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On Saturday, November 19 from 2 to 3 p.m., Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve presents a special event with French native and master falconer Gregory Wojtera. The program will introduce the audience to the history and significance of falconry as it relates to both the past and present. It will also touch on the biology and natural history of our native raptor species and their longstanding cohabitation and means of communication with humans.  more

On Wednesday, October 19 at 12 p.m., Morven Museum presents an entirely virtual experience on the subject of “The Mysterious World of the Garden Grotto.” General admission is $5 and free for Morven Museum and Garden members. The Zoom webinar link will be shared via email prior to the event date. A recording will be sent to those registered following the program. Purchase tickets in advance at https://bit.ly/3e0Uaytmore

Join the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) on Wednesday, October 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for “Art of People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos.” From collecting art to tasting wine, the ART OF series aims to introduce attendees to the endless creativity and innovation in the community. Created by locals, for locals, these all-inclusive experiences require no supplies or commitment. Just bring your friends and the ACP will do the rest. more

The Mercer Museum’s annual fall fundraiser, Cocktails at the Castle, returns to Doylestown, Pa., on Saturday, October 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. for a night of culinary delights and cocktails, all in support of the Mercer Museum’s education programs, exhibitions, and community initiatives. 

Guests will enjoy a lively evening on the grounds of Mercer Museum with delicious food options from Bucks County culinary purveyors, along with craft cocktail creations and exceptional entertainment. more

Broadhurst is the 47th Bucks County Designer House & Gardens presented by the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown (VIA). Proceeds from the Designer House benefit Doylestown Hospital and the mission of the VIA.

Guests will be able to tour more than 20 design areas throughout the house and gardens, and shop designer decor throughout the property and at the three boutiques.  more

Bloomingdale’s celebrates 150 years of fashion, firsts, and fun by looking back at some of the major milestones the company has achieved since debuting in 1872. The celebratory events in Manhattan include designer pop-ups at 59th Street, fashion exclusives, and discounts. The well-known 50th Street windows on Lexington Avenue will also come to life in innovative new ways with augmented reality and live performances.  more

 

Arts Ed NJ has been approved for a $500,000 multi-year grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The grant was awarded to support its mission as a unifying organization and central resource for arts education information, policy, and advocacy in New Jersey. 

“We are so proud to have continued support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,” said Arts Ed NJ Executive Director Wendy Liscow. “This grant is a testimony to years of hard work from all our partners across New Jersey who have fought to make New Jersey a leader in arts education.” more

Dear Princeton Magazine Readers,

Welcome to the latest edition of your Princeton Magazine.

As each issue comes out, people stop me in the street and the usual comment is, “That was the best issue yet!” This time I think our team of writers, editors, graphic artists, and even the marketers, who found such wonderful advertisers, have outdone themselves and I am proud to bring you this “best issue yet!”

It is all about Princeton and its diversity — of race, of culture, of talent, of entrepreneurship, and of interests. It also shows how important women are in the endeavors coming out of Princeton, from landscape architecture, to music, to public policy, to philanthropy, and even to writing in the wonderful style of this magazine.

We start with the cover story and “the best old place of all,” as its alumni sing, and its amazingly thoughtful leader, Chris Eisgruber, who took the time to answer questions from our Wendy Greenberg. In doing so, President Eisgruber laid out his admission strategy for first-generation, low-income students. He talked about Princeton being the “best” because everybody loves it — the students, the faculty, the alumni, the parents, and even the town’s people where it is located: Princeton!

Though some of our citizens complain from time to time, you have to admit that the town of Princeton is the special and “best” place that it is because of the University.

I often think about what this town would be like if there were a corporation rather than an educational institution across Nassau Street. Their buildings would have been depreciated, or their 20-year lease was up, or their taxes had become too high, or they were bought by another company (like RCA was bought by GE), or they got a great offer from another town or even another state, so they left. What would that do to our town? I find comfort in the fact that Princeton, the University, has been here for 275 years and it isn’t going away, and that makes the town of Princeton truly “the best old place of all!”  more

Q&A with Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber

Interview by Wendy Greenberg | Photography Courtesy of Princeton University, Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy

In its 275th year, Princeton University has a lot to celebrate. As students return for the fall semester, two new residential colleges have opened — Yeh College and New College West — with the goal of increasing the number of undergraduates by about 10 percent. This past year ground was broken across Lake Carnegie for the Lake Campus Development, which will include graduate student housing, athletics, and recreational facilities. Add to the campus development an engineering and environmental studies complex, and a new art museum, anticipated to open in late 2024.

At the helm of all the activity is Christopher L. Eisgruber, a 1983 alumnus, who will continue in his role as the 20th president of the University for at least the next five years. On April 9, the board of trustees extended his presidency as the school looks toward the expansion of its undergraduate student body, increasing investments in emerging areas of science and innovation, gains in philanthropy, and the ambitious building program. Trustees cited “transformational gains” in student body diversity and philanthropic support, accomplishments that have enhanced the University’s teaching and research, and historic campus expansion as reasons to extend Eisgruber’s tenure.

Eisgruber received his A.B. in physics from Princeton in 1983, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned an M.Litt. in politics at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. cum laude at the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the law review. After clerking for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Eisgruber taught at New York University’s School of Law for 11 years.

Joining the Princeton University faculty in 2001 as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs, he served as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He directed Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs from 2001 to 2004 before being named provost in 2004. He has served as president since July 2013. more

From left are Edrice Robinson-Wyatt, Sharice Richardson, Santiago Mesa Botero, Joshua Cortes-Salazar, Amanda Bachan, and Holly Grace Nelson.

Meet Local Landscape and Garden Design Experts

By Taylor Smith | Photography By Jeffrey T. Tryon

New Jersey is lucky enough to experience four distinct seasons that dramatically change the color, feel, and functionality of one’s own backyard. The landscape architects, gardeners, and designers interviewed here are the perfect professionals to call upon when your goal is to enhance and better enjoy your outdoor living space. From incorporating wildlife and water features to elaborate hardscape designs and tree planting, these experts are all highly qualified to help your garden dreams become a reality. In addition, enhancing one’s outdoor living areas not only improves the look of the home, it has also been shown to increase property value, making it a savvy financial investment.

Ronni Hock, Founder of Ronni Hock Garden & Landscape

When working with a particular client, where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from their imagination as well as personality to create a collective vision. Our initial meeting is the key. I focus as much on their taste, background, and lifestyle as I do on the actual space. My questions tend to evolve around “Who are you and what do you really like?” Since I have a strong passion for creating unique and inspirational gardens as the focal point of each project, I seek to balance what color, texture, and variety of plant material they prefer with what I think works best. Regardless of the number of walls, pathways, water features, or outdoor structures I include in a design, I find the best balance of hardscaping and landscaping comes from a garden-centric approach. more

Photo by Charles R. Plohn

The Old-Fashioned Way

By Anne Levin

When Inez Howell donated her Hopewell Township farm to Mercer County in 1974, she requested that its 126 acres be used to teach future generations about early 19th century rural life. “Milking a cow, gathering eggs in a homemade basket, helping to shear sheep, carding wool, spinning and weaving,” she wrote in her letter to the county. “A farm has always been a great place for exploring.”

Nearly five decades later, Howell Living History Farm is all that, and more. The benefactor, who donated the farm in memory of her husband, would undoubtedly be pleased to see visitors, especially young ones, not just observing the plowing, planting, and harvesting of the hay, wheat, rye, clover, corn, and potatoes grown in the fields — but taking an active role in the process. The original tract of donated farmland is now a 267-acre historical park that attracts more than 55,000 visitors a year, and some 10,000 school children.

One aspect of the farm’s operations that Howell is unlikely to have imagined is the corn maze, an innovation that has become one of its most popular fall attractions. For the past 25 years, visitors have been challenged to make their way through the maze’s two miles of corn stalk-shrouded pathways, carved into four acres of cornfields. Along the way, they discover clues to help them answer questions posed on a game board. Overseeing it all is a maze master in a tower, who sends out rescuers to help those who can’t find their way out.

Each maze has a theme which, if viewed from above, forms a giant picture. This year’s version takes its inspiration from a vintage carousel that is currently being restored at the farm. more

Top left, Students in front of the Cedar Grove schoolhouse, 1904. (Historical Society of Princeton)

New Digital Tour Goes Back to the Mid-19th Century

By Laurie Pellichero

Going all the way back to Betsey Stockton and her No. 6 School in the 1830s and continuing to present day, “Princeton’s Public Schools: A History,” a new digital tour presented by the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP), in partnership with Princeton Public Schools (PPS), traces the history of public education as it developed in Princeton through the stories of 21 schools.

The 19-part tour, which is illustrated with photographs, documents, and oral histories, draws on materials and research collected for “150+ Years of Princeton Public Schools,” a 2009 exhibition at Princeton High School. Curated by Lisa Paine, Charlotte Bialek, and a team of volunteers, the show was the result of resources gathered from PPS, the HSP, Princeton Public Library, and Princeton University Libraries.

“When I started volunteering for Princeton Public Schools, I did research at the Historical Society of Princeton archives and learned that Princeton’s school system was over 150 years old,” says Paine. “The materials in the historical society’s collection and in Princeton Public Schools’ archives documenting that long history inspired me to develop the 2009 exhibition.”

At the suggestion of then PPS Assistant Supervisor Robert Ginsberg, a revised wall display of the exhibition was mounted at the Valley Road administrative building in the summer of 2021. Since building restrictions due to COVID-19 limited viewership, the PPS began working with the HSP to convert it into a digital tour that more could enjoy. The completed digital tour was released in May.

Stephanie Schwartz, HSP curator of collections and research, said, “HSP is thrilled to present ‘Princeton’s Public Schools’ alongside our existing digital tours. As many of the families who saw the original 2009 exhibition have graduated from the school system, it’s the perfect time to being these stories to a new and larger audience.” more

By Taylor Smith

Julia Breen Wall

Discuss your own background and beliefs in the benefits of an all-girls education. How has this impacted your personal and professional career?

I have lived and breathed students, schools, and school leadership my whole life. As the daughter of two school principals, our family’s social life was going to school games, plays, and community events. I have always felt at home in the adaptive rhythm and joyful energy of a school; there is so much magic that is created within its walls. It is a breathing organism in every sense of the word.
I came to first understand the mission of girls’ education through the lens of my teaching experience. Teaching English to a classroom of girls in a community intentionally designed with their empowerment at the center articulated so clearly the benefits of that affinity space — where all doors remain open, where girls fill all leadership seats, and where girls are the center of the story. I was hooked! My mission as an educator was clear: to build and support schools that lift up high-achieving girls and young women who will fulfill their potential and lead our world into the future. And I have never looked back.

In what ways does faculty excellence play a role in creating a positive environment for young women to learn and grow?

The faculty of a school are its heart center. The research is clear: students who feel connected to their teachers are more likely to be engaged. Now, this requires a teacher to know each student, and to identify her own personal gifts and talents. One of the things that most excites me about leading Stuart’s faculty is that our small size allows time and space to know every girl and to support her journey. In getting to know our faculty, this aspect is one of their favorite qualities of working here.

In my mind, a true mark of faculty excellence is a deep and demonstrated commitment to professional development. We live in a rapidly changing world, and our investment in curricular and program innovation is fueled by significant investment in our faculty’s continued education. This ensures that the entire school community is continuously learning. I can’t think of a better way to model learning and leadership for our students than a teacher learning and adapting alongside their students, even (and especially!) when it feels risky, uncharted, and difficult. more

“MUTTS” Creator Patrick McDonnell’s Collaboration with the Dalai Lama — and Other Pet Projects

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Patrick McDonnell is a versatile author and illustrator with varied projects to his credit. He draws the comic strip MUTTS — which appears daily in newspapers worldwide — and he has created or co-created children’s books, a retrospective of cartoonist George Herriman, and a MUTTS-themed New Jersey license plate. His collaborators include Eckhart Tolle and Jane Goodall.

McDonnell’s work has been adapted for stage shows and animation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the PETA Humanitarian Award, the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, and several Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip.

A longtime advocate for animals and the environment, McDonnell is a board member of the Fund For Animals, the Charles M. Schulz Museum, and the D&R Greenway Land Trust. He resides in Princeton with his wife (and business manager) Karen O’Connell, along with their rescue dog and formerly feral cat.

McDonnell’s upcoming book, Heart to Heart, is scheduled for publication in January 2023. Created in collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the book discusses the environment, animals, and compassion. Of Heart to Heart, the Dalai Lama says, “It is my hope that this book will open the eyes, minds, and hearts of all people.“ more

Artistic Director Michelle Djokic Brings Musicians Together in Historic Settings

By Lori Goldstein

Exactly who are the Concordia Chamber Players? If you scan the past seasons on the Concordia website, you’ll find an ever-changing roster of world-class musicians. The one constant is Michelle Djokic, the founder, artistic director, and cellist always-in-residence for the past 25 years.

“I almost feel like I’m a puppeteer, manipulating things from up above but also one of the puppets down below,” says Djokic. “I see the whole experience as so many different elements involved: it’s not just simply the music, not just the composers.” And not just all the musicians whom she invites to share in the retreat-like environment of New Hope, Pennsylvania.

How the burgeoning cultural mecca came to be the Concordia Chamber Players’ home is a story that stretches back to Djokic’s childhood. In the 1960s, when her family was living in Trenton, her father would take her to visit New Hope. As they passed by the studio of esteemed woodworker George Nakashima, Djokic’s father would say, “This is really important work.” He recognized the significance of the artist long before people knew who Nakashima was. “Then we’d look at all the artists’ work in town,” says Djokic. “I always had a sense that there was something uniquely special, a safe harbor for artists in that region.”

When Djokic’s parents moved to New Hope 30 years ago, she befriended members of the community. During a lunch with her friends, she expressed a desire to bring her colleagues from New York to New Hope to make chamber music. She knew her musician friends would enjoy a respite from the city, and it would be a gift to the New Hope community to hear their music. “It’s as close to playing in Europe as I could find in this country,” she says. more

Ambassador Adela Raz, left, attends unveiling ceremony for gift to the U.N. from the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at U.N. Headquarters on June 28, 2021 in New York City. (Shutterstock.com)

Under the leadership of Adela Raz, Princeton’s Afghanistan Policy Lab aims to restore educational opportunities to girls, and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in her nation

By Ilene Dube

When students in the U.S. missed up to two years of schooling during the height of the pandemic, experts weighed in on the harm done to the nation’s youth. And yet when the Taliban first took control of Afghanistan (1996-2001), girls were banned from going to school altogether, missing out on five years of their education. Sadly, since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, girls in Afghanistan are once again barred from the classroom.

Adela (pronounced Ahd-ullah) Raz was 10 years old when the Taliban came to Kabul in 1996 and shut down the schools. An ardent student, she had just completed a skeleton drawing for biology class — a project she proudly absorbed herself in for days — and would have to hide it away in a closet.

Despite the five-year gap, Raz was lucky, she says, to live in an educated community. Her parents knew education was essential — her father, who had completed his higher education in Japan, worked at Kabul University and as a civil servant in the ministries of economics, culture, planning, and international relations. “He said education is the wealth that no one can steal from you,” she recounts.

When it became apparent that the schools would not reopen, teachers turned their homes into classrooms. It was through such homeschooling that Raz would learn to speak fluent English. Soon her mother opened a school, teaching sewing, and Raz, not yet 16, began teaching first graders reading, writing, and basic math.

Through hard work and drive, Raz grew up to become the first female deputy spokesperson and director of communications for President Hamid Karzai in 2013. From there she became the deputy foreign minister and, in 2018, the first female permanent representative and ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations (U.N.). more

Join author Clifford Zink on Saturday, October 8 at 10 a.m. for a walking tour outside Princeton University’s storied and majestic eating clubs. Learn about the architecture, origins, and development of the 16 Classical and Gothic-style clubhouses, which date from 1895 to 1928. There will be an opportunity to visit inside one of the eating clubs; masks will be required during this portion of the tour. Copies of Zink’s 2017 book, The Princeton Eating Clubs, will be available for sale at a discounted price at the tour.  more

By Stuart Mitchner

Her love of beauty and order is everywhere visible in what she planted for our delight.” The words honoring landscape architect Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959) are engraved on a bench adjacent to the Princeton University chapel.

Reviewing the 2009 edition of Beatrix Farrand: Garden Artist, Landscape Architect (The Monacelli Press $60), The New York Times Sunday Book Review alerted “English majors” to the fact that the book “does double duty as a companion” to the novels of Farrand’s aunt Edith Wharton, whose friend Henry James knew young Beatrix as “Trix.” An updated edition of Judith B. Tankard’s monograph has been released on the occasion of Farrand’s 150th birthday.

Early Farrand

Farrand was still Beatrix Jones when she sent a letter to the editor of the September 6, 1893 issue of Garden and Forest, observing how “the White Pine makes an excellent background for the Red Oak (Q. rubra), which in spring emphasizes the gray tree bearing its ‘candles,’ as the country children call the new white growth, while in the autumn the Pine retires to its place as foil for the Oak, which is first gorgeous in red and fades into brown as it prepares for winter.” Also mentioned, the “Hemlock and White Ash” are “striking together in spring or fall, and at the turn of the leaf the Scarlet Maple seems ablaze near a group of the White and Black Spruces.” Beatrix ends the paragraph with a flourish that must have impressed Aunt Edith and Mr. James: “the stately Yellow and Paper Birches are noticed in damp places, and the Pitch Pine, clinging like a limpet to an impossibly steep rock, looks like a tree on a Japanese fan.”

At 21, “Trix” clearly not only showed signs of her aunt’s literary abilities, she had the eye of a painter, and would one day envision the owner of a garden as “the leader of an orchestra” who must know “which instruments to encourage and which to restrain.” With the last analogy in mind, you could compare the Princeton campus to a symphony created and conducted by Farrand during her years (1912-1943) as the University’s landscape architect.

Her melodious handiwork included the graduate college, McCosh and Blair walks, Holder courtyard, and Prospect Gardens. An architectural tour of the campus conducted in Princeton University and Neighboring Institutions (The Campus Guide $12.55) finds the rules Farrand established for Princeton’s landscape design “as defining an element of the Princeton style as Collegiate Gothic.” Even after her relationship with the University ended, “succeeding landscape architects and gardeners followed the design and planting principles she laid down.” more

Standing on the plot of land once owned by Joseph Bonaparte — former King of Naples and Spain and brother of Napoleon – garden steward Lara Periard shares her enthusiasm for developing the Point Breeze Historic Garden.

“This project is unique for several reasons,” Periard says. “Unlike a standard vegetable garden or farm, its purpose is to represent the history of the land, as well as to grow food for donation to the community. We are growing historic crops, primarily what would’ve been grown by Bonaparte’s gardener at the time.” more

On Friday, October 21 at 8 p.m., Hopewell Theater presents Somebody’s Daughter, a one-woman show based on Zara Phillip’s book of the same title. The performance features live music accompaniment by folk-rock legend Richard Thompson. 

The play tells the story of Zara Phillips, adopted as a baby in the 1960s, becoming a backing vocalist to well-known bands in the 1980s, and getting sober at 22. The play is performed with no-holds-barred honesty about having an unconventional upbringing, adoption, life on the road with musical artists, and learning to navigate her own experience as a mother and sober woman.  more