Butler College Class of 2018 Welcome Letter
Dear Butler College Class of 2018,
Welcome to Butler College! I am very excited that you have been assigned to live in the best residential college on campus. Butler College is one of six residential colleges at Princeton that features distinctive housing and dining facilities, and whose staff members work together to foster a close-knit intellectual and social community through a broad range of events and activities. As a four-year residential college, Butler houses approximately 200 freshman, 200 sophomores, and 150 juniors and seniors. Our beautiful dorms, including Bloomberg, Bogle, Yoseloff, Wilf, the Class of 1967 Hall, the Class of 1976 Hall, and 1915 Hall, are some of the most sought after places on campus. I am confident that in these spaces you will develop close friendships, be challenged to think differently, learn new talents, and become your best self.
When you arrive on campus later this summer you will meet your Residential College Adviser (RCA), who will also be in contact with you this summer. The RCA program consists of carefully selected juniors and seniors who form the backbone of the College, helping first-year students as mentors and friends to adjust smoothly to almost every aspect of university life.
At the start of orientation, you will also meet members of the Butler College Council. The College Council is a group of dedicated students who will organize many activities over the course of the year, ranging from social and cultural affairs to intramural athletics and civic engagement. As the school year gets closer, be sure to check your Princeton email for information on getting involved with Council initiatives. The Council will welcome your ideas and your involvement right from the very start of your Butler career!
During orientation you will also meet our ten Resident Graduate Students (RGS), a select group of graduate students who live in the College, initiating and participating in programming that enhances the social and intellectual life of Butler. Your RGS will facilitate discussion about Meaning in Life and Why It Matters by Susan Wolf, the Princeton Pre-Read for the Class of 2018.
Also during orientation, you will meet your Peer Academic Advisers (PAA), upperclass students who will be paired with your RCA and will provide you with academic guidance from a student perspective to complement the advice you get from your Academic Adviser, whom you’ll meet later in orientation week.
Living in the penthouse of 1976 Hall is our Faculty in Residence, Dr. David Minto. Dr. Minto is a Lecturer in the History Department and the Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Fellow in LGBT Studies at the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. Dr. Minto earned his Ph.D. in History from Yale this year. Be on the lookout for exciting events that he will host throughout the year.
The nerve center of the enterprise is the Butler College Office, located on the second floor of Gordon Wu Hall, upstairs from the dining hall. Let me introduce the Butler College staff:
David Stirk, the Dean of Butler College, joined the University in 2004. He oversees the academic progress of all Butler students, and works to enhance our intellectual and social community in a variety of ways. Dean Stirk received his Ph.D. from the American Studies Program at Yale and his research and teaching is in the area of 19th and 20th century visual culture. He has taught courses in both the Freshman Seminar Program and the Princeton Writing Program.
Matthew Lazen, the Director of Studies, is in his tenth year at Princeton. He is responsible for academic advising for freshmen and sophomores and pairs you with your academic adviser and peer advisers. He is also responsible for all academic programming in the college and oversees the Butler Gallery. Dr. Lazen received his Ph.D. from the Literature Program at Duke, specializing in film and French studies, and he is now finishing an Ed.D. in higher and postsecondary education at New York University.
Alexis Andres joined Butler College in 2011 as the Director of Student Life. Along with supervising the Butler RCA’s, she provides Butlerites with guidance and support on personal and social matters and promotes a dynamic residential life environment in the college by organizing social activities and programs. Dr. Andres received her doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Virginia and her research focuses on the pressures undergraduate students feel for perfectionism and effortless perfection.
Robyn Howard, the College Administrator, joined Butler College this summer. Although she is new to Butler, she is quite familiar with Princeton, having been the Program Coordinator in the Office of the Dean of the College since her arrival at Princeton in 2008. Robyn works closely with the RCA’s, College Council, and RGS’s to make sure you have intellectual and social activities that are engaging and safe. In addition, she manages the College budget and oversees the physical facilities. Robyn earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she majored in Visual Arts with a focus on scriptwriting, filmmaking, and sculpture.
Susan Giranda, the College Secretary, joined the Butler College staff in 2007. Sue coordinates many of the staff’s activities and assists in virtually all facets of College life. Sue is an amazing artist, as you will see from the advertisements she creates for our events throughout the year. In addition, she is the creator and organizer of the annual Butler Photo Contest. Sue is happy to help you in any way possible to enrich your Princeton experience. Sue attended Rider University where she majored in Marketing and received a B.S. in Business Administration.
Last, there is the College Master, who is always a senior faculty member charged with responsibility for the general well-being of the College and those who reside there. I joined Princeton’s Department of Psychology in 2000 as a faculty member, and this is my third year as Master of Butler College. I received my Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Virginia. My teaching and research focus on intergroup interactions and misunderstandings.
As Master of Butler, my goal is to create a strong community where residents help one another as well as others in their broader community. As a Princeton student, you will be an active member of many communities – Butler College, the Princeton University community, the broader Princeton town community, and the communities you create. Making these communities strong and vibrant involves individuals working together in engaging and meaningful ways to improve the lives of all of the members. I hope that you will be able to learn about and serve these various communities, meet students with similar interests, and form friendships while working towards a common goal of serving your community.
I will share more information about the Butler community when we meet on Saturday, September 6 at the Freshmen Address in Wu Dining Hall. For now, I send you best wishes for the rest of the summer. If you would like additional information at this time about Butler College and the people who will offer guidance and support throughout your time at Princeton, please visit the Butler College website at http://www.princeton.edu/butlercollege, and to stay abreast of the activities offered in the College please like us on Facebook (ButlerCollege-PrincetonUniversity; the first 25 students from the Class of 2018 to like us on Facebook will receive $5 in PAW points - money added to your TigerCard (University I.D.) to be used at various locations around campus). Welcome to Butler College!
J. Nicole Shelton
Master of Butler College