Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ’71 and financier Arminio Fraga *85 received Princeton’s top alumni honors at Alumni Day Feb. 23.

Fraga, a former president of the central bank of Brazil, was the Madison Medalist, earning the University’s highest award for graduate alumni. Daniels, now the president of Purdue University, won this year’s Wilson Award, which recognizes distinguished undergraduate alumni.

Wilson Award recipient Mitch Daniels ’71.
Wilson Award recipient Mitch Daniels ’71.

Daniels said that receiving the honor this year was meaningful for two reasons: “It happens as I am entering a world I never expected to — that is, higher education — but also that it happened in the year that Shirley Tilghman is passing off the scene at Princeton after a dozen spectacularly successful years at Princeton — the kind a new president can only hope to emulate. … I’ve already ordered one of those little rubber bracelets, you know, WWSD: What Would Shirley Do.”

In her final Alumni Day as president, Tilghman was feted with a video tribute titled “We Heart Shirley,” which compiled photos and clips of alumni and others sharing their appreciation. (Click here to watch.)

The weekend also featured Tilghman and Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 in a wide-ranging conversation on women’s leadership and work-life balance, held on Friday.

Slaughter, a prominent faculty member, former Woodrow Wilson School dean, and former director of policy planning at the State Department, has become a leading figure in the debate over why women still lag behind men in leadership positions — and why women can’t “have it all.”

“Every generation has to have this conversation,” Slaughter said, pointing out in the audience Lisa Belkin ’82, author of the much-discussed 2003 article “The Opt-Out Revolution,” about Princeton-educated women who were quitting high-powered careers. Young women today “grew up absolutely being told they could do anything. They’re looking at women ahead of them and they are saying, ‘This doesn’t look so easy, and I want better choices.’”

At the Alumni Day luncheon on Saturday, the University honored six outstanding current students: Caroline Hanamirian ’13 and Jake Nebel ’13 received the Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize; and graduate students Angéle Christin, Laura Gandolfi, George Young, and Jiaying Zhao received the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship.

For a complete report on Alumni Day speakers and festivities, see the March 20 issue of PAW.