Three significant gifts by alumni were announced by the University in October.


MICHAEL NOVOGRATZ ’87 and his wife, SUKEY CACERES NOVOGRATZ ’89, donated $4 million to support the expansion of the ­University’s bridge-year program, which allows incoming freshmen to defer their enrollment for a year and spend nine months participating in service abroad. The program expanded from 20 to 28 students this fall. “Bridge year is one way Princeton gives students an incredible learning experience, and helps prepare them for leadership on a global scale,” said Michael Novogratz, a principal and director with Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based global investment-management firm.


The five-story psychology building that is part of the neuroscience and psychology complex nearing completion on the southern edge of campus will be named for two alumni who have made a $20 million gift, NANCY PERETSMAN ’76 and her husband, ROBERT SCULLY ’72, shown with their daughter, Emma Scully ’12. Peretsman, who co-chaired the University’s Aspire campaign, is a managing director at Allen & Co., an investment-banking firm in New York. Scully retired from Morgan Stanley in 2009 after 35 years in the ­financial-services industry. “Peretsman-Scully Hall is an eloquent expression of Nancy’s commitment to the Aspire campaign,” President Tilghman said. “She and Bob have given an enormous boost to one of its core ­priorities.”


The first building to be named among those planned for the University’s arts complex south of McCarter, shown in rendering, will be called the ­Wallace Dance Building and Theater. It is named for MONTE J. WALLACE ’53 and his brother, NEIL W. WALLACE ’55, who together donated $15 million. The Wallaces founded General Investment & Development Cos., a privately held real estate and investment holding firm based in Boston, in 1959, and they spent their careers there. Monte Wallace served as chairman of the $125 million development program for Princeton in 1968–79. A gift from the brothers created Wallace Hall, a social-sciences building.


A visit to the Twitter page of BEN TAUB ’14 reveals that he’s not the average Princeton student. Tweets on the situation in Syria alternate with posts like this: “Performed with @CeeLoGreen and @MuppetsStudio last night in Las Vegas!” Instead of spending what would be his senior year at Princeton, Taub chose to compete on the third season of NBC’s The Voice — a stint that made performing on pop star Cee-Lo Green’s Vegas Christmas special with the Muppets a possibility.

On Sept. 18, Taub was selected by Green to be on his “team” — one of four on the show, each headed by a celebrity artist — but four weeks later he was eliminated from the competition. A philosophy major who sang with the Katzenjammers, Taub saw a parallel between the University and the show. “It is exciting to be around people who are as driven to strive for success in music as most students are driven to strive for success in academics,” he said.