'Coming Back' conference welcomes Princeton's black alumni

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The conference "Coming Back: Reconnecting Princeton's Black Alumni" features presentations by alumni, faculty, staff and students. It follows up on conferences held in 2006 and 2009.

Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

More than 900 Princeton University alumni and guests are registered to participate in the conference "Coming Back: Reconnecting Princeton's Black Alumni" on campus this week.

The conference, which runs from Thursday to Saturday, Oct. 16 to 18, will feature presentations by alumni, faculty, staff and students; alumni discussion groups; networking opportunities; campus tours; and social events. The full schedule includes more than 50 events. "Coming Back" is open only to registered alumni and guests and follows up on conferences held in 2006 and 2009. 

Highlights of the conference include:

• A conversation with President Christopher L. Eisgruber.

• An interview with Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, preceded by reflections on Morrison's scholarship, teaching and legacy at the University by Eisgruber and Ruth Simmons, a University trustee and president emerita of Brown University. The event will begin at 3:15 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Note: Beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday, members of the campus community with a PUID are invited to join a wait line at the southeast corner of Alexander Hall. At 3:20 p.m., any open seats will be made available to those in line. The event will also be simulcast in McCosh Hall, Room 50, and available for live viewing online.

• Talks by and conversations with alumni including Melanie Lawson, news anchor and reporter at KTRK-TV ABC-13 in Houston; John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments; and Craig Robinson, ESPN college basketball analyst.

• Panel discussions featuring Princeton faculty, alumni, graduate students and undergraduate students on a range of topics and issues such as the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the changing climate on campus, the student experience, the Center for African American Studies, black power in the post-Obama era, new paradigms in medicine and health care, research and innovation in science and technology, entertainment, LGBT issues, athletics, publishing, affirmative action, entrepreneurship, service, social media, and the black male experience.

• Lectures by Princeton faculty members Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education, and a professor of economics and public affairs; and Stacey Sinclair, an associate professor of psychology and African American studies.

• Receptions and networking events hosted by academic departments and affinity groups, as well as events centered on various professional fields and special interests such as dance, yoga and film.

• Tours focused on African American life in Princeton, campus sculpture and the Princeton University Art Museum.

People can follow the conference using the #ComingBack2014 hashtag on the Alumni Association's Facebook and Twitter