Frank Wojciechowski

Former students of acclaimed author JOYCE CAROL OATES joined with her colleagues in the creative writing program Nov. 7 to celebrate her 36 years of teaching at Princeton. Ten alumni writers spoke of the influence Oates had on their careers; pictured are, from left, Christopher Beha ’02, Walter Kirn ’83, Oates, and Kristiana Kahakauwila ’03. “Writing is a very solitary, obsessive activity,” said Oates, who has published more than 100 books. “Working with young writers is expansive and always surprising.”

Several alumni talked of working with Oates on their senior theses, which later grew into published works. Oates is retiring in June from full-time teaching at the University, but will teach a course at Princeton each fall.

WATCH Panel discussions from the Fest in honor of Joyce Carol Oates

Alumni and other members of the Princeton community can participate in the University’s STRATEGIC-PLANNING PROCESS by offering their views on a new website: Several task forces will develop recommendations in areas including online education, the Graduate School, service and civic engagement, and entrepreneurship. President Eisgruber ’83 said the planning process is expected to take about two years.