December 12, 2007: Notebook
The University formally launched the largest fundraising campaign in its history — $1.75 billion over the next five years — with three days of events last month for alumni leaders, volunteers, and donors.
The campaign’s theme is Aspire: A Plan for Princeton. “Princeton always aspires to be better than it is,” President Tilghman said. “Through this campaign, we’re encouraging all Princetonians to help shape the future of the University by providing the resources necessary to meet its highest priorities.” About a third of the total will support construction projects, Tilghman said.
According to campaign co-chairs Robert S. Murley ’72 and Nancy B. Peretsman ’76, about $611 million has been raised during the past two years in the so-called quiet phase of the campaign. “There is not an ounce of doubt in my mind that we are going to be extremely successful,” Murley said. “We have a history of overachieving at Princeton.”
To officially kick off the campaign Nov. 9, Jadwin Gym was transformed into an elegant dining hall for about 700 guests, with student a cappella and dance groups performing before the meal.
Tilghman thanked her predecessors, alumni volunteers, and donors, noting the naming of the Lewis Center for the Arts for Peter B. Lewis ’55 earlier that day. Though his $101 million gift to support the arts was Princeton’s largest, Lewis would be pleased if someone in the room could do better, Tilghman said. Her quip was met by many laughs, but no immediate takers.
Annual Giving: $250 million
• Includes five years of Annual Giving, so that each class will have a major reunion during the campaign.
• Unrestricted funds flow directly to the University’s operating budget.
Engineering, energy, and the environment: $325 million
• Construction of a 40,000-square-foot building for Operations Research and Financial Engineering, and a new 110,000-square-foot research laboratory building.
• About 20 new faculty members, with emphasis on the areas of alternative energy, information-technology policy, health-related research, and environmental remediation. The goal: “Princeton will become the leading institution in the world for solving the complex global problems caused by burning fossil fuels.”
• Courses that offer non-engineers a better understanding of technology, and that offer engineers a broader focus for engineering projects.
Exploration in the arts: $325 million
• Construction of the “arts neighborhood,” a cluster of facilities south of McCarter Theatre, to house new and expanded programs in music performance, visual arts, creative writing, theater, and dance.
• Additional collection and exhibition space for the University Art Museum.
• New faculty, distinguished visiting critics and artists, and an interdisciplinary Society of Fellows in the Arts for innovative, early-career artists.
• Support for the Princeton Atelier, which brings guest artists to campus for collaborative efforts with faculty and students.
Neuroscience, genomics, and theoretical physics: $300 million
• New buildings, to be located south of Icahn Laboratory, that will house the psychology department and the Institute for Neuroscience, connected by shared space.
• Adding about nine professors to the core neuroscience faculty.
• Expanding the faculty associated with the genomics institute, and creating a postdoctoral fellows program in theoretical physics.
National and global citizenship: $300 million
• Funds for language studies and to expand study-abroad programs.
• International collaborations, including the Global Scholars program that will bring scholars to campus from other countries.
• Support for programs in international and regional studies.
• Expansion of faculty and programs in the Center for African American Studies.
The Princeton experience: $250 million
• Constructing a new four-year college on the site of the demolished Butler College buildings, a dorm for independent juniors and seniors, and a college master’s residence.
• Support for a broad array of student organizations, health services, varsity athletics (including endowed coaching positions), and club sports.
• Funds for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships.
• Endowed professorships and preceptorships, and funds for freshman
seminars and junior and senior independent work.
PAUL MULDOON, a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet and a professor of creative writing, has been named poetry editor of The New Yorker. Muldoon told The Daily Princetonian that his focus will continue to be on teaching and advising, adding that his students’ work will be taken “every bit as seriously” as a poem submitted to The New Yorker.
PRESIDENT TILGHMAN’s salary of $608,000 for the 2005–06 fiscal year was the fourth-highest among Ivy League presidents, behind Columbia, Yale, and Penn, according to figures released by The Chronicle of Higher Education last month. Adding in $44,060 in health and pension benefits, Tilghman’s total compensation of $652,060 — up 9.4 percent from the previous year — was sixth among Ivy presidents, ahead of Dartmouth president James Wright and then-Harvard president Lawrence Summers. Tilghman also received $67,900 in expense compensation — fringe benefits reported to the IRS, such as the fair-market value of housing supplied by the University.
The PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STORE has returned to Nassau Street for the first time since the 1930s, opening a location offering Princeton-themed apparel and gifts. The U-Store’s main location at 36 University Place will continue to offer dorm supplies, convenience foods, cosmetics, and other student needs. The U-Store is discontinuing its book business, with Labyrinth Books, an independent bookseller, opening a store adjacent to the U-Store’s new location. The University was a prime mover in the changes, which it said would provide the type of scholarly bookstore that the community needs.
JAMES A. BAKER ’52, former secretary of state and co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group; ANDREA JUNG ’79, chairman and CEO of Avon Products Inc.; and PRESIDENT TILGHMAN were among 18 people selected last month as “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.
Patron of the arts
University Trustee Peter B. Lewis ’55 has a big smile as he is joined by President Tilghman at the Nov. 9 public launch of the Lewis Center for the Arts. The Creative and Performing Arts Center was renamed for Lewis to recognize his $101 million gift in support of the arts at Princeton. “If Princeton can be said to have a modern-day version of Lorenzo de’ Medici, it would surely be you,” Tilghman said at a celebration at Richardson Auditorium. The event showcased music, theater, and dance performances by students and alumni and included an excerpt from “Margaret Garner,” an opera with libretto by professor emerita Toni Morrison that grew out of a 2003 Princeton Atelier. “It is a real privilege to be able to do the things I’ve been able to do,” said Lewis, who is chairman of the board of the Progressive Corp. Describing the University as “the best institution I know,” he said that Princeton “makes it a pleasure to give.” The motto of the new Lewis Center: “In the service of the imagination.”
University officials are preparing to embark on a decade-long renovation of Firestone Library, which will mark its 60th anniversary next year.
The project will not expand the walls of the 430,000-square-foot library, but will “completely redo the space we have,” said University Librarian Karin Trainer. Work will include new security, lighting, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, improvements for people with disabilities, and a major reconfiguration of space for books and seating, she said.
Preliminary cost estimates for the project, which is not part of Prince-ton’s newly announced fundraising campaign, are more than $50 million, Trainer said. She said work is expected to begin in the fall of 2009, and will take 10 years because only small portions of the library can be closed for construction at any one time.
The collegiate gothic exterior of the building is expected to remain largely as it is today, Trainer said.
She noted that Firestone was built when the undergraduate student body was much smaller and said there is not enough general seating for students, especially around exam times. The library staff also hears complaints that there are not enough comfortable spaces in which to sit, she said.
The library continues to assign carrels for student independent work, but the number of seniors signing up each year is dropping, Trainer said. Many of those who sign up for carrels do not use them regularly, she said.
The new configuration will include carrels of some sort, “but what they will look like and the varieties” will be determined by conversations with students, she said. Another major question that’s still unresolved: whether a coffee bar should be added.
Classics professor Joshua Katz, writing in The Daily Princetonian about options for the work in Firestone developed three years ago by the Boston architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, set off a flurry of debate in September about the renovations. Expressing concern that spaces for book shelves would be converted to student reading areas, Katz termed the proposals “a dumbing-down of one of the world’s finest libraries, a Barnes-and-Noblefication, the creation of ... a lounge.”
Trainer said Katz’s fears were unfounded. “We know printed books are very important to the humanities and social sciences, and we would never do anything to undercut students and faculty in those fields,” she said.
The library was planning two days of focus groups with students at the end of November, and a faculty steering committee headed by Provost Christopher Eisgruber ’83 has been charged with developing the educational principles that should guide the renovation project.
“People have different images of what an academic library should be,” Eisgruber said. He said the faculty committee will do a lot of listening “to ensure that Firestone Library remains the world-class research library and educational facility we all remember it as being.”
Trainer noted that space planning for the library is especially challenging because 75 percent of the facility’s space is underground — a decision made to extend the life span of its books and to avoid overwhelming the building’s neighboring campus structures.
Firestone, which holds about 3.1 million volumes, is the main library of the University system, which has more than 11 million holdings in 19 buildings. Firestone acquires a linear mile of new books and journals every year, “and that’s not likely to change anytime soon,” Trainer said.
A new computer architecture created by Princeton researchers could help emergency personnel obtain helpful but protected information when they respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The architecture employs security features that would be embedded in the hardware of electronic devices like PDAs, and the key element, according to electrical engineering professor Ruby Lee, is an option called “transient trust,” which provides temporary access to secure information, such as a building’s floor plans or a patient’s medical records. Police, firefighters, or medical personnel would be allowed to consult relevant data during an emergency, but when the crisis ended, so would the user’s access to the sensitive information. Lee and graduate student Jeffrey Dwoskin presented their design at a communications security conference Oct. 31.
Better than bone
Silica compounds can be arranged in nanoscale patterns to create structures that rival the balance of stiffness and density found in natural porous materials such as bone and wood, according to a study in Nature Materials written by several authors, including Princeton chemistry professor Salvatore Torquato. The team, led by researchers from the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories, used artificially determined patterns to create cubic, hexagonal, and “worm-like” (curving cylinder) structures that “maximize mechanical properties at a given density.” The process could lead to the production of stiff, porous materials for membrane applications or microelectronics, according to University of New Mexico professor and principal investigator Jeff Brinker.