Alumni gather at Thrive

‘Thrive’ conference celebrates Princeton’s black alumni

Oct. 2, 2019 3:02 p.m.

More than 1,400 alumni and guests are registered to attend “Thrive: Empowering and Celebrating Princeton’s Black Alumni” from Oct. 3-5. The conference follows up on three previous black alumni conferences, including 2014’s “Coming Back: Reconnecting Princeton’s Black Alumni,” pictured here.

More than 1,400 alumni and guests are expected on Princeton University's campus this week for “Thrive: Empowering and Celebrating Princeton’s Black Alumni.”

The conference, which runs Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 3-5, will feature presentations by alumni, faculty, staff and students; alumni discussion groups; networking opportunities; performances and exhibitions; and social events. The full schedule includes more than 60 events and more than 200 participants.

The conference follows up on previous black alumni conferences in 2006, 2009 and 2014.

Thrive graphic identity

Highlights of the conference include:

• Opening remarks by Karen Richardson, Class of 1993, Princeton’s new dean of admission.

• A conversation with University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, Class of 1983.

• Workshops for entrepreneurs and talks with founders and funders, plus a juried “Startup Showcase” featuring presentations by startup founders and C-suite executives.

• Networking receptions for alumni and current students, including a reception for first-generation, low-income (FLI) students.

• Art exhibitions, music and performing arts events, and a Firestone Library tour.

• Alumni panels on more than a dozen topics, from personal Princeton journeys to careers and parenting.

• Discussions with faculty, trustees and administrators.

• A luncheon discussion about civic engagement moderated by Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Participants include Andrea J. Campbell, Class of 2004, Boston City Council president and District 4 councilor; Satana Deberry, Class of 1991, district attorney, Durham County, North Carolina; and Eric Johnson, Graduate School Class of 2003, mayor of Dallas.

• A reception and student/faculty panel celebrating 50 years of African American Studies at Princeton and the 10th anniversary of the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. Participants include Eddie Glaude, Graduate School Class of 1997, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, professor of African American studies and chair of the Department of African American Studies; Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, assistant professor of African American studies and the Charles H. McIlwain University Preceptor; and Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies.

• A discussion about higher education moderated by Rouse with President Eisgruber; Lily McNair, Class of 1979, president of Tuskegee University; and Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University.

• A luncheon and conversation with film and television industry pioneers Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Class of 1993, and Broderick Johnson, Class of 1990.

• Personal and professional enrichment workshops.

• An author bookfair.

• A conversation with University trustees U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, Class of 1986, and Melanie Lawson, Class of 1976, journalist and television news anchor, KTRK-TV. (A livestream is available on Facebook and the University's Media Central Live.)

Conference events are open only to registered alumni. The dedication of “Double Sights,” an installation about the complex legacy of Woodrow Wilson, and a discussion with its designer, MacArthur Fellowship winner Walter Hood, coincide with the conference and are open to the public.

Hood’s discussion will begin 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, in McCosh Hall, Room 50. A public dedication featuring remarks by Eisgruber will follow at 4:45 p.m. on Scudder Plaza. The afternoon will conclude with a reception in the Bernstein Gallery of Robertson Hall, where an exhibition examining Wilson’s contested legacy, “In the Nation’s Service? Woodrow Wilson Revisited,” is on display.

Follow the conference and share social media posts using the #TigersThrive19 hashtag on the University’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter.