If you prefer to read it in a browser, Princeton Parents News is also available on the Web.

 
 
Princeton Parents News
A Newsletter for Parents of Princeton University Students Summer 2011, Volume 33, Number 1     
In this issue:
•  University celebrates 264th Commencement
•  Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel to step down; new dean named
•  Senior thesis: Searching the brain for social networks
•  Students honored with awards
•  Videos reveal campus life and traditions
•  Reports examine student leadership, residential life
•  New Frick Chemistry Laboratory advances teaching and research
•  'Flock logic' project unites art and science
•  Student pictures worth a thousand (policy) words
•  Textbook purchasing will be easier, cheaper
•  Princeton offers parent volunteer opportunities
•  Princeton trustees approve lowest fee increases in 45 years
Helpful links:
•  Princeton home page
•  Princeton Parents page
•  Princeton Parents Facebook page
•  Residential colleges
•  Princeton University Bulletin
•  Educational programs open to parents
•  Emergency information
•  Academic Calendar

Back issues:
Parents News Archive

University celebrates 264th Commencement
 
     
 

At the University's 264th Commencement on the front lawn of Nassau Hall, degrees were awarded to 1,202 undergraduates in the class of 2011, four from other classes and 815 graduate students.
     Calling education "our most powerful engine for social mobility," Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman implored this year's graduates to use their knowledge to improve the country's K-12 education system.
     "Today you leave this privileged place as the beneficiaries of a world-class education -- one that I hope has prepared you well for whatever comes next, including the unexpected," she said May 31 in her annual Commencement address. "Without in any way diminishing the importance of your own hard work, you are among the lucky ones."
 

Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel to step down; new dean named
 
Nancy Weiss Malkiel   Valerie Smith      
 

After serving for 24 years as dean of the college, Professor of History Nancy Weiss Malkiel is stepping down this month. Read Malkiel's final From the Dean's Office column on change and continuity in undergraduate education from 1987 to 2011.
     Valerie Smith, a distinguished scholar of literature who led a major expansion of Princeton's interdisciplinary Center for African American Studies, has been selected as the University's next dean of the college.

Pictured: (left) Nancy Weiss Malkiel; Valerie Smith

Senior thesis: Searching the brain for social networks
 
      Mark Thornton
 

Why do some people tend to make inappropriate comments in social situations? Why do some people misread cues about how others feel about them?
     The work Mark Thornton has begun with his senior thesis in Princeton's psychology department may someday help answer these questions and could open up new lines of research. Thornton, whose project spans three branches of psychology, is testing a theory about the brain's processing of social information by scanning subjects' brains as they rate faces on different measures.
     Thornton's thesis was one of four senior theses featured on the University home page in the spring. The others are:
     • Computer science: Shattering art to reconstruct the past
     • East Asian studies: Exploring the evolution of traditional Chinese medicine
     • Music: Telling the story of Asperger's with music
 

Students honored with awards
 
John Pardon   Veronica Shi      
 

Princeton's most accomplished students are recognized at University events throughout the year. Seniors Alex Rosen and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, winners of the Pyne Prize, the University's highest distinction for undergraduates, were recognized on Alumni Day.
     Members of Princeton's class of 2011 gathered on Cannon Green for a Class Day ceremony honoring their accomplishments in academics, athletics, leadership and service.
     At Commencement, valedictorian John Pardon, who stands at the top of his class, gave the valedictory address, and salutatorian Veronica Shi gave the traditional salutatory oration in Latin.

Pictured: (left) John Pardon; Veronica Shi

Videos highlight campus life and traditions
 
      PU Band
 

Student- and University-produced videos are often featured on the Princeton home page, and a multimedia archive is available online. Recent videos include:
     • Princeton's 10 non-residential eating clubs are a significant part of social life for many undergraduate students.
     • Twice a year, undergraduates pack McCosh Courtyard to cheer on fellow students running to meet the "Dean's Date" deadline for written coursework.
     • As they prepared for Commencement, members of the class of 2011 shared reflections on their Princeton experiences.

Reports examine strengthening student leadership, improving residential life

University groups appointed by President Shirley M. Tilghman issued two reports this spring that focused on major issues in undergraduate life.
     The Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women's Leadership found that, while women undergraduates are providing leadership in many organizations across campus, they have been less prominently visible in some major campus posts in the last 10 years than they were in the earlier years of coeducation.
     The Working Group on Campus Social and Residential Life found high levels of satisfaction among students and also recommended several changes to enhance the campus experience, including prohibiting freshmen from joining fraternities or sororities; increasing the University's commitment to enforcing hazing prohibitions; and reinstating a campus pub. The group also recommended several initiatives regarding events on campus, building relationships across classes, enhancing life in the residential colleges, and enriching various elements of pre-frosh campus visits, freshman orientation and residential college advising.
 

New Frick Chemistry Laboratory advances teaching and research
 
      Frick laboratory
 

Princeton researchers say the new home of the University's Department of Chemistry presents the perfect staging area to break scientific ground, engage students by actively involving them in cutting-edge work and -- according to the department’s leader -- provide "the best education in undergraduate chemistry in the world."
     The design of the modern building is meant to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, meet the University's high sustainability standards and inspire students and faculty.

'Flock Logic' project unites art and science
 
Flock Logic scene      
 

The unusual sight of dancers behaving like flocking birds recently in some of the indoor common spaces on the Princeton campus was inspired by a collaboration between two Princeton faculty members that merged science and art.
     A video of "Flock Logic" presents a profile of a project led by engineering professor Naomi Leonard and dance professor Susan Marshall -- both recipients of MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" -- that brings together the art of dance and the study of the way animal groups move together.

Student pictures worth a thousand (policy) words
 
      student photograph taken in Cuba
 

Imagine being one of the first Princeton students and one of a small number of Americans to not only visit Cuba, but actually study there for a semester. Or envision hunkering down in the trenches with the military serving on the front lines in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     Add a passion for photography into this mix and put a camera in a student's hand, and the result can be images that look at international policy issues through a different lens. Providing such a space to reveal new dimensions of subjects learned in the classroom is the idea behind the Bernstein Gallery Annex.

Purchasing textbooks to be streamlined, more economical

Princeton University will introduce a new software tool this fall intended to enable students to more easily purchase textbooks, and will implement a pilot discount program for students who buy their coursebooks through Labyrinth Books, the University's bookstore. The discount will be 30 percent below the retail price for new and used books.
     The new program will be available Sept. 1. Students will be provided with more detailed information through email and online before they return to campus in the fall.
 

Volunteer opportunities for Princeton parents

The 2010-11 Parents Fund campaign is nearing its conclusion, and it welcomes your support. The Parents Fund raises critical unrestricted funds that help sustain the quality of the educational experience at Princeton.
     Led by Terri and Jim Baird P06 P10, 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 at egrimes@princeton.edu.
 

Princeton trustees approve lowest fee increases in 45 years

Princeton University trustees have approved the lowest increase in undergraduate tuition and fees in 45 years -- 1 percent -- in recognition of the challenging economic environment that continues to affect students and their families.
     Princeton's undergraduate charges for 2011-12 will include: $37,000 for tuition, a 1 percent increase from $36,640 in 2010-11; $6,596 for room, up 2 percent from $6,467; and no increase for board, which will remain at $5,473.
     The financial aid budget for 2011-12 of $110 million will allow Princeton to continue to meet the full need of all admitted students without requiring students to take out any loans. This year the average grant for a student on financial aid is approximately $36,000.
 

Academic calendar
FALL TERM 2011-12
Sept. 15, Thursday. Classes begin
Oct. 14-16, Friday-Sunday. Freshman Parents Weekend
Oct. 24-28, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
Oct. 29-Nov. 6, Saturday-Sunday. Fall recess
Nov. 24-Nov. 27, Thursday-Sunday. Thanksgiving recess
Dec. 17-Jan. 8, Saturday-Sunday. Winter recess
Jan. 18-28, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
SPRING TERM 2012
Feb. 6, Monday. Spring term begins
Feb. 25, Saturday. Alumni Day (open to parents)
March 12-16, Monday-Friday. Midterm tests
March 17-25, Saturday-Sunday. Spring recess
May 16-26, Wednesday-Saturday. Final examinations
June 3, Sunday. Baccalaureate
June 4, Monday. Class Day
June 5, 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.

Editor: Ushma Patel
Contributing Writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Nick Barberio, Jesse Jacobs, Kitta MacPherson, Eric Quiñones, Ruth Stevens
Design: Mahlon Lovett, Megan Peterson
Photo Contributors: Denise Applewhite, Niklas Peters, Brian Wilson
Video Contributors: Broadcast Center, Office of Communications, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students
Princeton Parents News is published by Princeton's Office of Communications, 22 Chambers St., Suite 201, Princeton University, Princeton NJ 08542, (609) 258-3601. 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 without attribution for use in the media.
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 © 2011 by The Trustees of Princeton University

In the Nation's Service and in the Service of All Nations

If you do not wish to receive Parents News, please send a message to alumrecs@princeton.edu and
include "Parents News" in the subject line. You will be removed from future e-mails from the Parents News only. top