Lawrence Charles B. Samuel Stanhope Smith 1750–1819, Class of 1769, President 1795–1812.

By Doug Wallack

On Monday, November 6, the Princeton & Slavery Project—an initiative of Princeton University—launched its website as a means of publicizing its ongoing research into the University’s relationship with the institution of slavery. Visitors to the site can find over 80 articles that, for instance, tease out the links between the fortunes of the University’s early benefactors and slavery, or examine the slave holdings of University presidents, trustees, and other affiliates. Also included online are hundreds of primary documents, data visualizations and maps that track the proportional enrollment of southern students at Princeton, and video documentaries in which students and alumni reflect on their own families’ relationships to slavery.  more

By Doug Wallack

Photography by Charles R. Plohn 

“Here we were taught by men and gothic towers democracy and faith and righteousness and love of unseen things that do not die.” — H.E. Mierow, Class of 1914

So reads the inscription in the arch of Princeton University’s McCosh Hall. It’s not entirely clear how Gothic towers inculcated such lofty virtues in students, but it is clear to anyone who visits campus how the University’s architecture could exercise a powerful influence on them. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Recent strides in the field of genetic engineering are generating tremendous excitement. Long in the works at university and company laboratories, the implications of this treatment are far-reaching.

The rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach is called adoptive cell transfer (ACT); it collects and uses patients’ own immune cells to treat their cancer. There are several types of ACT, but the star of the show right now is CAR T-cell therapy, which made medical history this last August when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetic therapy for widespread use. Called Kymriah, it is being marketed by Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. more

By Wendy Plump 

Photography Courtesy of Nomadic Expeditions

In a dramatic re-interpretation of the notion “If you build it, they will come,” New Jersey resident and contractor Jalsa Urubshurow built a base for his adventure expedition company in Mongolia. He chose the South Gobi Province on the edge of the Gobi Desert—where the Altai Mountains rim the horizon—and put up forty Ger, the traditional felt yurts of Mongolia’s indigenous nomadic tribes. He designed the main lodge in the style of an ancient temple. He quarried local stone and installed local staffers – herders, guides, cooks – because he wanted authenticity in a world greatly in need of it, and, if truth be told, because he demanded the most breathtaking gateway for those visiting his beloved Mongolia, the home of his Kalmyk ancestors. more

By Wendy Greenberg

Escher Street in Trenton, 10am on a weekday: The line forms to the right of the double doors at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). Some of Trenton’s neediest individuals arrive by foot or by bicycle. A few push strollers, a few carry a bag of belongings. On rainy days, they huddle under a small awning. more

One thousand gallons of water a minute rise up 300 feet to irrigate this farm in San Diego, powered by solar energy alone.

By William Uhl 

Walking with Quentin Kelly, founder and CEO of WorldWater & Solar Technologies, Inc., you can tell he is enthusiastic about what he does. The walls of his office in Princeton are decorated with maps of third-world countries like the Philippines, with red dots for each solar-powered water pump and purifier installed. Low-rise cubicles have pictures of flowing water and green crops in Haiti, Afghanistan, Darfur, and other places. And the boardroom has a row of photos of solar-powered farms in San Diego and the San Joaquin Valley. But WorldWater didn’t come into existence to fuel agriculture. 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

PCDI teacher Melissa Edwards and Ginny.

A spectrum of challenges and hopeful possibilities

By Donald Gilpin

Autism now affects one in 68 children and one in 42 boys in the United States. New Jersey, with one in 48 children and one in 28 boys, has the highest rate of autism in the country. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined, and the cost of supporting an individual with autism during his or her lifespan can be upwards of $2.4 million.

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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

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

A Place to Create and Collaborate

By Anne Levin 

Photographs courtesy of Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Art

Staging one of her dances for the Lyon Opera Ballet in France a few decades ago, choreographer Susan Marshall was thrilled to find herself in a newly remodeled, state-of-the-art theater with spacious rehearsal studios and plenty of room to test out her ideas. It was like a dream come true, “a sort of fantasy that was actually happening,” Marshall recalls.

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“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

By Wendy Plump

No one is asking children to give up their sports. But it’s getting a little crazy out there.

In one generation, sports have gone from child’s play to a proving ground for elite athletes—many of whom haven’t even graduated eighth grade—who commit to strenuous schedules, trainers, travel teams, coaches, aggressive tactics, and year-round seasons that give a young body no quarter for rest and growth. Coaches book flights to cities far beyond their hometowns. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for participation fees. And college recruiters wait eagerly in the background until it’s time to dangle offers that are impossible to resist. 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

Building Community through the Arts: Student-artist Victoria Wayland of Princeton, with the poster she designed for the Arts Council of Princeton’s 50th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of the Arts Council of Princeton)

By Doug Wallack 

On Saturday, September 16, the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will host a community-wide 50th birthday party, featuring food from local vendors, live music, games, a community birthday cake, and more. The event is intended to be a celebration of the organization’s mission: Building Community Through the Arts. more

Describe Chapin’s history and campus.

In 1931, Chapin’s first head of school and founder, Frances Chapin, began teaching reading at 23 Chambers Street in Princeton. Under her leadership, enrollment grew steadily, additional grade levels were incorporated, and the curriculum expanded. Requiring successively larger spaces to accommodate the increases in the student body and faculty, the school moved to its permanent home on Princeton Pike in 1958. more

Describe The Pennington School’s history and current campus. 

I am lucky to be headmaster of a school with such a long history. The Pennington School was founded by the Methodist Church in 1838, and this year we will graduate our 180th class of seniors. We began accepting international students in 1885, and have always embraced students from all religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  more

When was Princeton Academy founded and what grades does it serve?

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1998. We are an independent all-boys school serving boys in kindergarten through grade eight. more