Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to visit Oct. 14

Sept. 28, 2005, noon

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect William (Bill) H. Gates will visit Princeton University on Friday, Oct. 14, to engage students in a discussion about the evolving role of computer technology in today's world. He also will receive the Crystal Tiger award from students for his global leadership.

The Princeton visit, titled "A Conversation with Bill Gates," is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Seating will be limited to the campus community, with Princeton students given priority via a lottery. The visit is part of a college tour that Gates initiated to talk to faculty and students in the computer sciences about topics related to innovation and breakthrough technologies, including new opportunities for technology to improve the way we live, work and collaborate, and about why careers in computer science are exciting, rewarding and vitally important. 

"Bill Gates is bringing our students an important message," said Maria Klawe, dean of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science. "Computer science is not the narrow, purely technical field that it is perceived to be. It is an exciting opportunity for students with many backgrounds and interests to make a positive difference in the world."

After his address, Gates will receive the Crystal Tiger, an award established by Princeton undergraduates to honor individuals who have acted as leaders to help transform their lives. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell received the inaugural Crystal Tiger during a visit to Princeton last year.

In their invitation to Gates, the student award committee described him as an agent of change who has used his talents and resources to improve the lives of people around the world.

"You have succeeded, not simply as an innovator and a businessman, but also as a transformative leader in the global community," the students wrote. "You have been a driving force in some of the most important issues in the last quarter century, from changing the way that we communicate, to enhancing the way we tackle AIDS in the developing world."

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman commended the students for their choice.

"Bill Gates' entrepreneurial skills have made his name a household word," Tilghman said. "But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its precursors have also made enormous contributions to the fields of health and education, extended vital help to public libraries and improved the lives of disadvantaged families."

Tickets for the Gates address are being made available to students, faculty and staff with Princeton University IDs through an online lottery in which students will receive first priority. The lottery will open at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, and will close at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. The event will also be simulcast in McCosh 10 on the Princeton campus, with all seats in simulcast rooms open to the public. No tickets are necessary for simulcast seating. Continue to check the University home page for further event updates.

Journalists who wish to receive more information about the event should submit contact information by noon Friday, Oct. 7, to the Office of Communications, (609) 258-3601.