Nassau notes

Communiversity set for April 25

The Communiversity celebration, which annually brings the town and University together for a day of performances, food, games and more, is planned for noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 25.

Scheduled to take place rain or shine on Nassau and Witherspoon streets and the campus, the event is sponsored by students at the University and the Arts Council of Princeton. Merchants, nonprofit organizations, musicians, performing and visual artists, food vendors and many University student organizations and performing groups will turn the area into a colorful fairground with events for students and families alike.

Numerous student and community groups will perform on five stages, on and off campus, and the streets of Princeton and the front of campus will be filled with vendors, information booths, art exhibits and food stands.

The Princeton University Band will begin the festivities with a pre-Communiversity concert on Witherspoon Street at 11:45 a.m. Campus Communiversity activities will feature: several performing groups including the TapCats, Princeton Ballet, Raks Odalisque, Triple 8, Ballet Folklorico and the Princeton Tango Club; numerous student organization booths; sports clinics put on by University athletes on the green in front of Firestone Library; and performances by the University’s a cappella groups in the East Pyne arch.

Tours of the campus by the student-led Orange Key guide service will leave from in front of Nassau Hall throughout the festival. At 2 p.m., the University Chapel will offer an organ demonstration followed by a special chapel tour. The Cotsen Children’s Library and the University Art Museum will team up near the Scheide Caldwell House to host a table where children can decorate sun visors. The Lewis Center for the Arts at 185 Nassau St. will feature exhibitions of student work. The University’s tiger mascot and cheerleaders will roam the festivities to greet kids of all ages.

The University’s Davis International Center will continue its tradition of participation with an elaborate flag procession led by Chinese lion and dragon dancers beginning at 2 p.m. on the Nassau Street stage and ending on campus. Each flag will represent a Princeton student’s home country. As the culmination of a month of programming for the International Festival, Communiversity will sponsor a “Global Village,” featuring food, information booths, performances and artwork from around the world. As part of the village, the University Rotaract Club will exhibit a “shelter box” used to provide housing for world disaster relief efforts.

The Arts Council is expanding the Communiversity spirit to encompass the entire weekend. For more information on events that begin Friday, April 24, contact the Arts Council at 924-8777 or visit; for more information about Communiversity, call the University’s Office of Community and Regional Affairs at 258-5144.

Concert held in honor of the late folk singer Odetta

Ruby Dee Sonia Sanchez
Ruby Dee and Sonia Sanchez (photos: Brian Wilson)

A concert in honor of the late folk singer Odetta, held April 9 in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, featured spoken-word tributes by actress Ruby Dee (left) and poet Sonia Sanchez.

The event also included performances of Odetta’s classic songs by musicians Bernice Johnson Reagon, Guy Davis, Lizz Wright and Toshi Reagon. To view highlights from the tribute, visit africanamericanstudies.

Minner traces dropout-to-governor path

Former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner will discuss her unusual political career path in a lecture titled “From High School Dropout to the Governor’s Office” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in 1 Robertson Hall.

Minner, a Democrat, was elected to two terms as governor of Delaware in 2000 and 2004 following two terms as lieutenant governor.

At age 16, Minner left school to work on her family farm, later earning her General Education Development degree. She began her political career as a clerk in the Delaware House of Representatives and as a receptionist in the office of Gov. Sherman Tribbitt. She was elected to the Delaware House in 1974 and the Delaware Senate in 1982 en route to becoming the state’s most powerful female politician.

The event is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Office of Graduate Career Services.

Price to speak on urban school reform

Hugh Price, a visiting scholar at Princeton and the former president of the National Urban League, will present a talk titled “Urban School Reform: Thinking and Looking Outside the Box” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Price this fall began a five-year appointment as the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In addition to serving as president of the National Urban League from 1994 to 2003, he has been a vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation focusing on at-risk youth, a senior vice president of the Thirteen/WNET public television station in New York and a member of the editorial board of The New York Times.

Price is the author of three books, “Mobilizing the Community to Help Students Succeed,” “Achievement Matters: Getting Your Child the Best Education Possible” and “Destination: The American Dream.”

The lecture is sponsored by the Wilson School.

Princeton University Orchestra event

Princeton University Orchestra
Princeton University Orchestra

The Princeton University Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Pratt, will present the 20th anniversary Stuart B. Mindlin Memorial Concerts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Czech pianist Ivan Moravec will return to perform with the orchestra in its final performances of the season, which will feature Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. Tickets may be purchased at the Frist Campus Center box office, the Richardson Auditorium box office or online at

Panelists to offer tribute to Franklin

A panel of Princeton scholars will pay tribute to John Hope Franklin, the groundbreaking historian and African American studies pioneer, at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, in 101 Friend Center.

Franklin, who died in March at age 94, wrote what is considered the seminal text on the African American experience, “From Slavery to Freedom,” and produced research that influenced the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, which desegregated the nation’s public schools. Franklin was a professor emeritus of history at Duke University at the time of his death.

The panel will include: Cornel West, the Class of 1943 University Professor in African American Studies; Tera Hunter, professor of history and African American studies; Emily Mann, artistic director of the McCarter Theatre; and Stanley Katz, lecturer with the rank of professor in public and international affairs. The discussion will be moderated by Joshua Guild, assistant professor of history and African American studies.

The event is sponsored by the Center for African American Studies, the Department of History and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Painter Quaytman to discuss work

Painter Rebecca Quaytman will discuss her work in a lecture set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, in Room 219 of 185 Nassau St.

Quaytman teaches painting at Bard College and directs the Orchard Gallery of New York City, a cooperatively organized exhibition and event space run by artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians and curators. Her work has been presented in exhibitions in New York and Geneva. The lecture is sponsored by the Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts.

“The Brother/Sister Plays” McCarter premier

Tarell Alvin McCraney (photo: Greg Funnell)

The McCarter Theatre Center will present the world premiere of playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s trilogy, “The Brother/Sister Plays,” April 24 through June 21. “There is no doubt that Tarell Alvin McCraney is one of the most startling new voices to emerge in the American theater,” said Emily Mann, McCarter artistic director. “His first major work, ‘The Brother/Sister Plays,’ is an exquisite and groundbreaking cycle. Though fictional stories, the plays are grounded in the gritty realities that Tarell faced growing up in the Miami projects of the 1980s, yet they also reflect a mythic quality that harkens back to the Greeks.” For tickets, visit or call 258-2787.

Lecture addresses ‘peak oil’ debate

“Is ‘Peak Oil’ a Geological or a Politico-Economic Phenomenon?” will be the question addressed in a lecture by Robert Mabro, a leading expert on energy in the Middle East, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in 100 Jones Hall.

Mabro’s lecture will focus on the debate surrounding when worldwide oil production will reach its maximum level. He is the founder and president of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, a center at the University of Oxford for advanced research into the social science areas of energy issues.

Mabro’s books include “Oil Markets and Prices: The Brent Market and the Formation of World Oil Prices” and “Oil in the 21st Century.” He has received numerous international awards for his contributions to energy research.

The lecture is sponsored by the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Video details the power of transformation at Princeton

from a new video
Image from a new video (image: Evelyn Tu)

A new video produced by the Office of Communications describes how Princeton transforms its students — and how the University is transformed by its students. From left, senior Zvi Smith, senior Brittany Haas and sophomore Isaiah Miller are among the eight undergraduates interviewed for “Princeton: Discovery, Inspiration, Evolution.” The students discuss what they have brought to the University community, what they have discovered about themselves and how they have changed since being on campus. The video can be viewed at

Financial meltdown is subject of talk

“The Financial Meltdown of 2008 and the Regulatory Responses” is the title of a lecture by Benjamin Haskin, a lawyer who specializes in financial issues, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Haskin, a 1986 Princeton graduate, is a partner in the asset management group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington, D.C. He counsels mutual funds, private and offshore funds, investment advisers and broker-dealers on a wide range of issues, including compliance, corporate governance and regulatory matters.

The event is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Physicist musicians to present recital

Faculty, staff and students from the Department of Physics will showcase their creative talents in the department’s annual music recital at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall.

The event began in 1988 and over the years has included performances by classical pianists, rock bands, clarinetists, saxophonists, singers, flautists, drummers, cellists and a tabla player.