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Princeton Families News
A Newsletter for Families of Princeton University Students  January 2014
In this issue:
PRESIDENT EISGRUBER 
• Eisgruber installed as president of Princeton
• President Eisgruber travels to Asia
ACADEMIC LIFE 
• PIIRS Global Seminar takes budding filmmakers to Kenya
• Princeton Pre-read examines 'The Honor Code'
• Princetonians win Rhodes, Marshall scholarships
• Video feature: The pleasure of learning
• Princeton researchers explore new frontiers of knowledge
• Nobel laureate brings literary flair back to Princeton
CAMPUS LIFE 
• Opening Exercises welcomes the Class of 2017
• Video: Activities abound in the residential colleges
• Bonfire celebrates fall football victories
• Video: Student-athletes serve New Jersey communities
• Video: The Princeton Highsteppers
OTHER NEWS 
• Faculty committee will review assessment policies
• Support the Parents Fund
• Commencement scheduled for June 3

P R E S I D E N T   E I S G R U B E R
Eisgruber installed as president of Princeton
 
      President Christopher L. Eisgruber (center) re-enacts the taking of the oath of office during his installation ceremony in September.
 

At his installation as Princeton's 20th president on Sept. 22, 2013, Christopher L. Eisgruber said the University must ensure that liberal arts education remains a vital foundation for improving individuals' lives and advancing society.
     Eisgruber's heartfelt address to the crowd of more than 1,000 on the front lawn of Nassau Hall underscored Princeton's influence on him, and in turn, his devotion to the University. He traced his path from his days as an undergraduate, to his return as a professor and provost, to his new post as president.
     The installation was a celebratory, public occasion to welcome Eisgruber as president. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and higher education leaders traveled from across campus, the country and the world to hear Eisgruber's inaugural speech and watch him re-enact the oath. Eisgruber took the oath of office at the June meeting of the Board of Trustees before he officially became president on July 1.
     A copy of Eisgruber's installation address, "The Ideal of a Liberal Arts University," is available on the Office of the President's website.

Eisgruber travels to Asia
 
President Christopher L. Eisgruber visits the University of Tokyo.      
 

President Christopher L. Eisgruber made a series of visits to alumni and education leaders in Japan, South Korea and China in late October and early November.
     In Tokyo, he visited the University of Tokyo, the University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
     In Beijing, Eisgruber met with officials at Tsinhgua University, signed a collaboration agreement with Beijing Normal University and toured the Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research.
     Eisgruber also attended alumni receptions and dinners in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong.

A C A D E M I C   L I F E
PIIRS Global Seminar takes budding filmmakers to Kenya's plains
 
     
Professor Daniel Rubenstein explains the ecology of the Laikipia region in Kenya to students.
 

In the Laikipia region of central Kenya, where the land hugs the equator in the shadow of Mt. Kenya, 15 Princeton students and five Kenyan students discovered this past summer that there's no smartphone app for figuring out where the gazelles are.
     Over the course of six weeks in the PIIRS Global Seminar "Documentary Filmmaking in Kenya: The Art of Science Storytelling," the undergraduates — some of whom had never before picked up a video camera — were trained in digital video production, screenwriting and editing to produce short documentaries. Many focused on the wildlife that inhabits this rich mosaic of savannah and forests. Others focused on the way people's lives are connected to the environment.
     The seminar, offered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) in conjunction with the Office of International Programs, was co-sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts' Program in Visual Arts and Princeton Atelier and by the Princeton Environmental Institute.
     "The seminar opened my mind to some of the key challenges to peaceful co-existence between wildlife and human communities living around them. The only way wildlife can be protected is by making these communities stakeholders in their conservation," said sophomore Raghav Gandotra of New Delhi.

Princeton Pre-read engages students in examination of 'The Honor Code'
 

President Christopher L. Eisgruber talks with students at Forbes College.
     
 

During the summer, entering freshmen in the Class of 2017 received their first assignment from Princeton. President Christopher L. Eisgruber asked students to read the book "The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen" by Princeton professor Kwame Appiah as an introduction to the intellectual life of the University.
     As part of the program, which was dubbed Princeton Pre-read, Eisgruber and other faculty members discussed the book with students during a series of campus conversations.
     "I'm interested in it as a book, but I'm also interested in it as a way of thinking about what honor means in our own lives and whether or not honor is something that we ought to be concerned about and how we ought to think about what it means to live a meaningful life," Eisgruber said to students during a discussion at Forbes College.

Princetonians win Rhodes, Marshall scholarships
 
     
From left to right: Adam Mastroianni, Timothy McGinnis and
Dixon Li.
 

Princeton University senior Adam Mastroianni and Class of 2013 graduate Timothy McGinnis were awarded Rhodes Scholarships in November for graduate study at the University of Oxford in England.
     Mastroianni, a Monroeville, Ohio, native who is concentrating in psychology, plans to pursue an M.Phil. in evidence-based social intervention. McGinnis, of Charlotte, N.C., majored in anthropology at Princeton. At Oxford, he plans to complete two master's degrees — an M.Sc. in history of science, medicine and technology the first year, studying the social history of medicine in Africa, and during his second year, an M.Sc. in global health sciences.
     Also this fall, Princeton senior Dixon Li was named a 2014 Marshall Scholar. The Marshall Scholarship covers the cost of graduate study and living at a British university of the recipient's choice for up to two years.
     Li, an English major from Sandy, Utah, plans to complete two master's degrees. He will study writing in the modern age at Queen Mary University of London and for his second year, pursue an M.Phil. in English at the University of Cambridge.

Video feature: The pleasure of learning
 

The pleasure of learning is a key ingredient to life at Princeton University.
     
 

As a liberal arts institution, Princeton University supports research and teaching across a broad range of disciplines both for the good of society and for its community members' personal and intellectual growth.
     As seen in this video, opportunities abound for students to engage academically with professors and each other, and in a variety of places on campus.

Princeton researchers explore new frontiers of knowledge, technology
 
     
The graphics program RealBrush allows users to produce realistic brush strokes on their computers.
 

As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. Here are just a few examples of recent research, with more news available on the Research at Princeton website.
     In the School of Engineering and Applied Science, computer science faculty and graduate students were part of a team that developed a program that allows graphic artists to quickly and easily produce realistic brushstrokes on their computers. Called RealBrush, the program combines graphics algorithms with "Big Data" storage and retrieval techniques to allow computer artists to create, bend and shape a wide array of brushstrokes.
     According to social science research based at Princeton, poverty and all its related concerns require so much mental energy that the poor have less remaining brainpower to devote to other areas of life. As a result, people of limited means are more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions that may be amplified by — and perpetuate — their financial woes. The study "Poverty impedes cognitive function" presents a unique perspective regarding the causes of persistent poverty.
     In the field of neuroscience, a Princeton-based research team found that physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. The team found that running produced a large increase in the number of new neurons in the hippocampus — a brain region shown to regulate anxiety — of a mouse that ran for six weeks.

Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa brings literary flair back to Princeton
 

Nobel Prize-winning writer and visiting lecturer Mario Vargas Llosa teaches a class this past semester.
     
 

In fall 2010, the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa was teaching at Princeton when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Three years later, Vargas Llosa returned to the University to share his insights about writing with a new group of students as well as the broader campus community.
     A visiting lecturer in the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Program in Latin American Studies, Vargas Llosa is known for his deep engagement with politics and history, as well as his deft storytelling and eye for the absurd.
     This past semester, Vargas Llosa co-taught a course on his own writings, "The Literary Works of Mario Vargas Llosa in Their Artistic, Intellectual and Political Contexts," with Efraín Kristal, a visiting professor of comparative literature and the Program in Latin American Studies.

C A M P U S   L I F E
Opening Exercises welcomes the Class of 2017
 
     
Freshmen from the Class of 2017 gather in the University Chapel for Opening Exercises 2013.
 

As President Christopher L. Eisgruber welcomed the incoming Class of 2017 at Opening Exercises on Sept. 8, 2013, he told students they shared an important connection.
     "I will always feel a special bond with those of you who arrive here as the Class of 2017 because this year we will embark on exciting new Princeton journeys together," he said. Eisgruber began his term in office on July 1.
     Calling the incoming class "an extraordinarily accomplished, inspiring and diverse group," Eisgruber noted that the 1,286 students hail from 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia and 54 countries outside of the United States. He added that this year's 582 new graduate students come from 230 colleges and universities around the world, "further exemplifying that Princeton is indeed a truly global institution."
     The interdenominational service held in the University Chapel traditionally marks the start of each academic year. The ceremony also recognized the recipients of undergraduate academic prizes.

Video: Activities abound in the residential colleges
 

Students pose in New York City's Times Square during a Broadway bus trip sponsored by the University's residential colleges.
     
 

Princeton's six residential colleges provide many opportunities for students to get involved with campus life. In addition to serving as the living, dining and advising clusters for undergraduates, the colleges offer social programs that help foster close-knit communities.
     This video slideshow is a collection of photographs during one year in the residential colleges. The colleges — which house all freshmen and sophomores, and some juniors, seniors and graduate students — host student activities including intramural sports, Friday night parties with a live deejay, yoga and dance lessons, and game nights.

Bonfire celebrates fall football victories
 
     
Princeton students ring Cannon Green as a bonfire roars in celebration of the Tiger football team's victories over Harvard and Yale.
 

Princeton celebrated football victories over Harvard and Yale with a traditional campus bonfire on a frigid evening in November. The bonfire tradition, dating to the late 1800s, is renewed each year the Tigers defeat the Crimson and the Bulldogs.
     The football team finished the 2013 season with an 8-2 record.
     The team "brought home an Ivy League championship to this campus, where it belongs," President Christopher L. Eisgruber told the crowd.
     Students, faculty, staff and alumni bundled in heavy coats and layered in hooded sweatshirts and jackets gathered on Cannon Green to watch the bonfire. For sophomores, juniors and seniors, it was a second consecutive fall celebrated with a bonfire.

Video feature: Student-athletes serve New Jersey communities
 

Students help to build a community garden.
     
 

The Weapons of Mass Construction initiative unites Princeton student-athletes across all varsity sports in service projects. The Princeton Varsity Club spearheads the community service initiative. An extension of the Department of Athletics' motto of "Education Through Athletics," the program is a way for undergraduate student-athletes, coaches and administrators to give back to the region.
     During the 2012-13 academic year, Princeton student-athletes took on two projects in New Jersey — helping to build a community garden and restoring properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. This video shows students at work on the projects they undertook.

Video: The Princeton Highsteppers
 
     
Each week the Princeton Highsteppers brings together a group of students with diverse dance backgrounds to perform step.
 

The Princeton Highsteppers is a student-run group that meets weekly to rehearse and perform step, a dance form that incorporates stomping, clapping and vocalization with an overall rhythmic element.
     As this video shows, the dancers are an eclectic bunch representing various nationalities, ethnicities and dance backgrounds. The group was formed in 2003.

O T H E R   N E W S
Faculty committee will review assessment and grading policies

President Christopher L. Eisgruber has charged a new faculty committee with reviewing the University's policies for how student work is evaluated. The Ad Hoc Committee to Review Policies Regarding Assessment and Grading will explore whether the University's assessment guidelines remain effective and appropriate. The committee expects to meet over this year.
     "The University periodically reviews and revises policies so that Princeton can pursue its teaching and research mission as effectively as possible," Eisgruber said. "Nearly 10 years have passed since the faculty enacted our current grading policy, and our experience with it may enable us to identify ways to improve how we evaluate student work and provide feedback about it."
     The committee may recommend to the faculty changes to the grading policies to improve assessment practices, teaching methods and the University's general learning environment.

Support the Parents Fund

The 2013-14 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.

Commencement scheduled for June 3
 

     
 

Detailed information about Princeton's 2014 graduation ceremonies may be found on the University's Commencement website.
     The Baccalaureate service will be held on Sunday, June 1; Class Day for seniors will take place the morning of Monday, June 2, while the Hooding Ceremony for masters and doctoral candidates will take place that afternoon; the University's 267th Commencement will be held on Tuesday, June 3.

Check out the Princeton Parents Facebook page
 
     
 

In addition to the University's main social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms, there is a Princeton Parents Facebook Page where Princeton families can learn more about what is happening on campus and share information with each other.

 

     
 
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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

SPRING TERM 2014
Feb. 3, Monday. Spring term begins
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
   
FALL TERM 2014
Sept. 10, Wednesday. Classes begin
Oct. 10-12, Friday-Sunday. Freshman Families Weekend
Oct. 20-24, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
Oct. 25-Nov. 2, Saturday-Sunday. Fall recess
Nov. 26-Nov. 30, Wednesday-Sunday. Thanksgiving recess
Dec. 13-Jan. 4, Saturday-Sunday. Winter recess
Jan. 14-24, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
 
   
SPRING TERM 2015
Feb. 2, Monday. Spring term begins
March 9-13, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
March 14-22, Saturday-Sunday. Spring recess
May 13-23, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
May 31, Sunday. Baccalaureate
June 1, Monday. Class Day
June 2, 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 families@princeton.edu.

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

Editor: Emily Aronson
Designer: Mahlon Lovett
Contributing Writers: Emily Aronson, Karin Dienst, Michael Hotchkiss, Morgan Kelly, Jamie Saxon and John Sullivan.
Photo and Image Contributors: Denise Applewhite, Kelsey Dennison, Jingwan "Cynthia" Lu, et al, John Jameson, Timothy McGinnis and the University of Tokyo.
Video Contributors: Danielle Alio, Amaris Hardy, Maggie Westergaard and the Princeton Varsity Club
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 © 2014 by The Trustees of Princeton University. 450312

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