Family comes first for new president

Ruth Stevens

Princeton NJ -- While she's worked very hard to establish a distinguished career as a scientist, Shirley Tilghman said her family always has been her number one priority.

Usually in the office by 8 a.m., she's been determined to be home in time for dinner with her children. Daughter Rebecca, 20, is a Princeton junior majoring in art history and now lives on campus. But Tilghman still enjoys evening meals with son Alex, 18, who graduated from high school last year and is working in the area.

Shirley Tilghman with her son, Alex, and her daughter, Rebecca.



She realizes those days may be coming to an end, with the added responsibilities she's taking on as president. "My son knows where Hoagie Haven is," she said with a smile. "I think he'll manage to survive without starving to death."

In addition to her family in Princeton, Tilghman is close to her mother and two sisters, who live in Canada. She said she is comfortable juggling the demands of work and family life. "Everybody keeps telling me I'm going to work so hard in this job," she said. "I keep saying, 'What have I been doing so far?' I'm used to a very heavy work schedule."

Most evenings, she spreads out her files on the kitchen table and works for a little while. Tilghman is looking forward to moving into a larger residence where she actually will have a home office.

She plans to try Lowrie House -- the official president's home on Stockton Street -- and "see how it feels." She is a little nervous about how the rest of the family -- nine-year-old beagle Max and kitten Jibber -- will adapt to their new surroundings.

She'll rent her three-bedroom bungalow for a year and see how things go. "If that just isn't for me, then I'll sell the little house and buy something bigger in town."

Tilghman knows that she'll have to set parameters when it comes to demands on her time.

"Harold (Shapiro) has told me that no one else will do it. I'm going to have to," she said. "I feel strong family obligations, and I'm not going to let those fall by the wayside. It's always been my top priority, and they are extremely important."


May 21, 2001
Vol. 90, No. 28
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New president
Professor named 19th president
Time is right for Tilghman
Reaction enthusiastic for new leader
Family comes first for new president
Shirley Tilghman bio

Life sciences
Search is on for genomics institute head
Silver: Doubling not necessarily troubling
Landweber tracks changes in genetic code
Virus leaves trail in brain for researchers

Students and alumni
Thesis sparks thriving teacher corps
Recent grad's first novel attracts attention
Student teaching builds bridges
New program preps local students for success

Other news
Merck funds professorship to honor alumnus
Hair colors literary, artistic representations
Class size makes a difference

Remaining discretionary funds to increase staff salaries
Doig announces retirement
Barron is new women's hoops coach
Thirteen faculty members transfer to emeritus status

By the numbers: Reunions
Nassau Notes
Calendar of events

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Editor: Ruth Stevens
Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller
Contributing writers: Jennifer Greenstein, Pam Hersh, Marilyn Marks, Steven Schultz, Regina Tan
Photographer: Denise Applewhite
Design: Mahlon Lovett, Laurel Masten Cantor
Web edition: Mahlon Lovett