Photo: Ethan Sterenfeld

Steve Lucash, above right, the lead mechanic at the campus garage, walks students through the basics of car maintenance during January’s weeklong WINTERSESSION, which featured 42 noncredit classes taught by staff, students, and faculty. Activities this year ranged from learning Taiko drumming to baking banana bread. “Wintersession is good for community-building,” said Skyler Liu ’21, an instructor in the banana-bread class. “You get to know a lot of people that you normally wouldn’t get to meet.” 

Photo: Xun Lin
Alice Lin ’20, a mathematics concentrator from Berkeley Lake, Ga., has been selected as a CHURCHILL SCHOLAR. The scholarships, created by Winston Churchill and first awarded in 1963, recognize exceptional students from the United States who wish to pursue graduate studies in the sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Lin is among 15 recipients who will spend a year studying at the University of Cambridge. She plans to pursue a master’s in mathematics. 

In his annual “STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY” letter, President Eisgruber ’83 highlighted University achievements and reflected on concerning world developments such as ethnic stereotyping and immigration policies that could limit the flow of talent to Princeton. He also outlined construction projects that will “enhance our campus and amplify the power of our tremendously talented community of scholars.” To read the full letter, visit

In January, NELL IRVIN PAINTER, a Princeton professor emerita of history and visual artist, was appointed the new chair of the MacDowell Colony, an artists’ colony in Peterborough, N.H. Painter, a two-time MacDowell Fellow, is the first woman and first African American in the role. She succeeds Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon. 

Paul Needham, curator of Princeton’s Scheide Library, helped federal investigators recover a copy of a LETTER WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. Valued at $1.3 million, the letter was stolen from the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, Italy, more than 40 years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wilmington, Del., said. Needham examined the letter about 15 years ago, and after attending a conference in 2018, he realized it may be one of the stolen letters. He contacted the Justice Department. 

Titled “Columbus Letter Plannck I,” the letter includes details about Columbus’ voyages to the Americas. It was found in Delaware in the hands of an anonymous private collector who purchased the letter in 2003. At the time, the letter was not yet reported stolen. The collector voluntarily surrendered the letter, and it will be returned to Italy. 

Personal effects that once belonged to computer-science pioneer ALAN TURING *38, including his Princeton diploma and his Order of the British Empire medal, were recovered in Colorado, 35 years after they were stolen from the library of the Sherborne School, the boarding school Turing attended in England. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it plans to return the items to Sherborne.

Students in visiting professor Joe Richman’s audio-journalism class traveled to Mound Bayou, Miss., the first all-black town in the United States, over fall break to record interviews for a nine-part audio series called “JEWEL OF THE DELTA,” released in January. The class documented the town’s difficulties and its promise, from the closure of the local high school to the fight for black businesses and land ownership. The series is available online at