Exterior of Firestone Library. (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications, Princeton University)

A Ten-Year Renovation Transforms Princeton’s Firestone Library

By Donald H. Sanborn III

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different languages,” Albert Einstein is quoted as saying. “The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend but only dimly suspects.”

A 1941 photo of Einstein in his study is on display in the new Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, which is across from the University Chapel. The University has completed its ten-year renovation of Firestone, which was “focused on creating a building that is well-suited to support modern library services and contemporary approaches to scholarship, while also providing inspiring, flexible study and work spaces,” the University states in a press release. more

W. Atlee Burpee

Sowing Seeds to Remain Close to its Roots

By Ilene Dube

If you’re a gardener, have ever planted a single seed, or even knew of someone who planted a single seed or read a book about such a person, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Burpee Seed Company.

Fordhook Farm, Doylestown, Pa. (Smithsonian Postal Museum)

What you may not have known was that founder W. Atlee Burpee started the company in nearby Philadelphia. In fact his Fordhook Farm, on 60 acres in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It operated as an inn for a number of years, and was the subject of an Architectural Digest feature in 2001, but is now a site where vegetables, annuals, and perennials are grown, tested, and evaluated. This year there are three days it is open: on June 21 for the International Master Gardener Conference; and on August 10 and October 5 for public viewing. (For further details, visit www.gardenconservancy.org.)

The Burpees were a well-established Philadelphia family descended from French Canadian Huguenots. The original family name, Beaupe, evolved with an Americanized spelling and pronunciation over the course of several generations. more

The Princeton University Band poses on the steps of Blair Arch in October, 2010.  (Photo by R.W. Enoch Jr., Wikipedia)

100 Years of the Princeton University Band

By William Uhl

In 1967, Princeton University’s football team faced Harvard. During the halftime performance, the Princeton University Band marched onto the field, clad in their traditional black-and-orange plaid blazers and boater hats. This time, they had a national audience: ABC was televising the show, one of the band’s first televised performances. Forming the letters “ABC,” the Tiger Band began to play. And as they performed “Who’s Sorry Now?” their formation shifted from “ABC” to “NBC.”

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Norm Carter at the 2018 Reunions Weekend, being driven by Hamza Chaudhry ’19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Laurie Pellichero

A favorite highlight of Reunions Weekend each year is the P-rade, a parade of Princeton University alumni dressed in their class uniforms, from conservative to outrageous. It is led by a grand marshal and other dignitaries, followed closely by the Old Guard, those in classes beyond their 65th reunion. This year, the same as just about every year since he was a boy, Norm Carter is eagerly anticipating the P-rade and all the Reunions Weekend activities, including a Saturday reception and Old Guard Luncheon with President Christopher L. Eisgruber. At 102 ½, he is one of the oldest members of the Old Guard, and says he feels so fortunate to return each year. I asked Mr. Carter a few questions about his long history with the University.

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Princeton University Endowment Outpaces Ivies As Princo Seeks to “Invest Well” and “Do Good”

By Donald Gilpin

“Invest Well. Do Good,” reads the headline on the website of the Princeton University Investment Company (Princo), which manages most of the University’s $25.9 billion endowment, the largest endowment per student in the country and one of the five largest overall.

Recent results for the endowment — a 14.2 percent investment gain for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018 — and its support of an increasing share — 55 percent for 2018-19 — of the University’s annual budget indicate that Princo has indeed been investing well and doing good. more

Kinder, Gentler, and Community-Oriented

By Anne Levin | Photographs by Charles R. Plohn

Last February, Princeton Council approved a settlement of $3.925 million in a lawsuit with seven members of the Princeton Police Department. Filed in 2013, the suit accused police chief David Dudeck of harassment, discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment. The town did not admit any liability, and the plaintiffs agreed to not file another suit.

The settlement marked the end of an unsavory chapter in the history of law enforcement in Princeton. But things have actually been on the upswing since 2015, when former police captain Nicholas Sutter was promoted to replace Dudeck, who was permitted to retire soon after the suits were filed.

A different culture that began to emerge then appears to now be firmly in place. Transparency, diversity, an openness to change, and respect are the department’s core values.  While nine officers have retired over the past few years, new recruits — several of whom are under 30 — come from a variety of non-traditional backgrounds. Of the 61 officers now on the force, six speak Spanish. One speaks Mandarin. Six are African American, including the first black woman officer in the department’s history. There is an officer dedicated to LGBTQ issues.

“It’s not just ethnicity or gender,” says Sutter. “It’s also about backgrounds. We have former teachers, former members of the military. We even have some talented musicians. There is a vast level of experience here that we might not have seen before.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

Princeton University Press celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005, the same year that Peter Dougherty began his illustrious 12-year term as director and British singer songwriter Kate Bush recorded a love song about a man obsessed by “a complete infatuation with the calculation of Pi (π),” the mathematical truth that coincides with the March 14th birthday of Albert Einstein, Princeton’s most renowned citizen.

Bush’s song about a man who loves loves loves his numbers lends a retrospective allure to my mathematically embattled school days, especially when she croons — sensually, caressingly, deliciously — a series of nothing but numbers that become things of beauty as she makes love to “three one four one five nine two six five three five nine” and on into infinity. And when she imagines a “great big circle” of numbers surrounding her pi-infatuated lover, she could be describing the cover of Millions, Billions, Zillions: Defending Yourself in a World of Too Many Numbers, by Princeton professor of computer science Brian W. Kernighan, whose small but numerically mighty book landed on my desk recently along with The Discrete Charm of the Machine: Why the World Became Digital by his computer science colleague at Princeton Ken Steiglitz. Both books are, of course, from Princeton University Press, as is Daniel Kennefick’s No Shadow of a Doubt, timed for the 100th anniversary of the 1919 eclipse “that confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.” Although Kennefick is a physics professor at the University of Arkansas, he qualifies as a local, his previous books, all about Einstein, having been published by Princeton. more

East Point Lighthouse

(And they make great day trips!)

By Wendy Greenberg

A gleaming white lighthouse, capped with red, towers over a strip of land at Sandy Hook, between Sandy Hook Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse has been standing there since it was built in 1764.

“Think about that,” muses Carol Winkie, president of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society (NJLHS). “Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the United States, was built before the United States was a country.” Sandy Hook is the lone survivor of the Eastern Seaboard Colonial lighthouses.

The lighthouses of New Jersey that stand today are beacons of maritime history. It is a quirky history, and a fascinating one. The “ABCs” (Absecon, Barnegat, and Cape May) were designed by George G. Meade, a hero of the Battle of Gettysburg. Finn’s Point Rear Range Lighthouse was built in Buffalo, N.Y., shipped by railroad, and pulled on wagons by mules to Supawana Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in 1877. The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse sits in a football practice field in Paulsboro.

And, sadly, the original 1868 Tucker’s Island Lighthouse, a white tower with red trim, went into the sea in 1927, and soon after the entire island, formerly a resort, was wiped out. A replica stands today. more

By Taylor Smith 

The recent measles outbreak has sparked much discussion over vaccinations, particularly as they apply to children. What some people may not realize is that there are a variety of vaccines recommended for adults as well. Childhood vaccines wear off over time and factors like your age, job, lifestyle, and degree of travel can indicate an increased risk for certain preventable diseases. And the CDC states that older, hospitalized adults have immune systems similar to newborn babies, making them particularly vulnerable to infections.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The celebrated 2019 Spring Lake Irish Festival will take place on Saturday, June 15 from noon to 5 p.m. Affectionately dubbed the “Jersey Shore’s Irish Riviera” for its history of Irish culture and immigration, Spring Lake is the spot for this annual event featuring live music, dancing, food, children’s activities, and shopping. Traditions like the Irish Soda Bread Contest, beer and wine garden, and Irish step dancers are favorites. This year’s musical acts are The Snakes and Doubting Toms.  more

By Taylor Smith 

With 35 acres leased from Duke Farms, Dogwood Farms is a USDA certified organic farm in Hillsborough, N.J., owned and operated by Jon and Kim Knox. Since its opening, Dogwood Farms has more than tripled its vegetable and meat CSA programs and expanded its business into a retail space selling hot sauces, salsa, and other specialty items all grown, produced, and cultivated on the farm.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Rutgers Preparatory School is a distinguished private school in Somerset, N.J. Each summer, the school offers a series of academic camps. The International Ivy Summer Programs for ages 5-14 will take place July 8-August 16. Half-day offerings are available from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 to 5 p.m. A full-day option takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Crayola Experience, located at 30 Centre Square in Easton, Pa., is dedicated to fostering creativity in children (and adults) of all ages. Crayons, markers, and chalk in every hue can be used to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Coloring life-size pages and molding clay are also part of the interactive craft room experience.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The Central New Jersey Brain Tumor Walk on Saturday, May 11 at Bradley Park in Asbury Park is an event to raise awareness and resources to fund critical brain tumor-specific programs to improve the lives of all those affected by brain tumors.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Launching in the fall of 2019, Seton Hall University’s College of Arts and Sciences will offer a Master of Science in data science. The data science program encompasses coursework in statistics, computer science, and applied mathematics. Data scientists are currently in high demand for their knowledge and understanding of business needs, analytics, computer science, and systems engineering. Graduate students will also have the opportunity to pursue certifications in both Amazon Web Services and Tableau, a cloud computing technology.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Summertime means more outdoor time for children and teens, and sports camps are a popular way to fill that free time. While exercise and play are an important part of every child’s development, it’s important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sports-related concussions.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The makers of the Peloton indoor cycling bike have a new model on the market — the Peloton Tread. Unlike the bike, the Tread is a hulking piece of fitness equipment with a hefty price tag of $179 per month for 24 months or a one-time payment of $4,295. More than just a standard treadmill, the engineers behind the Peloton brand are hoping that users of the bike will opt in to purchasing the Tread because of the personalized coaching and virtual reality community experience.  more

By Taylor Smith 

On May 27, more than 500 professional and amateur cyclists will gather to compete in the 76th Annual Tour of Somerville at Davenport and Main streets in Somerville, N.J. Held rain or shine, the historic event is the oldest bike race in the country. Over 50 U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame inductees have participated in the race, along with Tour de France champion Greg LeMond.  more

Arboretum visits can help homeowners visualize their own landscape

By Wendy Greenberg

The ambler, the hiker, or those seeking inspiration from nature are probably not far from one of the many lush arboreta and gardens in the tri-state area. A visit can also offer homeowners a preview of what a young tree will look like in 50 years, among other landscaping ideas.

“Let’s face it,” says Bruce Crawford, director of Rutgers Gardens at New Brunswick, “the palette we (homeowners) pick from is limited, and somewhat self-perpetuating, as we often see one style of a backyard and acquire the same plants and trees. But a public garden or arboretum can show what blooms in the off season, and create a broader palette for the home.”

Rutgers, he notes, has many native dogwoods, but also has interspecific hybrids between our native dogwood and the Chinese dogwood, like the recent hybrid, Scarlet Fire, with “good deep, red flowers.” more