The University is commissioning PORTRAITS of eight alumni and former administrators to reflect the diversity of the Princeton community: former Sen. Bill Bradley ’65; Denny Chin ’75, the first Asian American appointed a U.S. district judge outside California and Hawaii; cell biologist and National Medal of Science winner Elaine Fuchs *77; Robert J. Rivers ’53, one of Princeton’s first black students and a retired professor of clinical surgery; Sonia Sotomayor ’76, the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice; computer science pioneer Alan Turing *38, an icon in the history of LGBT rights; Carl A. Fields, a Princeton official who was the first black dean in the Ivy League; and Ruth Simmons, a Princeton administrator who became the first woman president of Brown University and the first black president of an Ivy League school.
The University said the portraits will recognize individuals who “have been pre-eminent in a particular field, have excelled in the nation’s service and the service of humanity, or have made a significant contribution to the culture of Princeton.”
A gift from Sumir Chadha ’93 has enabled the creation of the M.S. CHADHA CENTER FOR GLOBAL INDIA, which will explore contemporary India and its economy, politics, and culture. The center is named for Chadha’s grandfather, who served as the director general of health services for India. Chadha is the co-founder and managing director of WestBridge Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on India.
Gifts from six other alumni also will support the study of India and its impact on the world, including a professorship and a global seminar. “India is a key to the world of tomorrow — precisely what we’re educating our students for,” said history professor Stephen Kotkin, the director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).
STEVEN COWLEY *85, a theoretical physicist with international experience in plasma physics and fusion science, will become director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL) July 1. Cowley was a staff scientist at PPPL from 1987 to 1993 and also taught at the University. He was a UCLA faculty member from 1993 to 2008 before leading the fusion-research program for the United Kingdom from 2008 to 2016. Most recently, he has been president of Corpus Christi College and professor of physics at Oxford University. President Eisgruber ’83 praised Cowley as “a spectacularly good physicist and a proven leader of large-scale scientific projects.”
Four faculty members are among 173 recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships to pursue scholarly and creative projects in the arts. They are: classics professor BROOKE HOLMES, whose research focuses on ancient medicine and life science, Greek literature, and ancient philosophy; MARTIN KERN, professor of East Asian studies, for his project “Performance, Memory, and Authorship in Ancient China: The Formation of the Poetic Tradition”; history professor EKATERINA PRAVILOVA, for her project “Political Money: A History of the Russian Ruble, 1768-1917”; and MONICA YOUN ’93, lecturer in creative writing, who has written three books of poetry.
More than 100 students took part in the PRINCETON ECOTRACKER challenge held in April, making small lifestyle changes to be more ecologically friendly such as washing their clothes with cold water or eating more vegetarian meals. Using an app developed by Amber Lin ’19 for an engineering course, the students earned points that could be redeemed for gift cards at eco-friendly businesses. The goal, Lin said, is to lower barriers — such as concerns about cost or convenience — to acting sustainably, and she hopes to expand the app for her senior thesis.