‘Virtual’ tour of campus, photo exhibit cast light on Princeton’s past, present

Photos in the “Hyphen” exhibition by Angélica María Vielma ’18 of Pharr, Texas, a town near the Mexican border: “Frances,” left, portrays her grandmother’s grave, where her family leaves crosses, bouquets, and other items throughout the year; “St. Jude’s Grotto,” right, shows Vielma’s sister kneeling in front of a grotto to St. Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of desperate cases and impossible causes.
Angélica María Vielma

The University has introduced a web-based multimedia tour that tells the stories of African Americans on Princeton’s campus, and has created a photo exhibition that focuses on students today and in the past. 

Those returning for Reunions will be able to see and hear the two projects, part of a University effort to make Princeton more inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds:

• A campus tour for mobile devices and desktop computers that contains text, audio, and other “virtual markers” that users can click on to learn more. Topics include slavery at Maclean House (formerly the president’s house), early black employees and students, the development of the African American studies program, and the ’70s-era activist group the Association of Black Collegians. To access the tour, visit bit.ly/icon-history. Additional themed multimedia tours are planned in the next year.

• A portrait-photography exhibition exploring the identities of students and young alumni is on display in Chancellor Green. The exhibition, titled “Hyphen,” contains 29 photos — most grouped in pairs — by 10 students and young alumni and touches upon themes ranging from pregnancy and beauty, to Muslim family life, to Instagram personalities. “Students hyphenate their lives when they come to college because they have a home life and another life here,” said visual arts professor Jeff Whetstone, who chairs the campus working group on diversifying public spaces. “They’re not just students — they’re sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.”