Two Princeton alumni have occupied the White House as presidents -- James Madison 1771 and Woodrow Wilson 1879. On Jan. 20, Michelle Robinson Obama ’85 became the first Princetonian to take residence as first lady. That, of course, was a tiny footnote on a remarkable, historic day, celebrated with both pomp and reflection as Barack Obama took the oath of office as the United States' 44th president.
Michelle Obama's official White House biography describes her childhood home as a "brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago" -- quite a contrast to the most famous residence in America. The new first lady expects that daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will bring a youthful family atmosphere to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. "Our hope is that the White House will feel open and fun and full of life and energy," she told 60 Minutes in November.
In addition to having an alumna in the White House, Princeton will be well-represented in the new Obama administration (see PAW's "Obama Watch" for alumni slated to serve in cabinet and administrative posts). Several alumni, including some of Michelle Obama's classmates and friends, were on hand in Washington for the inauguration. There even was a hint of Princeton orange and black in the scarf worn by Michelle's brother, Craig Robinson ’83 -- or at least that's what ABC's Charlie Gibson ’65 guessed. On further review, it appears those colors were for Oregon State. Robinson is the head men's basketball coach for the Beavers.
(Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP Images)
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