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2006: The year at Princeton
A month-by-month look at the headlines, with links to PAW stories

Peter B. Lewis ’55 gives a record $101 million to Princeton to support a broad expansion of the University’s programs in the creative and performing arts. Lewis’ gift will help to fund a new “village” for the arts, slated to be built near McCarter Theatre and the Dinky station.


Samuel Alito ’72 is sworn in as a supreme court justice, becoming the 10th Princetonian to serve on the nation’s highest court. Princeton played a role in Alito’s confirmation hearings when senators cited his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), a defunct conservative group that Alito had listed on a 1985 job application.

Princeton men’s squash star Yasser El Halaby ’06 becomes the first male collegian to win four individual national titles in the sport, defeating Harvard’s Siddharth Suchde 9-2, 9-0, 9-6.

Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06, winner of the Sachs Scholarship, makes national headlines when the Wall Street Journal reveals a dilemma caused by Padilla’s immigration status. If Padilla, an undocumented immigrant, chooses to pursue studies abroad, he may not be able to return to the United States, where he has lived since age 4, for 10 years. Padilla, who told his story in a PAW essay, received a student visa in the summer, allowing him to study classics at Oxford University, but he must apply for waivers to return home and visit family members.

Alumnus H. Vincent Poor *77 is named dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, taking over the post vacated by Maria Klawe, who became president of Harvey Mudd College in California. Poor, a professor of electrical engineering, says that he hopes to help the engineering school move forward as it adds physical space, new collaborations with industry, and innovative educational ventures.


About 17,000 alumni, family, and friends brave the rainy weather at Reunions 2006, and the showers break in time for alumni to march through campus in the P-rade. Events on campus include forums with alumni and faculty experts, class dinners, and musical performances.

In recognition of her first five years as Princeton’s leader, President Tilghman sits down with PAW to reflect on her time in Nassau Hall and talk about her plans for the University’s future. Tilghman, who was a Princeton molecular biology professor for 15 years before becoming president, says that she still misses parts of research science, particularly when she reads about exciting discoveries in journals. “I can feel the juices start to boil in me, because the thing I like best is designing a new experiment,” she says. “So that’s a momentary twinge, but I enjoy what I’m doing now so much that there isn’t time or the inclination for regret.”

The University announces that Leonard Milberg ’53 will donate one of the world’s largest collections of Irish theater materials and manuscripts to Firestone Library’s rare books department. In October, Princeton celebrates the gift with an Irish theater symposium, an exhibition of works from the collection, and a production of Brian Friel’s Traslations at McCarter Theatre.

One week after Harvard decides to eliminate early decision from its admission structure, Princeton follows suit, announcing that 2006-07 will be its last year of early decision. Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye tells PAW she is “quite convinced that we will be able to enroll the very best class for Princeton, and send a message to the outside world that we care about equity and fairness.”

The Princeton University Investment Co. (Princo) announces a 19.5 percent return on endowment investments for 2005-06, increasing the endowment’s value to $13 billion. The return is Princo’s highest since 2000.

For the first time in more than a decade, Princeton football beats Yale and Harvard in the same season, earning a celebratory Big Three bonfire on Cannon Green Nov. 17. A day later, the Tigers beat Dartmouth at home to finish the season 9-1 and share the Ivy League championship with Yale. The title is Princeton’s first since 1995.

The Princeton University Store leaves the textbook business after more than a century as a bookseller, and the University announces that Labyrinth Books will open a store on Nassau Street in November, at the site of Micawber Books, and serve as Princeton’s official textbook supplier. The U-Store also will set up shop on Nassau Street with a satellite store that sells apparel and insignia goods.

A note to our readers
The Weekly Blog will not post on Dec. 27 but will return with more news and notes in the new year.