United States Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has been selected to deliver the keynote address at the University’s Class Day ceremony on Monday, June 4.

Written by Princeton University’s Office of Communications

Class Day, which takes place the day before Commencement and is held on historic Cannon Green, is being organized by members of the graduating class and is one of Princeton’s oldest traditions. The ceremony also includes remarks by class members, the recognition of seniors for their accomplishments, and the induction of honorary class members. more

By Taylor Smith 

Photography by Tom Grimes

The youngest son of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Virginia Joan Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy has put down roots in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and four children, Harper, Owen, Nora, and Nell. Amy is expecting their fifth child in May. A New Jersey native, Amy has more than 15 years’ experience working in New Jersey public schools and is the education director of The Kennedy Forum. Patrick lovingly refers to Amy as his “Jersey girl,” who grew up in a neighboring shore town. Located on the bayside of the Jersey Shore, a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, the Kennedy’s waterfront home is centered around family and the beauty of the natural setting. On the day of Princeton Magazine’s visit, seagulls were dive-bombing around Patrick’s boat and fine grains of sand blew across the roadway. more

The Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins Centennials

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Legendary American composer, conductor, pianist, educator, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) once said, “I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.” Audiences and museum visitors are having multiple opportunities this year to hear Bernstein’s music and think about it. In March, Princeton University’s Richardson Chamber Players presented “Bernstein and Friends: A Centennial Celebration.” Institutions such as Symphony Space and the National Museum of American Jewish History also will celebrate the maestro’s centennial. Aficionados of the work of choreographer Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) will have similar opportunities. more

New Worlds: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends

Bill Murray, actor
Jan Vogler, cello
Mira Wang, violin
Vanessa Perez, piano

Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

“Spot on. The evening’s journey was unpredictable and affecting – old-fashioned entertainment that was sophisticated but with zip and heart.” – Globe & Mail more

First Lady Michelle Obama tours the Mirror Room in the Italian Pavilion with Mrs. Agnese Landini at the Milan Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy, June 18, 2015. Mrs. Obama led the presidential delegation to the expo, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

By Anne Levin // Photos Courtesy of Amanda Lucidon from Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer (Ten Speed Press). 

This past November, photographer Amanda Lucidon spoke at Princeton Public Library about her new book Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer. The large crowd that turned out was no surprise. Princeton is a very blue town in a blue state, and the evening promised a bit of nostalgia for those who miss the days when Barack and Michelle Obama, Malia, Sasha, and their dogs were in the White House. more

Mira Nakashima

D&R Greenway Land Trust presents a special evening with renowned furniture designer Mira Nakashima on Thursday, March 22 (doors open 6:30 p.m., talk begins at 7 p.m.) at the Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton. Admission costs $10 person.

Mira Nakashima, the daughter of legendary furniture sculptor George Nakashima, will tell the story of the family’s woodworking legacy, followed by a signing of her book, Nature, Form, and Spirit: The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima. Nakashima pieces will be displayed and available for purchase, including a three-legged stool, candle holders, pencil holders, and bread boards. more

Takes Over Helm from Current Chair Michael Cadden, July 2019

Princeton University has named Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, Director of Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing, as the new chair of the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.  Smith succeeds theater scholar Michael Cadden, Senior Lecturer in the Program in Theater, who has served as chair of the Center since 2012.  Smith will begin her new duties as chair on July 1, 2019. more

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. Photo by Denis Applewhite. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon will present a reading from his recent poetry collections joined by acclaimed singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and composer Dan Trueman, in celebration of Muldoon’s latest volume Lamenations and the three artists’ collaboration with Eighth Blackbird, Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak. The reading, presented by Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies, will take on place on Friday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wallace Theater located at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus. This event is free and open to the public. Performances of Olagón are being presented on February 22 through 24. more

Written by Princeton University’s Office of Communications

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber sent his second annual “State of the University” letter to faculty, students and staff Wednesday, Feb. 7, recounting advances over the past year and focusing on priorities for the year ahead.

Eisgruber will summarize the letter and invite questions at open meetings this month: the annual Town Hall meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 in 101 Friend Center, and a town hall for University staff from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 20 at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. more

POETRY AND POLITICS: Paul Muldoon, Princeton University professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Princeton Atelier, has been approved by Queen Elizabeth II for the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2017. Muldoon said his award was an acknowledgment of both “the impact of a few of my poems” and of the current positive relations between Ireland and England. (Photo by Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite 2017)

By Donald Gilpin

Paul Muldoon, Princeton University creative writing professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts and director of the Princeton Atelier, will be awarded Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2017 by Queen Elizabeth II in an upcoming ceremony.  more

Off-Broadway debuting star Doreen Taylor (Photo by Michael Pearson)

By Doug Wallack

On Friday, October 27, recording artist and off-Broadway debuting star Doreen Taylor launches her “docu-musical” show An Enchanted Evening with Oscar Hammerstein II at Highland Farm in Doylestown, Pa. The show, the proceeds from which will go to the Hammerstein Center, is part of a larger effort to save the former home of Oscar Hammerstein II at Highland Farm, and to repurpose it as a museum and theater education center.

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REEL LIFE: After the film, John Stier, one of Nash’s sons, and Dr. Joseph Kohn spoke about their memories of the real John Nash. “You have ten years of fantastic work, and it sort of looks like in the movie that he spent most of his time cutting out newspapers,” said Kohn. “He did really remarkable work.”

By William Uhl

On October 4, Princeton Garden Theatre partnered with the Historical Society of Princeton to hold a screening of A Beautiful Mind, a 2001 film about Nobel Prize winner and Princeton Professor John Nash’s mathematical achievements and struggles with schizophrenia. more

OBAMA AND TRUMP: New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker, author of the recent book “Obama: The Call of History,” spoke to a full house Monday night at Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the subject of President Obama’s legacy in the current Trump era. 

By Donald Gilpin

Peter Baker is still trying to figure out who is Barack Obama, and what exactly will be the substance of his legacy?

Chief White House correspondent for the NYTimes since 2008, Baker told a full-house gathering of about 200 at Princeton University’s Arthur Lewis Auditorium, Robertson Hall on Monday that he wrote his new book, Obama: the Call of History (June 2017), to try and tackle those questions.  more

Princeton Public Library presents the 2017 Princeton Children’s Book Festival at Hinds Plaza on Saturday, September 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

This well attended event continues to grow yearly and promises something for everyone. Here, you may meet your favorite author or illustrator, listen to them discuss their work, have a book autographed, or just have the opportunity to talk to them about their inspirations. Approximately 85 children’s book authors and illustrators will be in attendance. For a complete list of participating authors, visit http://bit.ly/2xeGu9lmore

Actor Michael Shannon will make an appearance at McCarter Theatre’s screening of the film 99 Homes, which will be held at McCarter Theatre on Saturday, September 23 at 4 p.m. There will also be a Q&A with McCarter’s Bill Lockwood and Princeton Garden Theatre’s Chris Collier. General admission is $20 ($15 for McCarter subscribers or Garden Theatre members). more

By Doug Wallack

Quoted in the December 1963 Life article in which she famously coined the “Camelot” epithet for her late husband’s presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy says, “Once, the more I read of history, the more bitter I got. For a while I thought history was something that bitter old men wrote. But then I realized history made Jack what he was.” She goes on to outline a vision of a young John F. Kennedy for whom history was a great repository of heroes and role models—a catalyst for his own idealism. more

“The best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken”

By Stuart Mitchner 

Sorting out his first impressions of Walt Whitman in a letter from November 1856, Henry David Thoreau admits feeling “much interested and provoked“: “Though peculiar and rough in his exterior,…he is essentially a gentleman. I am still somewhat in a quandary about him…He told us that he loved to ride up and down Broadway all day on an omnibus, sitting beside the driver, listening to the roar of the carts, and sometimes gesticulating and declaiming Homer at the top of his voice.” more

Princeton’s new poet laureate, Tracy K. Smith. Princeton University, Office of Communications, photography by Denise Applewhite.

By Stuart Mitchner 

If you don’t count nursery rhymes, songs, and “The Night Before Christmas,” the first time poetry happened to me was at the end of the Classic Comic of Moby Dick. Each issue closed with “Highlights in the Life” of the author. Herman Melville’s ended with four couplets from a poem “published during the Civil War” that “best expresses our bewilderment of today.” I had no idea what was meant by “bewilderment.” I was 6. The Second World War was still going on. A red, white, and blue banner at the bottom of the page contained a Buy United States War Savings Bonds stamp. The lines that struck and stayed with me were these: “Can no final good be wrought?/ Over and over, again and again,/Must the fight for the Right be fought?” I had only a vague sense of the meaning beyond its being patriotic; what resonated, and still does, was the infectious play of rhyme and rhythm, especially the way it rocks the last line.  more

FRENCH THEATER FESTIVAL: Seuls en Scène French Theater Festival begins with Nicolas Truong’s Interview, featuring Judith Henry and Nicolas Bouchaud, on September 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at the Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau Street. Interview stars Judith Henry and Nicolas Bouchaud. (Photo by Mathilde Priolet)

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Department of French and Italian, and L’Avant-Scène will present the sixth annual Seuls en Scène French Theater Festival, which will take place from September 15 to 30 at venues across the University’s campus. Some performances will be in English, while others will be in French with English subtitles; all are free and open to the public. more

By Donald H. Sanborn III

For most Broadway musicals, the “composer” creates only the songs, usually providing vocal lines with piano accompaniment. Other musicians, including an orchestrator, prepare the score for performance. The orchestrator adjusts a composition “to fit…whatever orchestral combination has been selected,” Broadway orchestrator Don Walker writes in his autobiography. In the 1940s, Webster’s Dictionary came out with a second meaning for orchestrate: “to arrange or combine so as to achieve a maximum effect.” “Then the floodgates opened and all kinds of people began to call themselves ‘orchestrators,” Walker quips. “So now I am trying to find another professional name to call myself, but it’s late.” During Broadway’s mid-century “Golden Age,” Walker orchestrated music—and theatrical institutions. more