23. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too young to change the world.
      –Noor al Hussein


Photo courtesy of the Office of Communications

Photo by Dino Palomares

Noor al Hussein, Queen of Jordan, gave this advice to Brown University graduates in 1999 upon receiving an honorary doctorate from that institution. Born Lisa Halaby, she graduated from Princeton as a member of the first coeducational class (1973). Since her marriage in 1978, Queen Noor has worked to bridge what she describes as “the vast distance between western myths and stereotypes and the realities of the Middle East,” as well as giving her support to initiatives in disarmament, education, women and children’s welfare, community development, environmental protection, and human rights. She delivered an address at the University’s 250th anniversary celebration in 1996 and served as the Baccalaureate speaker for the Class of 2000. She has remarked that her major—architecture and urban planning—prepared her well for her duties as Queen by teaching an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems, as well as lessening her need for sleep.