Shirley Tilghman named Princeton University's 19th President

To view the press conference held Saturday, May 5, click here .

Shirley M. Caldwell Tilghman, a member of the Princeton University faculty since 1986, an exceptional teacher, and a world-renowned scholar and leader in the field of molecular biology, was elected Princeton's 19th President at a special meeting this morning of the Board of Trustees. She will take office on June 15, 2001, succeeding Harold T. Shapiro, who last fall announced his intention to retire from the presidency at the end of this academic year following more than 13 years of service.

Tilghman was elected upon the "unanimous and more than enthusiastic" recommendation of a search committee composed of trustees, faculty members, students and staff, according to Robert H. Rawson, Jr., chair of the trustees' Executive Committee, who also chaired the search committee.

"Dr. Tilghman epitomizes Princeton's fundamental commitments to scholarship, teaching and service to others," Rawson said. "Her character and her outstanding human qualities have made her a valued colleague among her peers and an inspiration to her students. We considered many excellent candidates, but as we move forward into this new century, Dr. Tilghman seems to us the ideal person to lead this University and to inspire all of us in the Princeton family to join with her in enhancing Princeton's many contributions to higher education, to research, and to society at large."

President Shapiro described the appointment as "a distinctive and wonderful moment in Princeton's history. Professor Tilghman is an eminent scholar and teacher, and is certain to lead Princeton into a new era of achievement and distinction. Princeton is fortunate indeed to have attracted a person with such broad-based commitments to the welfare of all parts of the Princeton community and to the broader world of scholarship, education and public service."

President-elect Tilghman thanked the trustees for "this opportunity to lead a university that I have come to admire greatly over these past 15 years. As the result of Harold Shapiro's leadership, the University is in extraordinarily good shape to face the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us. I know that I have much to learn over the coming months, but I also know that I can depend on the advice and counsel of all members of the Princeton community, from our faculty, staff and students here on campus to the trustees and alumni family."

Tilghman joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 as the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences. In 1998 she took on additional responsibilities as the founding director of Princeton's multi-disciplinary Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

Click here for the full Tilghman news release.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601