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Princeton Families News
 A Newsletter for Families of Princeton University StudentsWinter 2013 
In this issue:
 Opening Exercises welcomes Class of 2016
 Tilghman to step down as president in June
 Successful Aspire fundraising campaign; Parents Fund continues
 Two seniors win Pyne Prize
 Princeton students win international fellowships
 Video Feature: Engineering at Princeton University
 Exploring the crossroads of genetics and policy
 Princeton extends learning through online Coursera classes
 Global Seminar brings ancient Greek plays to life
 Video Feature: Roommates at Princeton
 Toni Morrison returns 'home' to read from new novel
 Princeton establishes partnerships with international universities
 Commencement scheduled for June 4
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Back issues:
News Archive (Previously published as Parents News)

Opening Exercises welcomes Class of 2016

Residents of Mathey College await the start of Opening Exercises 

Opening Exercises marked the beginning of the academic year with music, student awards, readings from religious and philosophical traditions, and an address by President Shirley M. Tilghman. Freshmen and their families — joined by other undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff — filled the University Chapel on Sept. 9, 2012, for the interfaith service.
     In her speech, “Occupying Princeton,” Tilghman appealed to students to apply the University's educational offerings to better themselves and the world around them. The ceremony also included the presentation of awards to undergraduates in recognition of their academic achievements during the previous year.

Tilghman to step down as president in June


Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University since 2001 and a leader in the fields of science and American higher education, announced this past September that she will step down as Princeton's 19th president at the end of the academic year.
     In a letter emailed to all students, faculty, staff and alumni, Tilghman said, "I believe that together we have made Princeton a stronger and more vibrant University." There is a "natural rhythm to university presidencies," she said, and with "major priorities accomplished or well on their way to being realized, and the [recently completed $1.88 billion Aspire fundraising] campaign successfully concluded, it is time for Princeton to turn to its 20th president to chart the path for the next decade and beyond."
     A University committee is currently conducting a search for a new Princeton University president. The committee has set up a Presidential Search website with more information and a feedback form. The University's Board of Trustees will appoint the new president, and the committee hopes to make its recommendation to the full board in the spring.

Successful Aspire fundraising campaign completed; Parents Fund continues

Princeton's five-year Aspire campaign, which ended on June 30, 2012, exceeded its $1.75 billion goal by raising $1.88 billion to support the University's programs of teaching and research as well as its efforts to prepare students from a wide range of backgrounds for leadership in a complex world. More than 1,000 alumni and friends attended a "thank you" celebration on campus to celebrate the campaign's success.
     The University's annual fundraising efforts continue. The 2012-13 Annual Giving drive is currently under way and parents are welcome to participate through the Parents Fund. The Parents Fund raises critical unrestricted funds that help sustain the quality of the educational experience at Princeton. Led by Kathy and Bob Stansky (parents of students from the Class of 2009 and Class of 2015), the Parents Committee is a dedicated group of parents of current students and graduates. Committee members connect with other Princeton parents and encourage their support of the University. In addition, committee members have the opportunity to participate in events on campus and throughout the country, as well as to meet faculty, administrators and other Princeton parents.
     For more information about the Parents Fund or to volunteer, contact Betsy Grimes, director of the Parents Fund, at 609-258-2344 or egrimes@princeton.edu.

Two seniors win Pyne Prize

From left to right: Caroline Hanamirian and Jake Nebel 

Princeton seniors Caroline Hanamirian and Jake Nebel and have been named co-winners of the University's 2013 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate.
     The Pyne Honor Prize, established in 1921, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. Previous recipients include the late Princeton President Emeritus Robert F. Goheen '40, former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes '54 and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor '76.
     Hanamirian, who is from Villanova, Pa., is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2012 she won the Van de Velde Award for outstanding junior independent work.
     Nebel, who is from Winter Park, Fla., is a philosophy major and is completing a certificate in values and public life. He also was named a 2013 Marshall Scholar (see story below).

Princeton students win international fellowships
From left to right: Flannery Cunningham, Jake Nebel and Aman Sinha
From left to right: Erica Cao, Kaitlin Stouffer and David Kurz

Princeton University seniors and an alumnus have been awarded prestigious international fellowships for postgraduate studies next year.
     Flannery Cunningham was named a 2013 George J. Mitchell Scholar to study in Ireland. A native of St. Cloud, Minn., Cunningham is majoring in music with a certificate in creative writing. She plans to spend a year studying music composition at University College Cork.
     Jake Nebel was named a 2013 Marshall Scholar. The scholarship covers the cost of graduate study and living at a British university of the recipient's choice for two to three years. Nebel, a philosophy major from Winter Park, Fla., plans to pursue a master's degree in philosophy at the University of Oxford.
     Aman Sinha was named a 2013 Churchill Scholar. The mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Ivyland, Pa., will spend a year studying at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge.
     Seniors Erica Cao and Kaitlin Stouffer, as well as Class of 2012 graduate David Kurz, were among the 40 U.S. winners of the Gates Cambridge Scholarships to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. Cao will study for a master's degree in music; Kurz will pursue a master's in biological science; and Stouffer will study for a master's in medical genetics.

Video Feature: Engineering at Princeton University


H. Vincent Poor, dean of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science, narrated a recent video tour of Princeton's Engineering Quadrangle, which offers faculty and students research and educational possibilities in a variety of interdisciplinary fields.

Exploring the crossroads of genetics and policy
Tilghman (left) and Wailoo co-taught a class last fall.

In the class "Modern Genetics and Public Policy," Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University, and Keith Wailoo, the Townsend Martin Professor of history and public affairs, encouraged students to examine how science and public policy intersect.
     Together, they possess a wealth of knowledge to explore the topic. Tilghman, a professor of molecular biology, is one of the world's foremost authorities on genetics; Wailoo draws upon insights gained from his work on several award-winning books on genetics and society, and many years teaching across the disciplines of health, race and public policy.
     The class was offered in the fall semester through Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Princeton extends learning through online Coursera classes

A sampling of Princeton classes on Coursera. 

This fall, seven professors taught classes on the web-based platform Coursera as the University explores online technology to enhance learning at Princeton and extend its educational resources beyond campus. Princeton announced last April it would offer noncredit courses on Coursera, which features free content from U.S. and international universities.
     "We can learn a lot from experiments in online learning, not just about the potential and limits of the online medium itself, but also about the practice of teaching more generally," Provost Christopher Eisgruber said following the launch of Princeton's first massive open online course (MOOC) last summer.

Global Seminar brings ancient Greek plays to life
Princeton students visited a theater at Delphi (fourth century B.C.E.).

The Global Seminar "Re-Staging the Greeks" transported students this past summer to key locations around Greece that resonate deeply with the country's tradition in theater. The seminar included reading plays, performances, lessons in Greek, guest lectures and workshops, and immersion into daily life in Athens and Epidauros.
     Michael Cadden, senior lecturer in theater and chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, led the course with Timothy Vasen, a lecturer in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Program in Theater, with support from Dimitri Gondicas, the Stanley J. Seeger Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies.
     The seminar was sponsored by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Global Seminars program, the programs in theater and Hellenic studies, and Sovereign Bank. College Year in Athens served as the host organization. To document their experience, several students wrote on a class blog.

Video Feature: Roommates at Princeton

Freshman year roommates Shreya Nathan (left) and Katherine Clifton

Though Princeton freshmen are randomly assigned to live in one of six close-knit residential colleges, much thought goes into which pairs or groups of students will get along based on a detailed housing questionnaire incoming students complete. In this video, roommates provide perspectives from their first year and from their last.
     Two sets of roommates talk about living together and making close friends at Princeton.

Toni Morrison 
Toni Morrison returns 'home' to read
from new novel

Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emeritus, returned to Princeton this past fall to read from her new novel, "Home." Morrison, who previously taught literature and writing at Princeton, was on campus as the Belknap Visitor in the Humanities. 
     "Teaching is the second best thing to writing for me," Morrison said. "What a pleasure it is and how truly intellectually exciting it is to teach at Princeton."
     "Home" is Morrison’s 10th novel and tells the story of a young African American soldier returning home from the Korean War to the pre-civil rights south.
     Morrison spoke to an audience of more than 550 students, faculty, staff and community members in Richardson Auditorium. The event was presented by the Council of the Humanities and the Center for African American Studies.


Princeton establishes partnerships with international universities

Princeton has established separate strategic partnerships with Humboldt University in Berlin, the University of São Paulo in Brazil and the University of Tokyo to enhance research and learning opportunities across disciplines and across borders. 
     The University is establishing these strategic partnerships with peer institutions around the world as it continues its internationalization efforts. These strategic partnerships complement the many institutional relationships that Princeton already has in place including faculty fellowships, student exchanges and study abroad programs.

Commencement scheduled for June 4

Detailed information about Princeton's 2013 graduation ceremonies may be found on the Commencement website.
     The Baccalaureate service will be held on Sunday, June 2; Class Day for seniors will take place the morning of Monday, June 3, while the Hooding Ceremony for masters and doctoral candidates will take place that afternoon; the University's 266th Commencement will be held on Tuesday, June 4.


Sign up for Princeton's weekly e-newsletter

The University has a new weekly email newsletter, the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, produced by the Office of Communications. It is distributed on Thursday mornings and Princeton families are welcome to subscribe to the free newsletter.


Academic calendar

Feb. 4, Monday. Spring term begins
Feb. 23, Saturday. Alumni Day (open to parents)
March 11-15, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
March 16-24, Saturday-Sunday. Spring recess
May 15-25, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
June 2, Sunday. Baccalaureate
June 3, Monday. Class Day
June 4, Tuesday. Commencement
Sept. 12, Thursday. Classes begin
Oct. 11-13, Friday-Sunday. Freshman Parents Weekend
Oct. 21-25, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
Oct. 26-Nov. 3, Saturday-Sunday. Fall recess
Nov. 27-Dec. 1, Thursday-Sunday. Thanksgiving recess
Dec. 13-Jan. 5, Saturday-Sunday. Winter recess
Jan. 15-25, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
Feb. 3, Monday. Spring term begins
Feb. 22, Saturday. Alumni Day (open to parents)
March 10-14, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
March 15-23, Saturday-Sunday. Spring recess
May 14-24, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
June 1, Sunday. Baccalaureate
June 2, Monday. Class Day
June 3, Tuesday. Commencement

Other comments, questions, ideas?

We would like to hear from you on the types of stories you would like to see featured in this newsletter in the future. Please send your comments to parents@princeton.edu.

Princeton Families News is coordinated by Princeton's Office of the Dean of the College and published by Princeton's Office of Communications. It is sent electronically at no charge to parents of undergraduates, and also to parents of graduate students upon request. Permission is granted to reprint or to excerpt written material from Princeton Parents News with attribution for use in the media.

Editor: Emily Aronson
Contributing Writers: Emily Aronson, Nick Barberio, Karin Dienst, Office of Development Communications, Ushma Patel, Teresa Riordan and Jamie Saxon
Design: Mahlon Lovett
Photo Contributors: Denise Applewhite, Kevin Birch, Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy and Timothy Vasen
Video Contributors: Nick Barberio and Michael Wood
Nondiscrimination Statement. In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other federal, state, and local laws, Princeton University does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status in any phase of its employment process, in any phase of its admission or financial aid programs, or other aspects of its educational programs or activities. The vice provost for institutional equity and diversity is the individual designated by the University to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX, Section 504 and other equal opportunity and affirmative action regulations and laws. Questions or concerns regarding Title IX, Section 504 or other aspects of Princeton's equal opportunity or affirmative action programs should be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, Princeton University, 205 Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 or 609-258-6110.

Copyright © 2013 by The Trustees of Princeton University

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