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Friday, April 28, 2017

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'Many Minds, Many Stripes'

Princeton University is holding a campus conference this week for graduate alumni this week, with more than 1,000 guests expected to attend and reconnect with fellow alumni and the University. On the second day of the "Many Minds, Many Stripes" conference, which runs Thursday to Saturday, Oct. 17-19, organizers premiered a video showcasing the Graduate School's history and the evolution of graduate education, student life and alumni relations, as well as the impact that Princeton has had on alumni's lives. Read more.

Video Closed Captions

LIZ PENDER: It was a place where
I could learn to be as

scientist of the
new generation.

MATT TRUJILLO: One of the things
I keep saying about

when you decide on what
grad school you're

going to go to is fit.

really enjoyed

working with my adviser.

incredibly rich environment.

SPEAKER 1: The graduate
alumni act as

mentors and as role models.

most professors what they

value most, they usually
say the students first.

what I saw here.

SPEAKER 2: And the University,
of course,

is a beautiful place.

TONI FIORI: I'd have to say,
the two years I spent at

Princeton were two of the
best years of my life.

ANNE SHERRERD: Realizing that
we're all part of this

continuum of life.

of graduate students in

the Princeton community has
always been indispensable.

NARRATOR: Great research
universities couldn't exist

without graduate students, a
fact Princetonians seemed to

recognize soon after the
colleges' creation, when

students like James Madison
in 1772 stayed on after

completing an undergraduate
degree to take special study

with the president.

By 1900, Andrew Fleming West was
named as the first dean of

the graduate school and used his
considerable influence to

fund raise and build the
House of Knowledge.

Formally dedicated on October
22, 1913, the graduate college

embodied West's vision of a
community of scholars and was

known as the crown in
Princeton's educational system

for the advancement
of pure learning.

West reveled at the fact that
graduate education would be a

reward and a challenge.

"And why should not the graduate
student, no matter

how closely he specializes,
be given every chance for

fellowship with students in all
fields of liberal study?

The student we are describing
is capable of meeting with

many minds and getting
on with them all.

Many minds across many
disciplines, through many life

stages, with many achievements,
each with a

unique story.

Our graduate alumni represent
these stories.

Our Princeton tigers represent
many minds of many stripes.

Hear them roar."

school is tough.

But the truth of the matter is,
it's likely to be the very

best years of your life.

about the long tunnel that

you're in post generals as
you're pursuing your

doctorate, there are many points
along that path where

one is perhaps tempted
to be discouraged

or tempted to despair.

That there are traps, if you
will, things that occur to you

along the way that might appear
to be obstacles, that

might appear to be unyielding

And it's easy at that time
to simply fold your

tent and walk away.

You simply cannot
give into that.

If you are patient enough,
confident enough, and strong

enough to say and maintain a
certain mental alertness,

eventually alternate paths,
other ways of approaching the

problem will present
themselves to you.

PATRICE JEAN: Now that I've
come back, and I've given

back, and I've volunteered, and
I've met wonderful people,

and I think very differently
about things that weren't so

positive experiences while
I was on campus.

Come back, give back, and let
the university embrace you in

a way that you didn't feel
embraced while you were a

graduate student.

the progress of the graduate

school here has been

As I said, the role of graduate
students in the

Princeton community has always
been indispensable.

But when I was an undergraduate
here you really

felt the effects of the decision
that had been made

back in Woodrow Wilson's
administration to build the

graduate school out on the
edge of the campus.

Graduate students were teaching
very heavy loads.

They were worried about
their funding.

And they didn't feel as
integrated into the core of

the university.

When I came back, partly through
improvements that the

university had made in its
graduate support and partly

through the development of
institutions like the

University Center for Human
Values and other kinds of

scholarly fora that welcomed
graduate students in, there

was a much more inclusive
feeling about the role of the

graduate school, the role of
graduate students in the


EMILY BAKEMEIER: Overall, felt
very connected to the rest of

the community in ways that were
really quite added to the


In a way that when you did live
off campus, I didn't feel

separate or apart from.

TONY FIORI: The two years I
spent at Princeton were two of

the best years of my life.

My friends that I met here
were just remarkable.

After the two years of doing
that, there's was a void of

not having these folks around.

So I really enjoyed my
experience here.

I think in part that was because
the Woodrow Wilson

School really created an
environment that fostered

those sorts of relationships.

It was an excellent time.

FRIEDERIKE FUNK: My research is
really my research and not

my adviser's research.

So this feels like being on
the playground for ideas.

That's what I value

And I also value that there
are so many different

inspiring people
on this campus.

LOAN LE: I fell in love with
Princeton when I was an


But now as a graduate student,
I'm even more

in love with Princeton.

And I think I see it from
a different perspective.

Every department is world
class in their research.

And it's great to be a place
where of like minded people,

but also of people who really
care about what they do and

they're really good
with what they do.

PATRICIA MARKS: It was extremely
important to me to

be part of the kind of
community, the scholarly

community, that Princeton

LIZ PENDER: I was giving
a presentation as an

undergraduate in a research
seminar class.

And there were some Princeton
professors who were there.

They saw the presentation,
I guess they liked it.

And we talked.

And what they said about
Princeton really drew me to

the school.

That it was a place where I
could learn to be a scientist

of the new generation.

Where I could learn computation
and traditional

genetics, and really apply
that to be successful.

MATT TRUJILLO: At the end of
the day, this university

supports graduate students

When it comes to the resources,
everything that's

at our fingertips, there's no
way anybody could argue that

they don't.

WALTER KEENAN: The experience
that I got out of Princeton is

pretty hard to describe
in detail.

Because it just is a wonderful

I hope that graduates today have
the same enthusiasm that

was prevalent in my day.

WILLIAM RUSSEL: Your education
has established, in the words

of Dean Hugh Scott Taylor in
1955, a permanent relationship

to learning that will
enable you--

actually, be essential
for you--

to face challenges and embrace
opportunities in the US and

abroad across long careers in
rapidly changing times.

the things we care about in

general at Princeton is being
part of a community that has

its heart here on this campus,
but that transcends boundaries

of geography and time.

And we feel that strongly about
our graduate alumni,

just as we do with regard to
our undergraduate alumni.

SPEAKER 3: And now if you were
paying careful attention, the

25th reunion class has
already gone by.

This is the Association of
Princeton Graduate Alumni.

famous speech that Adlai

Stevenson gave here
called, "The

Educated Citizen" in 1954.

The thesis of that speech was
more or less, "you have been

given much, and therefore much
will be demanded of you." When

you leave Fitz Randolph gate,
you have an obligation to

serve the country, to
serve the world.

That feeling of being compelled
to leave here and

serve others I think is common
among many Princetonians.

NARRATOR: Since the graduate
school centennial in 2000, the

desire to get Princeton's 25,000
graduate alums even

more engaged has born
wonderful fruit.

place thrives on traditions

that are embraced, invented, and
reinvented by our alumni.

And bringing the graduate alumni
of this university

together in this powerful way
is a way for Princeton

University to say to them, we
want you to be owning those

traditions and reinventing

start late and make

your Princeton friends.

Because when I started
volunteering I basically knew

nobody except the people who
I had been in architecture

school with.

And now I would say, my closest
friends are all


And it's all friends who
I've made doing my

volunteer work here.

TONY FIORI: I felt like I had to
give back in some respect.

And so being part of the APGA
has allowed me to stay

connected to the campus,
but also feel like I'm

contributing in some small way
to making this a better place.

HAROLD SHAPIRO: The way to help
the university most if

they're an engineer in
California, or they're a

teacher in Florida, or whatever,
is to do the best

they can do in where they
are in the communities

which they are in.

To be looked upon as people that
really strengthen their


That is, by far, the most
important dividend that

Princeton can receive.

fun in life.

And incorporate the life of the
mind into the life that is

social and that is human.

And make it be a full life
that is all it can be.

And not a narrow life
that just is not

what Princeton's about.

the wonderful things that

we've seen about these different
kinds of conferences

that Princeton has run over
the last few years is that

they provide our alumni with
different ways to think about

their connections to
the university.

And often catalyze further
connections after the


And right now we're looking to
establish a lot of different

pathways through which graduate
alumni can do that.

We've had some very successful
reunions in departments that

allow graduate alumni to network
with people who share

common interests but have come
through this place at

different generations.

And my hope would be that as
alumni connect to one another,

reconnect to the university and
their departments at this

conference, they identify more
pathways through which they

can return to Princeton
in the years ahead.

ALFREDO GARCIA: a lot of people
who are just so driven,

so motivated.

SPEAKER 4: We felt
like we were very

much part of a community.

SPEAKER 2: The faculty were very
open to allowing students

to work on what they
were interested in.

ANNE SHERRERD: Make sure that
you take advantage of being

part of this great community and
all that it has to offer.

PATRICE JEAN: I love all of
my new relationships of my

Princeton family.

SPEAKER 1: It's really a joy to
know that they succeed and

go on and help the world
and the country the

way that they do.

LAURENCE MORSE: Showing up on
campus and sometimes sitting

in on a class or seminar.

It's like being young again.

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