The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) announced a new initiative, SPIA in New Jersey, which aims to share policy expertise through collaborations with public officials, legislators, and nonprofit leaders throughout the state.
“We at SPIA take seriously our obligation to bring to bear the intellectual resources of our school to better the lives of our neighbors,” Dean Amaney Jamal said at an April 28 launch event, which featured keynote addresses by New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner ’82 and former New Jersey Attorney General John Farmer as well as panel discussions of two notable statewide issues, affordable housing and maternal health.
Anastasia Mann, a lecturer in public and international affairs, will serve as director of SPIA in New Jersey, and in 2024, the school will name its inaugural Garden State Fellows in the Public Interest. Up to three graduating SPIA majors or MPA recipients will be placed in 12-month fellowships at New Jersey nonprofits that address key policy areas.
Andrew Golden, the president of the Princeton University Investment Company (Princo) for the last 28 years, will step down from his position at the end of June 2024, according to a University announcement. His term has seen the Princeton endowment grow to $35.8 billion, as of the end of the last fiscal year (June 30, 2022), with an average annual return of 12.6%. The endowment funds 66% of the University’s $2.6 billion operating budget.
In the announcement, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 called Golden’s achievements “the stuff of legend” and said his leadership of Princo “has changed the economic model of this University, enabling us to support financial aid, graduate stipends, research excellence, and the teaching mission in ways that would otherwise have been unimaginable.”
How to Stand Up to a Dictator, by Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa ’86, will be the Princeton Pre-read for the Class of 2027. Ressa, a journalist and editor who co-founded the Philippines-based online news organization Rappler, has fought against disinformation and promoted press freedom. She continues to face legal battles in the Philippines, including an appeal of her 2020 conviction on the charge of cyber libel. According to CNN Philippines, the country’s Supreme Court allowed Ressa to travel abroad for speaking engagements in March and April, and a University release said she plans to join the incoming class for a discussion of her book during orientation week.
The University lifted most of its remaining COVID-19 mitigation policies in April, including the vaccine mandate for students, faculty, staff, and researchers. Princeton also plans to close its campus testing laboratory in early June but will continue to provide testing for symptomatic students through University Health Services. Princeton will still require anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for five days, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Sydnae Taylor ’23, a medical anthropology concentrator from Kingston, Jamaica, will study health, medicine, and society at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge scholar. Taylor’s selection was announced in April. She joins two recent graduates, Willow Dalehite ’22 and Ben Weissenbach ’20, who were named Gates Cambridge scholars in February.
Campus Dining switched to a fully plant-based menu at Forbes Dining Hall April 13, inviting students to “veg out” on sweet and savory specials that included jackfruit quesadillas, mushroom steaks with charred onions, and fresh smoothies that combined berries and beans. The program was the latest in a series of events that aim to build community around food, according to Nadeem Siddiqui, the assistant vice president in charge of dining. Earlier in the year, the University hosted a chef’s table for Black History Month with Valerie Erwin ’79, a Philadelphia chef and social activist, and a tasting with Native American chef Walter Whitewater and Lois Ellen Frank, a Native foods historian, to celebrate Native American Heritage month.
Howard Francis Taylor, a scholar of race, class, and gender who led Princeton’s Program in African American Studies, died March 21 at his home on Martha’s Vineyard. He was 83. Taylor joined the sociology faculty in 1973 and directed what was then known as Afro-American studies, bringing stability to the fledgling certificate program. He remained at the helm until 1988 and eventually retired from the University in 2007, a year after Princeton launched the Center for African American Studies and kicked off an expansion of its faculty in the field. As a mentor and adviser, Taylor played a “central role” in the lives of many Black students, according to a 2007 biography published by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
Robert Van Vranken Jr., a longtime Annual Giving administrator and honorary member of eight Princeton classes, died April 4 at age 87. Van Vranken, whose combined full-time service to the University covered 30 years, came to Princeton in 1966 and worked in the offices of the registrar and admission before joining the Annual Giving staff. Following his retirement as associate director
of Annual Giving, he returned in a part-time capacity from 2002 to 2011.