Mapping the Future of TCNJ

By Wendy Greenberg | Portraits by Jeffrey E. Tryon

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster, who launched her own academic career as an undergraduate geography major, has found her place — as president of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). She feels it was a good spot to land. “Taking this position was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said.

Foster’s presidency seems to suit the school too. Nestled in a suburban setting in Ewing Township not far from well-known neighbors Princeton University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, it could be easy to overlook TCNJ.

Yet the school formerly known as Trenton State College has amassed accolades. Among them, TCNJ is ranked the No. 1 public institution among regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report (fifth overall). Its 2006 awarding of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter by the prestigious national academic honor society cemented its status as a selective college. TCNJ maintains the seventh highest four-year graduation rate among all public colleges and universities, and it is ranked by Money magazine as one of the top 15 public colleges “most likely to pay off financially.” Under Foster, fiscal 2021 was one of TCNJ’s strongest fundraising years.

When visitors walk onto the campus with its landscaped walkways, green quadrants, and mix of stately Georgian red brick buildings (adjacent to a new commercial center with restaurants and a Barnes and Noble bookstore), “their jaws drop,” said Foster, who has updated buildings and infrastructure.  more

Makes top lists for theater, race/class interaction, and radio station 

Drew University has made The Princeton Review’s annual “The Best 387” nation’s top schools. Drew has made the list every year since its debut in 1992. 

The list, which includes only about 14 percent of the schools in the country, praised Drew for its 60-plus majors and minors, seven NYC semesters, top-ranked theater program, impressive science departments, engaging and dedicated faculty, and myriad research opportunities.  more

Join Morven Museum & Garden on Sunday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a special workshop presentation with duck decoy Master Carver Jode Hillman. “The Art of Deception: Techniques and Theory of Creating a Three-Dimensional Black Duck Silhouette Decoy” will be an on-site class, held outdoors, masked, and socially distanced. All supplies and materials will be provided. Lunch will also be included from Brick Farm Market (selections to be made the week before class). Attendees are asked to dress for the outdoors and weather. Class size is limited to eight students.  more

Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies presents a conversation with award winning novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter Roddy Doyle led by scholar and critic Frintan O’Toole, co-chair of the series, on Friday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark University Professor of the Humanities Paul Muldoon, co-chair of the series, will provide a welcome and introduction. The event opens the 2021-22 series, which will be virtual for the fall. The event is free and open to the public. 

Doyle has written 12 novels, including The Commitments; Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993; The Woman Who Walked Into Doors; and, most recently, Love. His latest book, a story collection called Life Without Children, will be published in the U.S. in spring 2022. Doyle has written eight books for children. He has also written for screen and stage. He is the co-founder of Fighting Words, which aims to help Irish children and young people to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills. He lives in Dublin.  more

Outdoor labyrinth provides opportunity to focus on spiritual well-being 

A new outdoor labyrinth is nestled behind the residential Witherspoon Apartments on Princeton Theological Seminary’s Charlotte Rachel Wilson Campus. Along with many helping hands, Student Life Resident Daniel Heath, MDiv ’20, dreamed of the idea and coordinated the design and recent completion of the labyrinth.

The previously unused space is now an ecofriendly gathering place for students and their families with a labyrinth at the center. At nearly 50 feet in diameter, it is one of the largest labyrinths in the Princeton area. more

State grants will increase student engagement and support academic progress.

Montclair State University will receive more than $1.4 million from the state of New Jersey to support programs that help to address the impacts of COVID-19 on postsecondary students. 

Gov. Phil Murphy and Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges announced the grants on July 12, with Montclair State among 35 public and public-mission private institutions receiving $30 million in state aid to implement vetted best practices that increase college completion, address barriers to student success, and develop sustainable systemic reforms.  more

On Sunday, September 19 from 10 to 11 a.m., join Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton for a wellness workshop led by Katie O’Brien. This outdoor, guided family-centric mediation promises to provide stress relief, relaxation, self-empowerment, and focus heading into the back-to-school season. Learn the art of mediation, a life-changing tool for many, which children of all ages can learn to practice with the support of a family member. 

Elements of sound, drumming, and vocal toning exercises will be incorporated with the intention to facilitate body awareness and mindfulness, followed by a fun and freeing movement meditation. This workshop is designed for children ages 5 and up and their adult caretakers. Admission is $25 for adults ($10 for members) and $15 for children ($5 for members).  more

There’s nothing like drawing in an even larger group of your community’s kids because of your community’s own generosity. 

Trenton Music Makers was honored to learn that it would be part of the cohort of grantees supported by the Trenton Arts Endowment Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. The Fund will support the live 2021-22 opening of the after-school orchestra’s “Open Strings” project, begun online during the earliest days of the pandemic lockdown.  more

Princeton University

Be prepared for whatever the new school year brings with these fun and fitting gifts and accessories.

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As of August 2021, Drew University in Madison, N.J., has announced the addition of new majors in cybersecurity and statistics, as well as a dual-degree cybersecurity program with New York University. These new majors join an already robust selection of concentrations from the liberal arts college. 

The new major in cybersecurity will be available in fall 2021. The program will offer a liberal arts approach with flexibility through elective offerings for students to choose emphases in software, systems, or interdisciplinary contexts. 

Undergraduate degrees in cybersecurity are a rarity in higher education and the program’s liberal arts emphasis will further separate it from the few contemporary programs offered in the U.S.  more

Now through September 6, grab a prehistoric passport and join over 40 giant moving dinosaurs on a globetrotting expedition at Dino Safari, a completely drive-thru dino adventure for the whole family at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus. 

Get up-close-and-personal with the most fascinating prehistoric creatures from the mighty T. Rex of North America to the giant amphibious Spinosaurus from Africa while you learn how dinosaurs evolved over time, where on earth they lived, and the discoveries paleontologists have made about how they ate, moved, and behaved.  more

Discover the Stuart advantage at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart’s Virtual Discovery Day on Tuesday, August 17 at 6 p.m. This event will provide prospective families and students with the opportunity to engage with current teachers, administrators, and students. Register online at https://www.stuartschool.org/admissions/register-for-an-open-classroom. For questions regarding the admissions application process, email Director of Admissions Joe Petitto at jpetitto@stuartschool.org. 

As the only all-girls school in Princeton, Stuart has been educating girls for lives of exceptional leadership and service since 1963. Situated on 55 acres in the Princeton Ridge, Stuart provides an environment where girls put academics first and are willing to explore and take risks. The challenging curriculum includes the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as the arts, humanities, and athletics. Stuart enrolls girls in JK-12 and has a co-ed Early Childhood Program.  more

Did you know that September is National Fungus Month?

Join Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve of Bucks County virtually to celebrate these fascinating organisms by learning the basics of mushroom foraging and documenting fungi using a sketchbook. This multi-week course runs from Tuesday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. through Tuesday, September 28 at 8:30 p.m. Develop your drawing skills by depicting mushrooms in graphite. Go on to create a pleasing composition and design a watercolor painting. These virtual lessons are suitable for all age levels.  more

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology recently launched a free birding app, called Merlin Bird ID, which enables users to identify the birds they see or hear, anywhere, at any time.

The Bird ID Wizard asks users to answer three simple questions about the bird they are trying to identify, and Merlin will reply with a list of possible matches. Merlin offers quick and accurate identification for all levels of bird watchers to help them learn about birds across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. Sample questions may include, “What size was the bird?” “What were the main colors?” and “What was the bird doing?” more

On August 16, from 7 to 8 p.m., Princeton Public Library presents a virtual Poets at the Library featuring readers Catherine Doty and John David Muth. Each reader will share their work for 20 minutes followed by an open mic session. Poets who sign-up in advance may share one poem during open mic. To sign-up via crowdcast to attend this virtual event, or to reserve a spot during open mic, visit https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/5414024. 

Doty is a poet, cartoonist, and educator from Paterson. She is the author of Wonderama and Momentum, volumes of poems from CavanKerry Press and Just Kidding, a collection of cartoons from Avocet Press. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize and fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  more

Comte de Rochambeau from “Galerie des Batailles” in the Chateau de Versailles in France. 

On Thursday, August 12 at 6 p.m., join Morven Museum for a virtual event exploring the history of Rochambeau’s French officers and soldiers in Princeton in August 1781. The talk will be led by historian and author Robert A. Selig, PhD, as he presents this unique talk just for Morven Museum’s audience. 

Marshal Jean-Baptists Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, led the French expeditionary forces through Princeton in August 1781 to help the Continental Army capture Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Rochambeau’s army included 5,000 men stationed on the grounds of Morven between August 29-31. Leading his troops from Phillipsburg, N.Y. to central N.J. on separate routes, the allied forces united just north of Princeton, following the encampment of Rochambeau’s men at the site of Morven. 2021 marks the 240th anniversary of this march. There is also a little-known monument to Rochambeau’s encampment on the grounds of Trinity Church in Princeton.  more

Rich D’Andrea ’01 (second from right) is inducted into the NJ Lacrosse Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster on July 19. Pictured with D’Andrea is his father, Dan; mother, Darcy; and wife, Ericka Kapp ’98. 

Rich D’Andrea ’01, already a Peddie Sports Hall of Fame member (2021), was inducted into the New Jersey Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame on July 19. 

A three-year starter in goal at Peddie, D’Andrea helped the Falcons to a 44-5 record and two NJISAA Prep A Championships. He was a three-time First Team All-State Selection (’99, ’00, ’01), a two-time All-American (’00, ’01), and was twice the recipient of the Dietrich von Schwerdtner New Jersey Goalie of the Year Award (’00, ’01). In his senior campaign, the Falcons went undefeated (16-0) and earned a Top 15 national ranking.  more

Join The Watershed Institute in Pennington on Saturday, August 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 21st annual Watershed Butterfly Festival, an in-person celebration of the beauty and joy of nature. This family-friendly event is perfect for children and adults of all ages.  more

D&R Greenway welcomes two recent graduates of Princeton University into one-year Fellowships in partnership with Princeton’s AlumniCorps Project 55 program. The program’s motto is to “Launch a life of civic leadership.” They are (from left) Ayame Whitfield and Heather Callahan, shown here at the front door to the newly acquired Gardener’s House at Point Breeze.

Two recent graduates of Princeton University were welcomed into one-year Fellowhips by D&R Greenway, beginning this summer. These Fellowships are provided in partnership with Princeton’s AlumniCorps Project 55 program. This program offers opportunities for exceptional recent graduates to connect with and work with nonprofits. The AlumniCorps Project 55’s motto is “Launch a life of civic leadership.” more

Crosswicks Creek in Bordentown, NJ

Take a self-guided walking tour through the nooks and crannies of New Jersey’s local history! Authored by acclaimed local favorite Bordentown Walking Tours, Tour Takers hear from Mark Neurohr-Pierpaoli, owner and Tour Guide, via engaging videos at each Tour Stop. The app delivers the content and guides Tour Takers with walking directions along the route. more