March 21, 2001: Notebook

Faculty File: Kipling and kids

Eating clubs gain members: Fifteen inebriated students sent to hospital

Music and Old Masters

Bringing 'em back: Alumni Day draws crowds with lectures, awards, special events

Princeton celebrates 100 years of basketball

Woodrow Wilson Award winner urges collegiality among nations
J. Stapleton Roy ’56 sees the world as fluid

Madison Medalist sees national security and human security bound together
Lloyd Axworthy *72 wants redefinition of nation-state

Madison Medalists address public policy issues

Panelists look at future of higher education

James Madison and the Constitution

Alumni Day awards


Faculty File
Kipling and kids

English professor Ulrich Knoepflmacher *61's eyes twinkle and his voice becomes ebullient when he talks about Rudyard Kipling. Kipling, a Nobel laureate and author of many novels and stories for adults and young people, is arguably best known for the enormously popular Just So Stories.

Knoepflmacher loves those stories, which in essence are fabulist accounts of how the world came into being, and is working on an annotated edition of them. "Kipling is a great artist," he says, "and his art is an art of transformation."
A specialist in Romantic and Victorian literature, Knoepflmacher identifies with Kipling. "He's an exile figure, like me," he says.

Kipling was born in India, and when he was six was sent to England to be educated. Knoepflmacher was born in Germany, and when he was seven moved with his family to Bolivia. While acknowledging that Kipling's boyhood was far worse than his - Kipling endured beatings and humiliations from the family he lived with as a child - Knoepflmacher understands Kipling's exile point of view. "Kipling's works are often fables of assimilation and adaptation. He speaks to the refugee child that I feel I still am, despite my old age and white hairs," says Knoepflmacher.

This spring, Knoepflmacher is teaching Children's Literature. In addition to the Just So Stories, students will read Little Women (Alcott), The Wizard of Oz (Baum), A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (Hawthorne), Dear Mili (Sendak), and Treasure Island (Stevenson).

Knoepflmacher also holds seminars in Princeton's Teacher Preparation Program. This year he taught Kipling as part of a series called Teachers as Scholars. "I love teaching adults," says Knoepflmacher, adding that he derives great pleasure in opening up the world of Kipling to other teachers.

By L.O.

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Eating clubs gain members
Fifteen inebriated students sent to hospital

Spring bicker and sign-ins week ended February 12 with unforeseen results this year, both in terms of numbers and inebriations.

A total of 964 students — approximately 84 percent of the sophomore class — joined an eating club. This number is up from last year, when 932 students joined clubs, and the previous year, when 800 students joined. The increase comes as a surprise to both the clubs and the university, which had expected a decline due to more dining options at the new Frist Campus Center.

An increase in club membership was not the only surprise in store for this year’s bicker/sign-ins process. A record number of students were hospitalized for severe intoxication and alcohol-related injuries during the following weekend, as bicker clubs did “pick-ups” and sign-in clubs held initiations. Eleven students were taken to McCosh Health Center, three to Princeton Medical Center, and one to Capital Health System in Trenton. In total, 15 students were treated over the weekend — five more than the number of students treated after the last (and most dangerous) Nude Olympics.

Because a number of those hospitalized were under 21, the Princeton Borough Police are conducting an investigation of the weekend’s events. Charges may ultimately be brought against those who served the minors alcohol, said Borough Police Captain Charles Davall.

University administrators have also expressed concern over the policies and procedures of the eating clubs. “Alcohol incidents have increased throughout the year, but it dramatically hit home [initiations] weekend,” said Director of McCosh Health Services Pamela Bowen. “Things need to happen in a different way in terms of club policy and university policy. We need to take a more serious look at what’s going on.”

By Andrew Shtulman ’01

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Music and Old Masters

In the evening of February 16, visitors to the Art Museum were greeted not with a characterisitc silence, but with the syncopated sounds of jazz.

The Ellipsis Jazz Project, a four-person student jazz ensemble, played in the Sterling Morton, Class of 1906 Gallery as part of the museum’s Jazz Night, a bimonthly event in which attendees can move to the music, munch hors d’oeuvres, and meander through the galleries. Docents were on hand for those who had questions about the art.

The idea of Director Susan Taylor, Jazz Night was designed as a way of drawing more students into the museum. And it’s worked. “We typically get up to 150 people at these events,” said Patti Lang, coordinator of volunteers at the museum. “Many of them are graduate students, though we do see a fair number of undergraduates.”

Heather Russo ’04 was one of approximately 50 undergraduates at the February event. “I saw Jazz Night advertised in the USG’s weekly e-mail, and it looked like fun,” she said. “It’s definitely a different kind of activity from what’s usually offered on the Princeton campus.”

By Andrew Shtulman ’01

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Bringing 'em back
Alumni Day draws crowds with lectures, awards, special events

Princeton’s annual Alumni Day has been billed as “Princeton at its best,” and the description fitted the 2001 edition, held Saturday, February 24. There were the graduate student Jacobus prize winners, both of whom have already published prize-winning research. There was the undergraduate Pyne Prize winner, a molecular biology major who spoke of the importance of the performing arts. There was coming face-to-face with conservative thinker George Will *68 at a reception and spying liberal thinker Cornel West *80 across the room. There were the two alumni medal winners, Lloyd Axworthy *72, architect of the Ottawa Treaty against landmines, and Stapleton Roy ’56, former ambassador to Singapore, China, and Indonesia. And there were President Harold Shapiro’s thoughtful closing remarks, in which he spoke of the search for greater meaning in our lives and the pride he takes in Princeton’s commitment to the life of the mind.

The Alumni Day celebration, which drew an estimated 1,300 people to campus, actually kicked off the previous day with a conference on James Madison sponsored by the Graduate School (see page 13) and a student-organized national bioethics conference on reproductive technology (see story in PAW’s next issue, April 4).
Saturday’s events began with morning lectures by Axworthy and Roy (see page 10).

Other talks included Elizabeth Bogan p’96, lecturer in economics, on economics and public policy; Richard Golden *54, associate dean for operations and research in the engineering school, on the environment; English department chair Michael Wood on Shakespeare and film; Caryl Emerson, professor of Slavic languages, on Dostoevsky and Tolstoy; Robert Goldston *77, director of the Plasma Physics Laboratory, on fusion; and Daniel Rubenstein, chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary
biology, on resolving conflicts between people and wildlife.

Like last year, there was also an emphasis on family-oriented events, such as a play for all ages in the Cotsen Children’s Library, a seminar on college admission by Nick Allard ’74, and an Art Museum lecture tailored for elementary-school kids.

A number of families with children took a break from the sanctioned schedule to listen to a Firestone Plaza protest sponsored by WROC, the Workers Rights Organizing Committee, a student-led group rallying for Princeton’s lowest-paid workers.

At the awards luncheon, President Shapiro introduced the winners of the Jacobus Fellowship: Kristine Haugen, an English student who reads nearly a dozen languages, is working with a team of seven advisers from a variety of disciplines on her dissertation on late 17th-century scholar Richard Bentley; and chemical engineer Yueh-Lin Loo, who was born in Malaysia and raised in Taiwan, was cited by Shapiro for her achievements and academic record in the area of polymer crystallization.

Shapiro next introduced M. Taylor Pyne Prize winner Adam Friedman ’01, a molecular biology major whose senior thesis is on the regulation of a molecular pathway known as the Notch pathway. Friedman, who is also an actor and a founding member of the Performing Arts Council, spoke of the importance of theater and the arts, and his comment that he hoped someday the term “scholar athlete” would be used in equal measure with “scholar artist” received a spontaneous burst of applause.

Lloyd Axworthy, winner of the James Madison Medal for graduate alumni, spoke of his work in human rights, which he said was fostered by his time at Princeton in the late 1960s. “There was a strong spirit that we were endowed with a responsibility to make things better,” he said.

The Woodrow Wilson award for undergraduate alumni went to Roy, who recently received the U.S. government’s highest diplomatic honor of “career ambassador.” Roy joked that he was grateful to Woodrow Wilson for steering him away from politics and into foreign service: “Graduates of Harvard or Yale,” he said, “can be elected to the presidency on a somewhat random basis, but it’s only every 104 years that a Princetonian is in the White House.”

By J.C.M.

 

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Princeton celebrates 100 years of basketball

Photo credit: Bill Allen, New Jersey Sports/Action

At half-time of the men’s basketball team’s Alumni Day victory against Dartmouth on February 24, Princeton celebrated the 100th anniversary of its intercollegiate basketball program. Seventy-four former players and coaches, including, from left, Bill Bradley ’65, Butch van Breda Kolff ’45, Pete Carril, and Geoff Petrie ’70, assembled on the Jadwin Gymnasium floor during the ceremony.

 

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Woodrow Wilson Award winner urges collegiality among nations
J. Stapleton Roy ’56 sees the world as fluid

Photography: Denise Applewhite

Contrasts, both amusing and serious, highlighted Woodrow Wilson Award winner J. Stapleton Roy ’56’s Alumni Day address, “Diplomatic Diversions: Reflections on the U.S. Place in the World.”

Roy, whose more than 40 years in foreign service included posts in Russia, China, and Indonesia, entertainingly outlined mundane tasks, such as handing out visas, and exciting ones, like skiing above the Arctic Circle, then homed in on his message: America’s principles and national self-interests must not contradict each other.
“We often appear arrogant and hypocritical when our interests and values are not in harmony,” Roy said. Our human rights standards do not apply equally to all countries, he said, citing U.S. responses to atrocities in East Timor and Rwanda.

Additionally, he said, we often ignore the instability caused in the transfer of authority to a more democratic form of government, rather than helping build a system of checks and balances that will ultimately do more for promoting human rights.

Currently managing director of Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Roy said our country’s behavior is tied to our history. Our own shortcomings in areas such as slavery and women’s suffrage, our simplistic language, such as when we equate policies in Beijing with those of Baghdad, and our aggressiveness — suitable Cold War strategy but not suited to the current world scene —work against us. To counter this, Roy suggested a more collegial style of U.S. leadership; a more sophisticated rhetoric and public discourse; and less distorted and superficial global awareness through the media.

“Defeating enemies is one thing, but working with imperfect nations is another. The world is a more fluid community now. People in all civil societies should search for what is in common with other civil societies,” Roy urged.


By Maria LoBiondo

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Madison Medalist sees national security
and human security bound together

Lloyd Axworthy *72 wants redefinition of nation-state

Photography: Denise Applewhite

Nations and universities must agree on a new definition of security — one that crosses global boundaries for the protection of all — argued Madison Medal winner N. Lloyd Axworthy *72 on Alumni Day. In “An Encounter with Emma: The Case for Rethinking Security and State Sovereignty in the New Century,” the former Canadian cabinet minister, who recently returned to academia at the University of British Columbia’s Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues, suggested that the threat to nations today comes not from the possibility of traditional war, but from conflicts that exact a greater price from civilians than from soldiers.

Axworthy met Emma and listened to her story at a recent Canadian conference on war-affected children. She was a child soldier from northern Uganda — abducted from her village at 9, made a bride-slave, then a mother at 11, and a warrior soon after she proved herself by murdering one of her own relatives. “Emma has already lived a life five times more extreme than any of us can imagine. This is also our world, a world we cannot be indifferent to, a global reality and one that carries impact for ourselves and our children,” Axworthy said.

Axworthy, who brokered an international ban on landmines and supports an international criminal court, suggested, “We can no longer ignore the street,” citing examples such as refugee camps in Afghanistan which breed further violence and international crime rings that develop sweatshops. “These are as much a security risk as an AK rifle.”

A redefinition of the nation-state, one that sees “national security and human security as two sides of the same coin,” is what’s needed, Axworthy said, but he admitted that the model to do this hasn’t been found. He urged policymakers and academics to team up for this purpose, and for academics to be willing to go where the action is in training a new generation for the task: “Universities can often go where governments can’t.”

By Maria LoBiondo

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Madison Medalists address public policy issues

Photography: Denise Applewhite

Five Madison medalists, including this year’s awardee, Lloyd Axworthy *72, talked about the most pressing public policy issues facing the U.S. today, from genetic engineering to national security, on February 24 in McCosh 50.
George F. Will *68, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, was the most optimistic about the nation’s situation. “I think things are very good in the U.S. today,” he said. Bitter politics in our nation’s past such as the divide over civil rights and Vietnam have given way to “delightfully, deliciously boring” topics such as prescription drug benefits.

Responding in part to Will’s remarks, Cornel R. West *80, a professor of Afro-American studies at Harvard, warned against neglecting to look at the underbelly of our nation in moments of relative prosperity. “If we look at American society through the lens of its children, it looks very different,” said West. The question, he said, “is how do we keep track of the underside of the surfaces.”

The other panelists addressed the U.S.’s engagement in the world. Axworthy, until last fall Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, urged the U.S. to begin to look at its place as a North American country. Anthony K. Lake *74, former national security adviser to President Clinton and now a professor at Georgetown University, expressed concerns with our national security. The greatest threats, he said, are not other nations’ strengths such as armies and spies, but our own “weaknesses and weaknesses around the world.” Andrew J. Goodpaster *50, former supreme allied commander in Europe, warned that the U.S. “must be discriminating” in its engagement in conflicts and military forces should be used as a “means of the last resort.” During a question-and-answer period with the audience, Lake also described the implications of the biological revolution on the horizon as a result of genetic engineering. That revolution will enlarge the gap between rich and poor people and nations, he said.

With all these challenges facing the world, one man in the audience asked, is our education system up to the task of dealing with them? “I don’t think so,” said Axworthy. Scholars, he said, are too specialized to effectively deal with issues that cross politics and science. The academy, he added, needs to “undiscipline itself.” By K.F.G.

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Panelists look at future of higher education

Photography: Denise Applewhite

At a second Alumni Day panel, former Princeton president William G. Bowen *58; former Princeton president Robert F. Goheen ’40 *48; Jack W. Peltason *47, former president of the University of California system; Frederick Seitz *34, former president of Rockefeller University; John W. Milnor ’51 *54, director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; and Robert Venturi ’47 *50, partner in the firm of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, participated in a panel discussion on the future of higher education.

The areas of conversation included government support of higher education, affirmative action, and the effect of a poor elementary education on colleges and universities.

“I think that what happens within our court system may end up being more important than what happens within the legislative and executive branches of government,” said Bowen. “Many of us would agree that it is important for the great private universities and the great state universities to continue to do something about the color-coding of opportunity that is still so very present. The ability of thoughtful folks to do just that depends upon the court’s allowing them the flexibility and autonomy to make their own determinations about admission,” he said, referring to the case last year whereby it was ruled admissible for the University of Michigan to consider race in admissions.
About government funding of research, Goheen said, “It’s critically important that the federal government give strong support for basic research in the university. I’m not sure about the intent of this administration.” He called for research support in the humanities as well as the sciences.

When it comes to elementary education, Milnor said, “The real issue is the K-12 problem. Universities are stuck trying to educate the people they receive, many of whom don’t know how to communicate or are frightened of math.”

 

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James Madison and the Constitution

 

Leading James Madison scholars, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, gathered for a conference February 22-23 to discuss Madison’s impact on the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Gordon Wood, a professor of history at Brown, began the conference Thursday night by considering whether the Madison of the 1780s, a fervent nationalist who discounted the states as “subordinately useful,” could be reconciled with the Madison of the late 1790s, a strict constructionalist who seemed to be an advocate of states’ rights.

The next morning, Jack Rackove, a professor of history at Stanford, gave a seminar on “Reading Madison’s Mind.” Rackove focused his analysis on Madison’s “Vices of the Political System of the United States,” the first draft of what would later become the celebrated Number 10 of The Federalist Papers. Rackove explained that while Madison frequently theorized, his abstract thoughts on politics were the techniques he used to determine the problems with government and their possible solutions, not ends in themselves.

Later, John Stagg *73, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, spoke on whether Madison was the founding father of the CIA. Since the U.S. annexed the former Spanish colony of West Florida soon after Madison sent secret agents to the colony in 1810, Madison’s action has been interpreted as one of the first and most successful covert operations, based on the notion that the agents were sent to foment rebellion in the colony.

Pauline Maier, professor of history at M.I.T., spoke on Madison and American Federalism. Mentioning that the Supreme Court had asserted the sovereignty of states in two recent rulings, she briefly traced the idea of sovereignty and outlined Madison’s ideas on state sovereignty. In a dynamic speech Maier demonstrated that Madison did not believe that states were sovereign.

The highlight of the conference was Justice Scalia’s talk, which focused on Madison’s views of Constitutional interpretation. He spoke for close to an hour, ignoring the chants that filtered through the walls and windows from a group of protesters gathered in the courtyard below. About 100 people, few of them students, shouted such slogans as “Democracy Yes, Scalia No, Undo the Coup,” referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that gave George W. Bush the presidential victory last year.

In his talk, Scalia said that Madison was an originalist, someone who believes the meaning of the Constitution should be the same as when it was ratified. He also said that Madison, like himself, was a textualist. Scalia mentioned some of the virtues of his Constitutional interpretation and declared that while textualism will not prevent tyranny by the majority, it will not facilitate it. An evolving Constitutional interpretation, however, will advance such a vice.


By Jeff Davis GS

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Alumni Day awards

The Woodrow Wilson Award, bestowed on an alumnus who exemplifies “Princeton in the nation’s service,” was awarded to J. Stapleton Roy ’56, a career diplomat.
The Madison Medal, given to a distinguished alumnus from the Graduate School, was conferred on N. Lloyd Axworthy *72, former Canadian minister of foreign affairs.

The Moses Taylor Pyne Prize, the university’s highest general award for undergraduates, went to Adam Friedman ’01, right, a molecular biology major.
The Class of 1926 Trophy went to the Class of 1970, which set a 30th-reunion Annual Giving record of $4,220,205.

The Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship went to Kristine Haugen *00 (below, left) and Yueh-Lin Loo *98 (below, right) for highest scholarly excellence in the Graduate School.

The S. Barksdale Penick, Jr. ’25 Award, given to outstanding Alumni Schools Committees, went to the Princeton Club of Hampton Roads, the PC of Chattanooga, the Princeton Alumni Association of Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee, the PAA of Memphis, and the PAA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
The Alumni Council Award for Community Service went to the Princeton Club of San Diego.

The Harold H. Helm ’20 Award, a prize that recognizes exemplary and sustained service to Annual Giving, was awarded to F. Tremaine “Josh” Billings, Jr. ’33 of Nashville.

The Jerry Horton Award, presented to an outstanding regional Annual Giving committee, was given to the regional committee from Philadelphia, chaired by Robert A. Lukens ’62 and John P. Lavelle, Jr. ’85.

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