Princetonians delivering Commencement speeches this spring advised grads to “listen to that scream in your belly” (David E. Kelley ’79, above, at Colby College), “learn to dream big” (Sonia Sotomayor ’76 at Manhattan College), and “co-construct a vision of the future that works for all, not for some” (Wendy Kopp ’89 at the University of California, Berkeley). Read our roundup of alumni speakers and honorary-degree recipients at PAW Online.
Joanne Ramos ’95, author of the Marie Claire book-club pick The Farm, speaks with the magazine about a disheartening experience in a Princeton fiction workshop and how she returned to writing fiction years later. — Marie Claire
Former American diplomat Lew Lukens ’86 *03 tells NPR correspondent Frank Langfitt ’86 that President Donald Trump’s policy choices and blunt manner have taken a toll on the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States. — NPR
“[M]y grandpa was weirdly proud of me. ‘Ellie, we’ve always wanted to have a stand-up comedian in the family.’ Bless. Also, liar! What family has always wanted to have a stand-up comedian in it?”
— Class Day speaker Ellie Kemper ’02, on her choice to pursue “the most undependable career, ever” (it was improv, actually, not stand-up) after graduating from Princeton. Watch Kemper’s speech or read a transcript on the University website.
Craig Mazin ’92, creator of the HBO series Chernobyl, and Ana DuVernay, writer and director of Netflix’s When They See Us, discuss the challenges of telling stories that focus on true events. — Variety
Opera countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen ’15 says he discovered his remarkable singing range when he was in middle school and wanted to stay in the children’s choir after his voice dropped. — San Francisco Chronicle
Several traditional clothing retailers are launching subscription rental services that use technology from Christine Hunsicker ’99’s company CaaStle; Hunsicker says the services strengthen brands by attracting new customers. — CBC News
Reporter Pam Belluck ’85 discusses the challenges of speaking with subjects about traumatic experiences, including genital cutting, the topic of one of her recent stories. — The New York Times
In a recent opinion column about Facebook’s refusal to remove a doctored video of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Missouri journalism professor Kathy Kiely ’77writes that the “digital technology that proponents thought would turbocharge democracy has instead come to threaten it.” — USA Today
The race to deliver the latest scoop has a long history, Columbia journalism professor Andie Tucher ’76 explains, citing examples of reporters who used sailboats, railroad handcars, and carrier pigeons to deliver the news. — Columbia Journalism Review
Thirty years after the Chinese government’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square, The New York Times republished its coverage of the events, including work by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn *88 that won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. — The New York Times
When the international community officially adopted a new definition for the kilogram, New Zealand’s Measurement Standards Laboratory celebrated the change by asking Julia Ratcliffe ’16, a hammer thrower on the national track and field team, to toss a copy of the country’s official kilogram. — The Wall Street Journal
The life of major-league catcher and World War II spy Moe Berg 1923 has been the subject of several books, a 2017 Paul Rudd film, and now, a documentary that seeks to tell “the real story” of Berg’s life. — Los Angeles Times
Princeton baseball alum Ben Gross ’18, who pitched for Duke as a graduate student this spring, was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft. Tiger pitcher Ryan Smith ’19 was selected in the 18th round by the Los Angeles Angels, a day after his graduation. — NJ.com, GoPrincetonTigers.com