From the Publisher
Welcome to your Fall issue of Princeton Magazine.
It’s my job to tell you a little bit about what’s in a particular issue, and this issue is particularly interesting because there is a set of common themes that runs through most of the articles within.
One of the main themes is books, so I will begin by mentioning Stuart Mitchner’s Book Scene where he writes about Dr. Seuss and his 1971 book The Lorax, in which he taught the youth of the day about the oncoming climate change. Stuart also brings our attention to other children’s books on the topic.
I should point out that most of the subjects in this issue have actually written several books about their particular topic, and how it is being challenged and changed by the climate and by technology. That leads to another prevalent theme, “entrepreneurship,” in which, from an early age, many of our subjects were onto a question or a quest that they would pursue in their career.
Andrew Carnegie’s amazing entrepreneurship is captured in Laurie Pellichero’s article about Lake Carnegie’s creation through a $450,000 gift from Carnegie. He was self-taught by reading a lot of books and gave away about $350 million in the last 18 years of his life to numerous charities, foundations, and universities, among others, including the founding of 2,509 libraries. That gift would be in the billions in today’s dollars.
On a personal note, I was fascinated by the story about Lake Carnegie since I am in the midst of building a new personal home on its shores. After 40 years of living on the Delaware River, with its spectacular views, I had to have an equally dramatic view here in Princeton. Our beautiful lake provided it!
Lake Carnegie is also home to many types of birds, which leads us to Ilene Dube’s article on bird migration. Their Atlantic Flyway route gives New Jersey residents front-row seats as hundreds of species fly south in the fall.
Wendy Greenberg wrote our story that is directly about books and booksellers in her article about Labyrinth Books and its founding family of brothers Cliff and Peter Simms and Dorothea von Moltke, who is Cliff’s wife. They are sellers of books of today and yesterday.
It was fascinating to learn that Labyrinth also has a worldwide market with Great Jones Books, which they call their “secret sauce” and operates out of a warehouse in Pennington. Cliff and Dorothea describe their favorite books as those “that disrupt us.” They also live in a house where every room is lined with bookshelves and filled with books devoted to different subjects.
On the topic of collections, Donald H. Sanborn III introduces us to another collector and entrepreneur, Noel Barrett of Bucks County, Pa. Barrett is a collector, seller, and consultant on antique toys — toys that he fell in love with, had to have, and holds onto until he has too many and has to sell. It is interesting how technology and the internet have changed the main selling mode from in-person to virtual auctions.
We enter a world of even more advanced technology with Taylor Smith’s story on precision medicine through analysis of our genetic data, the effort of Dr. David Fajgenbaum, an associate professor of medicine in translational medicine and human genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. Fajgenbaum cured his own rare Castleman’s disease by defining its genetic profile and applying already approved medicines that were actually for different ailments.
Our writer Anne Levin takes us into the world of psychology and music with Elizabeth Margulis, Princeton University Professor of Music and head of its Music Cognition Lab. Margulis, a talented pianist in her own right, explores music and its connection to the mind. Music cognition “has its tentacles in everything“ says Margulis, who is married to McCarter Theatre Center’s new Executive Director, Martin Miller.
This new world of technology and AI and even politics is changing the traditional message of leaders of faith, and that is changing the education of religion in seminaries across the country. On our cover of this issue and throughout Donald Gilpin’s Q&A you will meet a leader of that change, Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton, the new president of Princeton Theological Seminary. Walton, who earned both his master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton Seminary, sees his educational mission as “bridging faith with a future-ready educational portfolio.”
This issue of Princeton Magazine leads us right into the holiday season and shopping for kids and grandkids. You can consider some of Noel Barrett’s antique toys, but you might also consider the array of toys that are so beautifully presented by Editor-in-Chief Lynn Adams Smith in her two pages of gifts for the younger set. Also, as a member of the board of Experience Princeton, I encourage you to “Shop Local” and give particular attention to our advertisers, without whose support there would not be a Princeton Magazine.
Finally, I hope you enjoy the amazing and artful graphics in this issue which were created by our Art Director, Jeff Tryon. I found the introductory page of each story to be both beautiful and compelling in hinting what I was about to read. Starting as a young graphic designer at The Hillier Group, Jeff has been with me for over 20 years.
Lynn Adams Smith and I, plus the entire team at Witherspoon Media Group, hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it for you. We all send you best wishes for the holiday season.
J. Robert Hillier, Lh.D., FAIA, PP