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Princeton Families News
  A Newsletter for Families of Princeton University Students   Summer 2014  

C O M M E N C E M E N T   2 0 1 4
Eisgruber addresses graduates at Commencement

In his first Commencement address as president of Princeton University, Christopher L. Eisgruber advised graduates on June 3 to embrace their uncharted futures and encouraged them to continue learning throughout their lives.
     The University awarded degrees to 1,244 undergraduates and 996 graduate students at its 267th Commencement held on the lawn in front of Nassau Hall. Honorary degrees and teaching awards were also presented at the ceremony.
     Eisgruber said he hoped students would continue to seek out the joy of learning after leaving school. "You will need to sustain the will to learn — you will need, in other words, to find the inspiration to read, the time to think, and the provocation and the energy to break away from the daily routines that enable you to cope with the responsibilities of adult life," he said.
     The ceremony's two other speakers were valedictorian Katherine Pogrebniak, a computer science major from Jacksonville, Florida, and salutatorian Alexander Iriza, a mathematics major from Astoria, New York.

Gore speaks to seniors at Class Day

At Princeton's Class Day ceremony on June 2 former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gave an uplifting message about the power of today's graduating seniors to stoke society's will to confront the world's most pressing challenges, particularly climate change.
     Gore, a well-known advocate for addressing climate change, discussed the challenges facing humanity and the role of graduating seniors in resolving them.
     The Class Day ceremony, which is planned and presented by the senior class, also included the awarding of various prizes to students, humorous student speeches and remarks from President Christopher L. Eisgruber. The event is traditionally held the day before Commencement on Cannon Green behind Nassau Hall.

Colorful Baccalaureate ceremony marks start of graduation

The Class of 2014 began their graduation celebration on June 1 with Princeton's Baccalaureate ceremony, an interfaith service held in the University Chapel that included music, blessings and readings from a range of faith and philosophical traditions.
     In the Baccalaureate address, Christopher Lu, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and a member of the Class of 1988, urged seniors to embrace public service, regardless of the career path they choose.
     More than 3,000 seniors, family and friends gathered for the event, one of the University's oldest traditions.

Graduation images and videos available

Families are welcome to view online images from graduation events. Images for friends and families may be downloaded for free and prints also may be purchased through the website. Families also may watch videos of the Baccalaureate, Class Day and Commencement ceremonies on the University's Media Central website.

A C A D E M I C   L I F E
The senior thesis: Quintessentially Princeton

Inspired by learning experiences in and out of the classroom — around campus and across the globe — Princeton undergraduates tackle a monumental academic challenge by completing a senior thesis or project.
     The thesis, considered the capstone of Princeton students' academic journey, is an independent work that requires seniors to pursue original research and scholarship under the guidance of faculty advisers.
     In this video about senior theses, Dean of the College Valerie Smith talks about the importance of independent work and graduating seniors reflect on their thesis journeys. In other stories, seniors talk about their theses covering a range of topics, including alternative education, sex reassignment surgery, perceptions of status and race, coral reefs, and an art and archaeology installation using paint and wood.

Sample 15 Princeton courses with a day in the classroom

Princeton University offers a wide range of courses each semester, allowing undergraduates to learn core subjects and skills while exploring new interests.
     During the spring, staff from the Office of Communications visited 15 classes in one day, and produced a snapshot of courses spanning the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and engineering.

London calling: Journeys of musical discovery
      Darya Koltunyuk (left) and Katherine Buzard

A partnership between Princeton University and the Royal College of Music offers Princeton students the opportunity to spend the fall semester of their junior year in London at the prestigious conservatory.
     Darya Koltunyuk, a pianist, and Katherine Buzard, a soprano, were among the 16 students who have so far participated in the program. The semester at the Royal College of Music provides rigorous professional training within a liberal arts framework and is offered as part of Princeton's Study Abroad Program.

Animating science: Student videos explain ecological challenges

Conveying science to a broad audience in a way that is understandable, accurate and entertaining is an important — and challenging — task. This past year, Princeton students got a chance to try their hand at that skill, creating animated short videos that focused on a wide variety of ecological challenges.
     In the class "Ecology: Species Interactions, Biodiversity and Society," undergraduates studied how wild organisms interact with each other in relation to their physical environments and human society. For their final projects, they were divided into small groups to translate a local environmental issue, such as extinction or species invasions. Students decided what information to include in creative and informative videos.

Research news: In the eye of a chicken, a new state of matter comes into view
      A diagram depicting the spacial distribution of the five types of light-sensitive cells in the chicken retina.

Along with eggs, soup and rubber toys, the list of the chicken's most lasting legacies may eventually include advanced materials such as self-organizing colloids, or optics that can transmit light with the efficiency of a crystal and the flexibility of a liquid.
     Researchers from Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis have found that the unusual arrangement of cells in a chicken's eye constitutes the first known biological occurrence of a potentially new state of matter known as "disordered hyperuniformity," which has been shown to have unique physical properties. These states have a "hidden order" that allows them to behave like crystal and liquid states of matter. They exhibit order over large distances and disorder over small distances.

The Princeton-Fung Global forum brings together education, policy leaders
President Christopher L. Eisgruber (left) listens as alumnus and former trustee William Fung speaks at the Princeton-Fung Global Forum in Paris.      

The Princeton-Fung Global Forum is a series of annual meetings of the world's foremost thinkers to discuss major issues confronting the planet.
     With a generous gift from William Fung, alumnus, former trustee and group chairman of Li & Fung, the forum provides a setting for colleagues from distinct backgrounds to cross national and regional boundaries, and to share views from diverse disciplinary and professional perspectives.
     This year's forum "The Future of Higher Education" took place April 9-11 in Paris. Over the course of the conference, education executives, government officials and policymakers discussed the purpose of higher education as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in technology, changing demographics and financial pressures. Speakers also shared a vision of the future in which universities anticipate, influence and drive change in global society.


C A M P U S   L I F E
Zoom in: 28 stories of a global summer

As students travel the world for academic and extracurricular activities this summer, take a look at the global journey of more than two dozen Princeton students during summer 2013. More than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students traveled throughout the United States and to 90 countries last summer.
     "One of the greatest opportunities offered to Princeton students is the chance to have a significant educational experience abroad — or be immersed in another culture," said Diana Davies, vice provost for international initiatives.

Marcoux honored to lead Princeton athletics

Mollie Marcoux, a legendary student-athlete at Princeton University who has played an integral role in the creation and management of the sports complexes of Chelsea Piers, has been appointed the University's Ford Family Director of Athletics, effective Aug. 4. She will succeed Gary Walters, who announced last fall that he would be stepping down after leading the athletics program at Princeton for 20 years.
     At an April 15 media conference following the announcement of her appointment, Marcoux said she is thrilled to return to the University that played a transformative role in her life as a scholar, athlete and leader.
     "Princeton athletics taught me so many life lessons that I use every day," Marcoux said. "To [be able to] do everything I can to be sure that future generations of Princeton students continue to have the educational and character-building experience that I had while being a student here is very exciting."

Ceremony heralds return of NROTC program to Princeton
      From left: Robert Barchi, Ray Mabus and Christopher L. Eisgruber

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, and President of Rutgers University Robert Barchi gathered on campus this spring for a signing ceremony to formally reinstate the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program at Princeton in partnership with Rutgers.
     "I am so pleased that a new generation of students will have the opportunity to benefit from the NROTC's leadership training and character building as a part of their Princeton education," Eisgruber said.
     Under the agreement, Princeton students may participate in the NROTC college-option program beginning in fall 2014. Princeton also has Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

'Script to Screen': Students gain insights into Hollywood careers
Alumnus and television producer Albert Kim (left) talks with Cody O'Neil of the Class of 2015.      

Whether it's television, film, theater or video games, alumni and industry professionals in the entertainment field had one overarching piece of advice for Princeton University students during a campus workshop this spring: there is no set path to a successful career in Hollywood.
     Screenwriters, producers, studio executives and others shared their experiences breaking into the business during the event "Careers in Hollywood: Script to Screen and Everything in Between," held March 29 in Frist Campus Center.
     The workshop, which Career Services co-sponsored with the Lewis Center for the Arts, is one example of Career Services' expanding efforts to connect students with career opportunities across all genres in the arts.

Pace Center service trip brings light to Peruvian village

With only the contents of a small plastic suitcase, seven Princeton University students were able to bring light to — and help improve lives in — a remote village in Peru during their spring break this year.
     The students traveled to Corpani Peñas, near the historic Machu Picchu site, as part of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement's pilot international service trip. The Solar Sustainable Service project brought reliable, low-cost energy to the isolated community of 16 homes via a solar suitcase that the nonprofit organization We Share Solar developed.
     "In two days, we installed the entire solar system," said trip co-leader Douglas Bastidas, a member of the Class of 2016. "We know that this installation will have positive impacts for the community, but I think our team benefited most from this experience. From the technical troubleshooting of the installation process with the community members, to the rich cultural exchange our team had with our host families, to the kind and generous hospitality that was common in all of our interactions with each Peruvian community."

Sotomayor, Rawlings receive top awards at Alumni Day
Sonia Sotomayor and Hunter Rawlings      

The meaning of service and the future of American higher education were themes in talks by top alumni award winners during Princeton's 2014 Alumni Day program.
     Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the Class of 1976 and the Supreme Court's first Latina justice, received the Woodrow Wilson Award, the University's highest honor for undergraduate alumni. Association of American Universities President Hunter R. Rawlings III, who earned a Ph.D. in classics in 1970, was presented the James Madison Medal, the University's top honor for Graduate School alumni.
     In addition to speeches by Sotomayor and Rawlings, the day included lectures, workshops, family activities, and the presentation of alumni and student awards.


O T H E R   N E W S
Entrepreneurship committee seeks to engage campus community
      Students and entrepreneurs gather at the Friend Center for last summer's eLab Demo day.

The Princeton Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee (PEAC) is currently gathering input and exploring options to recommend a broad vision for fostering entrepreneurship at the University. Parents and families are welcome to submit their ideas on PEAC website regarding promoting entrepreneurship at Princeton.
     Provost David Lee has asked the committee to conduct a strategic assessment of entrepreneurial opportunities through the lens of Princeton's values of education, research and service. The committee of 19 alumni, faculty, staff and students is chaired by Mung Chiang, director of the Keller Center and the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Check out Princeton Families Handbook

The Families Handbook website is a great resource for families of Princeton students, particularly families of incoming freshmen, to learn about the many aspects of academic and campus life at Princeton. The website also is a source of practical information ranging from where to stay when visiting Princeton to how to send packages to your student on campus.

Freshman Families Weekend scheduled

Families of students in the Class of 2018 should mark their calendars for Freshman Families Weekend. This year's program will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 10-12, 2014. The Freshman Families Weekend website will be updated in late summer with details about the 2014 event.

Academic calendar

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
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
Sept. 16, Wednesday. Classes begin
Oct. 9-11, Friday-Sunday. Freshman Families Weekend
Oct. 26-30, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
Oct. 31-Nov. 8, Saturday-Sunday. Fall recess
Nov. 24-Nov. 29, Wednesday-Sunday. Thanksgiving recess
Dec. 18-Jan. 3, Saturday-Sunday. Winter recess
Jan. 13-23, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations

Helpful links:
Back issues: Family News Archive

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, Michael Caddell, Daniel Day, Karin Dienst, Michael Hotchkiss, Morgan Kelly, Ushma Patel and Jamie Saxon.
Image and Video Contributors: Danielle Alio, Denise Applewhite, Nicholas Barberio, Amaris Hardy, John Jameson, Pace Center for Civic Engagement, Washington University in St. Louis (Joseph Corbo and Timothy Lau), and Frank Wojciechowski.
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. 450388

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