PUTTING IN MYLES: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens drives to the hoop in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star and tri-captain Stephens chipped in 16 points and four assists as Princeton defeated Cal Poly 80-60 in improving to 4-6.  Stephens, who had 19 points and eight rebounds in a 69-58 win over Monmouth on December 12, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. After playing at Southern Cal on December 19, the Tigers head across the Pacific Ocean to compete in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Myles Stephens and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s basketball team, their 71-60 defeat at George Washington earlier this month proved to be a wake-up call. more

By Doug Wallack

Photos Courtesy of Friends of Washington Crossing Park

On a chilly Christmas Day in 1953, a crowd of about 700 gathered on the banks of the Delaware River as a crew of six men rowed across from Pennsylvania in commemoration of George Washington’s iconic 1776 crossing—a grueling feat of logistical prowess and grit that enabled the Continental Army to defeat the Hessian mercenaries encamped at Trenton, and the British at Princeton just over a week later. The crossing marked the beginning of what historians call the “Ten Crucial Days” that restored the morale of the American troops, who had before then been flailing badly. more

JOIN THE CLUB: Charter Club, designed in 1913 by Philadelphia architect Arthur Meigs, is among the palatial Princeton University eating clubs profiled in a new book by local author and historian Clifford Zink. Meigs was a member of Charter Club and the Class of 1903.

By Anne Levin

Back in the mid-19th century when Princeton University was still called The College of New Jersey, undergraduates had a hard time finding a decent meal. This gastronomic inadequacy regularly sent students to local taverns and inns, much to the disapproval of faculty at Nassau Hall. more

By Donald Gilpin

The relationship between Princeton University and Iran goes back a long way—at least 110 years to 1907 when Howard Baskerville, Class of 1907, went to Iran to teach science and English. He died at age 24 fighting alongside his students for constitutional democracy, but his memory lives on for many Iranians, and his grave is preserved in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz. more

By Anne Levin

Photographs Courtesy of The Historical Society of Princeton

Back in the 1930s, my grandparents considered moving from Philadelphia to Princeton and opening up a medical office for my grandfather, an obstetrician. But as Jews, they worried about discrimination. So they stayed put.

Some eight decades later, such trepidations would seem unfounded. Princeton’s Jewish community coexists collegially among other religions and cultural groups. The town prides itself on diversity. Being Jewish in Princeton is, you might say, no big deal. more

Liam McKernan and Greg Wood (Photo by T. Charles Erickson).

By Donald H. Sanborn III

It is good to be children sometimes,” writes Charles Dickens, “and never better than at Christmas.” For children who enjoy acting, singing, and dancing, it is even better to live in the Princeton area. Xander Kurian, Julianna Pallacan, Michael Karnaukh, and Camille Grove are four of the child performers who have been selected to be part of this year’s Young Ensemble in McCarter Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. more

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