May 16, 2001: Notebook

This old thing?

Sixth residential college site chosen: New configuration of students will address social concerns

High-fives for Class of 2005: Admission letters go out to 1,675

Shirley M. Tilghman named Princeton's 19th president

Good-byes begin: Shapiro honors include professorship

Vietnam vision: A gathering in Hanoi reflects Princeton's reach and influence

DEC purchases Notestein Hall from university

On the Web now: Choosing a College President

Talks on Campus

In Memoriam

Hot buttered band

In Brief

This old thing?

Four men and 11 women are enrolled in a freshman seminar called Getting Dressed, which may be Princeton's first course on fashion. Participants discuss topics such as the etiquette of dress, the economics of fashion, and the role religion plays in what people wear. The class makes field trips to New York's garment district and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

"Essentially, it's a course in American culture, exploring the relationship between clothing and the moral aesthetics of daily life," says the teacher, Jenna Weissman Joselit, visiting professor in the religion department and author of the forthcoming A Perfect Fit: Clothing, Character and the Promise of America.

Each seminar begins with a round of anecdotes on the topic of the day from the news or the students' personal experiences. When the subject was etiquette and fashion, participants spoke of the required attire for junior cotillions and country club dinners back home. They also turned in a writing assignment: an etiquette manual for modern times.

"We start with the personal and move on to analytical discussion," Joselit says.

"Adults may think all students today look alike and look terrible," she says, "but they are very concerned with the minutiae of current fashion for their age group. For instance, they are attuned to the cut of T-shirts and jeans. The slightest variation from the accepted standard can be fatal."

Joselit, who also teaches classes at Yale and Temple Universities and writes books on American Jewish culture, has taught other offbeat courses here, including The Almighty Dollar, a course on the relationship between money and religion, and Show and Tell, dealing with landmark art exhibitions of the past.

By Ann Waldron


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Sixth residential college site chosen
New configuration of students will address social concerns

The Board of Trustees last month approved the area below Dillon Gymnasium as the site for the sixth residential college. The board also approved the distribution of students in the college, where 100 upperclassmen will be housed as well as 400 freshmen and sophomores.

The new college is to be built to accommodate the 10 percent increase in the student body, which was approved a year ago.

At first, several sites for the new college were considered, but two emerged fairly early in the process as the most likely: the area south of Dillon where the tennis courts are and a location near Forbes College.

Placing the college below Dillon keeps the students close to the center of campus, although it will require the demolition of several, if not all, of the tennis courts, which will be relocated.

Open space is a concern for students and administrators, and as much open space as possible will be maintained.

"Studies that have been done to date show that a college of the size required can be put in that area and still keep very large open spaces," Vice President Thomas Wright '62 said in the Daily Princetonian. An architect has not yet been chosen.

Changes to college system itself

The new building will be an obvious sign of a change at Princeton, but the change that will affect student life more profoundly is less visible. And that has to do with the number and ages of students in the new college. Currently Princeton's college system is for freshmen and sophomores; juniors move out of the colleges into other dorms, and most join eating clubs.

The need for a new college created an opportunity for the university to look at the current college system and address what some students saw as a need for more options. Not all students want to leave a college, and not all students want to join an eating club. A committee was formed several months ago, and it produced an interim report about the residential system. After feedback from the campus, the committee issued a final report that included the recommendation that three of the colleges become four-year and three remain two-year colleges.

The report discussed the dissatisfaction some students feel with the current system. "While the proportion of dissatisfied students may be relatively small, it is a significant number of each class, and their dissatisfaction has continued over the years to be clear and strong. In answers to the survey administered to all undergraduates, in individual comments, and in campus group discussions, significant numbers of undergraduates expressed a desire for an alternative to existing residential options," it said.

The creation of three four-year colleges will not lessen the number of students available to join an eating club. The committee made it very clear that it wanted to maintain the two-year colleges and the eating-club system for most students. "Members of the committee are clear and unanimous in their view that existing options are warmly embraced by, and serve well the needs of, a very substantial proportion of undergraduates, and that nothing that is proposed to accommodate 500 additional students should diminish the viability of the existing options," stated the report.

The new configuration allows for the possibility of a pairing between colleges, with each two-year college matched with a four-year college. It is hoped that a wider intermingling between members of the classes will benefit everyone. Some graduate students are expected to be hired as residential advisers, and their presence will further broaden connections for students.

The sixth residential college report is available online at ~vp/finalreport.html.

By L.O.


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High-fives for Class of 2005:
Admission letters go out to 1,675

Princeton sent out its admission letters last month, giving 1,675 high school students good news. Of the 14,287 applicants for the Class of 2005, 11.7 percent were accepted. Last year, the university received 13,654 applications and accepted 1,670, or 12.2 percent. The expected enrollment is 1,165.

Of the admitted applicants, just under 51 percent are men and just over 49 percent are women. Of those who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, 37 percent indicated a minority background. International students comprise 10 percent of those admitted. Those offered admission include students in all 50 states and in 51 other countries. About 34 percent of the students were admitted in early decision last December. More than half of the applicants had SAT scores of 1400 or higher and had grade-point averages of 3.8 or higher. Close to 4,400 applicants had a 4.0 GPA.

It is too early to see whether Princeton's change in its financial aid policy will affect the numbers of students who decide to attend.


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Shirley M. Tilghman named Princeton's 19th president

Shirley M. Caldwell Tilghman, the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences, was named Princeton’s 19th president in a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on May 5.

Tilghman, who joined Princeton’s faculty in 1986, is the university’s first female president and the first president in more than a century not to hold a Princeton degree. She takes office on June 15.

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Good-byes begin
Shapiro honors include professorship

When the Board of Trustees met last month, the schedule of events included a farewell dinner for President Shapiro and his wife, Vivian. Held on a Friday night in a white tent set up on the green between the Frist Campus Center and Guyot Hall, the dinner was a relatively small affair, with about 180 people invited.

After dining on sea bass, guests listened to heartfelt thanks from Robert Rawson '66, chair of the board, and warm, emotional words from both the Shapiros.

In his remarks Rawson announced the creation of the endowed Harold T. Shapiro *64 Professorship of Economics. "We believe it is most fitting that this chair will strengthen the distinguished department that first drew you to Princeton and reflects not only your love of teaching but also your determination to keep Princeton's faculty at the forefront of research and scholarship," Rawson said.

In addition, the café at the Frist Center will be named for Vivian, and the walk between the Woodrow Wilson School's Scudder Plaza and the E-Quad will be named for the Shapiros.

"The university's horizons have expanded considerably over the past 13 years in the intellectual realm and, in more readily visible dimensions, in the physical campus," Rawson said when announcing Shapiro Walk. "New pathways are being forged to link academic disciplines and new campus walkways are being created to link old and new facilities together."

Other gifts to the Shapiros included a timeline booklet that chronicles the Shapiro presidency and a bound volume of all of the President's Pages from PAW. Professor and poet Paul Muldoon delivered an ode to the president called "An Horatian Ode." (To read the ode, please click here.)

Other farewells are scheduled through the rest of the academic year, including other receptions and a picnic at the Graduate College.

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Princetonians abroad
Vietnam vision
A gathering in Hanoi reflects Princeton's reach and influence

"Vietnam," then-President Bill Clinton told a group of students at Vietnam National University in Hanoi last November, "is a country, not a war."

Even once the applause died down, the Clintons left Vietnam to continue their Asia tour, and the pundits and their camera crews checked out of Hanoi's Metropole hotel, most agreed that Clinton's visit to Vietnam, the first by an American president since the end of the Vietnam War, seemed to herald a new era of U.S.-Vietnam relations.

Watching the hoopla of the Clinton visit as a Princeton-in-Asia fellow working in Hanoi, I was impressed by the pageantry and touched by some of the sentiments exchanged by the two governments. Two months later, I had the chance to observe another, much less public, Vietnam visit, and some of the real meaning of this new era was brought home.

The occasion was a Princeton event - an impromptu dinner hosted by Charles Bailey *72, the Ford Foundation representative in Hanoi, in honor of Michael Rothschild, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, and his wife, Lynn Greenberg, a clinical social worker at McCosh Health Center, who visited Vietnam in early January.

Here we were, about 20 of us, seated at a table at Hanoi's Hilton Opera hotel, a motley crew of Vietnamese Princetonians and non-Vietnamese Princetonians-about-Hanoi, a few Hanoi academics, and some representatives of the Ho Chi Minh Academy (a sort of Party training school for high officials).

What could have been the usual round of toasting and mutual-complimenting became more personal and genuinely emotional as members of the older generation -- both Americans and Vietnamese -- told their stories of the war, and of making academic careers in spite of it. What emerged was a picture of a small, war-torn country struggling to make a new way in the world, and a vision of how American institutions such as Princeton can build on the current idealism in Vietnam.

"We in Vietnam need to learn how the Americans think," said Minh Quang Vu *95, a Woodrow Wilson School graduate working in Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "We are partners, we are counterparts, we are sometimes rivals. Misunder-standing is often a source of conflict, and it is important that we have some common language.

"Princeton graduates in Vietnam are doing some very good things - Charles Bailey at the Ford Foundation, for instance," Vu continued.

"What we learn at Princeton is not just the lectures and the seminars, but the whole learning environment, the sense of community. You can't see it, but I feel somehow that I belong to Princeton still."

Looking around at the assembled faces, I felt struck more than ever before by what a truly global institution Princeton is, and by how fitting it was that this dinner should be to welcome the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. I thought about how pleased - and perhaps vindicated - Woodrow Wilson himself might have felt at the idea of all of us sitting down together, and talking of books, and war, and great people, and even greater institutions.

By Katherine Zoepf


Katherine Zoepf '00 is a former On the Campus Writer for PAW.


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DEC purchases Notestein Hall from university

Last month the alumni graduate board of Dial, Elm, and Cannon Club (DEC) exercised its option to repurchase Notestein Hall - the former home of Cannon Club - from the university. DEC plans to reopen as the 12th eating club within two years.

Notestein Hall became university property when Cannon closed in 1975. Unable to meet its financial obligations, Cannon asked the university to assume its mortgage and liabilities.

In 1990, Dial, Elm, and Cannon Clubs merged to form DEC. Members of the new club dined at Elm, and some were housed in Dial Lodge. DEC was forced to close because of financial problems in 1998 and sold its properties to the university, but negotiated the option to repurchase Notestein Hall by April 15, 2001. Vice President and Secretary Thomas Wright '62 explains the transaction: "It included the purchase of three properties north of Prospect Street by the university from the DEC Club. The three properties were the former Elm property, the former Dial property, and a vacant lot behind the former Dial property. In return, as part of the same transaction, the university paid DEC a sum of money, and also DEC received an option to purchase from the university the former Cannon property (Notestein Hall) on certain terms."

It will be at least a year before the club reopens. Renovations to Notestein Hall, which had been home to Princeton's Office of Population Research, will be extensive. During the interim, DEC and the university may make joint use of the facility. Wright said the building could house the new undergraduate writing program on a temporary basis.

By M.G.


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On the Web now: Choosing a College President

“As one adviser of many presidents once remarked, with pardonable hyperbole, ‘It is desirable that he have the wisdom of Solomon and the heart of a lion, but it is indispensable that he have the digestion of a goat.’ ”

Visit here to read what President Dodds had to say about selecting a university president. His remarks were originally published in PAW in September 1962.

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Talks on Campus

Helen Zia '73, an Asian-American rights activist, spoke March 28 on "The Asian-American Emergence."

Noted choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones was on campus April 12 to present a workshop and lecture.

Donald Wilson '51, former deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency, who was on hand at the White House during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, spoke April 14 to a large gathering of students and faculty after a screening of the movie Thirteen Days, saying that the film was quite accurate in its portrayal of the people and the situation.

Former director of the U.S. Census Bureau Kenneth Prewitt spoke April 16 on "What I Learned About America From Census 2000."

Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft spoke April 16 on "Quantum Field Theory, the Gravitational Force, and the Future of Quantum Mechanics."

Craig Venter, president and chief scientific officer of the Celera Genomics Corporation, lectured on the sequencing of the human genome on April 17.

Nicholas Katzenbach '43, former attorney general who served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, spoke

April 19 about the changes over the decades of the relationship between the Justice Department and the White House.

Ron Tinsley, urban youth minister and developer of the Streetwizdom urban apologetics Web site, presented a workshop entitled "The Gospel According to Hip-Hop" on April 22 at the Third World Center.

Lester Little *62, scholar, teacher, and interpreter of Europe in the Middle Ages, presented the final lecture in a year-long series celebrating the centennial of the Graduate School on April 22. He spoke on "Monasticism in Western Society: From Marginality to the Establishment and Back."

As part of a speaking tour sponsored by the NATO Council, four ambassadors addressed the new European defense initiative, how European NATO members and prospective members see the role of NATO in Europe in the coming years, and other related topics in a panel discussion on April 24. Ambassador Karel Kovanda, permanent representative to the Czech delegation; Ambassador Lazar Comanescu, head of mission of Romania to NATO; Ambassador Peter Burian, head of mission of the Slovak Republic to NATO; and Ambassador Matjaz Sinkovec, head of mission of Slovenia to NATO, were members of the panel, which was moderated by Robert Hutchings, assistant dean for graduate and professional education of the Woodrow Wilson School.

Writer appearances: Poet Kenneth Koch spoke March 28. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky gave a lecture, "American Culture and the Voice of Poetry," on April 4. Rebecca Goldstein *77 read from her work on April 10. Mary Gordon spoke about the work of Willa Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, Jean Stafford, and Eudora Welty on April 10. Doug Wright, who wrote the play Quills, spoke April 16. Novelist Richard Ford spoke April 18. Cultural critic and feminist author bell hooks [sic] spoke April 19 on "Ending Domination: What's Love Got To Do With It? "
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In Memoriam

Thomas Howard Stix *53, professor, emeritus, of astrophysical sciences, died April 16 of leukemia. He was 76.

After earning his bachelor degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1953, he joined Project Matterhorn, then a small classified project on Princeton's Forrestal campus. The project aimed to harness fusion energy for peacetime use.

Project Matterhorn grew, and, in 1961, when Professor Stix headed the experimental division, its name was changed to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Stix's work revolutionized research in plasma physics by showing how waves could heat plasma. This early work was presented at the Second International Atoms for Peace Conference in Geneva in 1958, held soon after the major nations working on controlled thermo-nuclear fusion research agreed to declassify their work.

Stix showed how microwaves, injected from antennas or waveguides, could heat plasma to thermonuclear temperatures while confining it within powerful magnetic fields. Among his inventions was a structure in which sections of coil were wound alternately around the device clockwise and counterclockwise.

In 1962, Stix published his classic text, The Theory of Plasma Waves. In the same year, he was appointed professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton. Enormously influential, his textbook explored and formalized the growing subject of waves in plasma, both for laboratory and astrophysical applications. The book has educated several generations of plasma physicists.

In 1980, Stix received the James Clerk Maxwell Prize, the American Physical Society's highest award in the field of plasma physics. In 1991, Princeton recognized his contributions as a teacher and educator by awarding him its first University Award for Distinguished Teaching.
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Hot buttered band

As usual, Reunions features bands and singers throughout the weekend. Some of the names will ring familiar to reuners, but others are new. How many do you know?

Sandy Maxwell ’39, Rock King ’45, Stan Rubin ’55, Ben Tousley ’71, Ruth Gerson ’92, the Nassoons, the Tigerlilies, the Katzenjammers, the Party Dolls, Rich Pasmantier, the Grease Band, Manhattan Samba, Dixieland Jazz Band, Stu and the Geezers, Big Eric and the Budget Crunch, Nik and the Nice Guys, the Blues Family, Leggz, Peacock Crossing, the Coolerators, Midnight Movers, Liquid Pleasure, Boogie Wonder Band, B, S, & M, Superstar, and Hot Buttered Elvis.

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In Brief

Li Shaomin *88, a U.S. citizen living in Hong Kong who had earned his doctorate in sociology at Princeton, was detained by Chinese authorities as he was trying to enter China at Shenzhen on February 25. A native of China, Li is an assistant professor at City University in Hong Kong. On April 17, President Shapiro wrote a letter of concern to Chinese president Jiang Zemin. "Since [Li] is an active researcher and scholar, there is great concern that his detention may be related to his academic activity, and thus could have a chilling effect on scholarly engagement between the United States and China," he wrote. "Princeton is one of many universities where there has been much fruitful scholarly collaboration and student exchange with China in recent years. As I am sure you appreciate, these activities depend on respect for the freedom of academic inquiry and the thoughtful pursuit of academic research."

The Workers' Rights Organizing Committee (WROC) held a rally at the Frist Campus Center April 9, where local politicians, several professors, and some workers spoke. WROC is seeking modifications to the pay structure and wages paid to the lowest-wage workers at Princeton. About 180 people attended the hour-long event. After the rally, about one-third of the crowd marched to Nassau Hall, where students chanted outside Provost Jeremiah Ostriker's locked office. At press time, the Priorities Committee was further evaluating the issue. Some improvements involving the use of casual workers had been agreed to in March.

Princeton is not the only university that is challenged by students about wages paid to workers. Last month close to 50 Harvard students were involved in a sit-in of Massachusetts Hall, Harvard's administration building, protesting on behalf of low-wage workers there. The sit-in, which at PAW's press time had lasted nine days, attracted support from more than 200 people at Harvard as well as Senator Edward Kennedy, who met with Harvard president Neil Rudenstine '56 in Washington, D.C., about the issue on April 24.

Karen Bates GS filed a sexual harassment suit in March in New Jersey Superior Court naming as defendants Professor of Architecture Georges Teyssot, Dean of the School of Architecture Ralph Lerner, and Associate Dean of the Faculty Katherine Rohrer.

In the suit, Bates accuses Teyssot of unwelcome and harassing comments and Lerner of threats to take away her funding when she complained to him. According to the suit, Bates went to Rohrer last May, and an investigation by university administrators began. The investigation was completed last September and a confidential report was issued. The university has a well-publicized policy against sexual harassment and does not discuss personnel matters with the press. Teyssot has been on leave this year. Bates seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Communiversity, the annual town-and-gown street festival, took place on Saturday, April 28. Organized by students and cosponsored by a local arts organization, the event was coupled for the second year in a row with the university's International Festival. This year, Communiversity was dedicated to President Shapiro and his wife, Vivian. At the end of the afternoon, a free concert took place on Cannon Green featuring two bands appealing to two different eras: G. Love & the Special Sauce for the young'uns and Willie Nelson for the president. Shapiro, who has a deep appreciation for the country singer, quoted Nelson when he announced his resignation to the Board of Trustees last September. "I've climbed many mountaintops, but I've many more to climb," he said, referring to his certainty that Princeton would achieve ever greater heights in the years to come.

The university recently made two donations to the town of Princeton. In February, it was announced that $155,000 was going to the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to buy an up-to-date ambulance. Twenty-six university-affiliated people volunteer on the squad, including 21 students, four alumni, and one staff member. The squad in 1999 made 295 emergency calls to the university, and provides stand-in service at university events. In March, the university pledged $500,000 toward the local school district's $78-million building referendum, as yet unpassed by voters. The gift will help with "urgently needed" renovations to the high school, said President Shapiro. The donation "demonstrates the university's ongoing support of the Princeton Regional Schools and the education of its children," said the schools superintendent.

Chris Thomforde '69 was inaugurated April 29 as president of St. Olaf's College in Northfield, Minnesota. After Princeton, Thomforde was drafted to play basketball for the New York Knicks, but instead went to divinity school at Yale, eventually making his career on college campuses as a minister and later as an administrator. Among the speakers at Thomforde's inauguration was James Billington '50, Librarian of Congress and a former professor at Princeton, who had been one of Thomforde's mentors and who had kept up with him over the years. Another recently appointed president of a college is John Balkcomb '69, who this year was named president of St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jack Wagenseller '44, former associate director at the Alumni Council from 1982-91, died March 18 of complications from a stroke. At the Alumni Council, he worked with numerous regional associations and also managed campus reunions, where he came to know vast numbers of alumni. A memorial service will take place in Princeton on May 31 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Church, followed by a reception at the Nassau Club.


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