW Online.

Posted by Brett Tomlinson, Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?