Four programs will help meet needs resulting from Sept. 11


The American flag waves in front of the Nassau Hall cupola on a recent winter morning.

Princeton NJ -- The University has committed a total of $1 million to four programs that it is creating to assist individuals, especially young people, most directly affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and to help support New York City's renewal and recovery from those attacks.

The four programs are designed to:

• provide live arts and cultural experiences, along with complementary educational programs, this spring for up to 10,000 New York City-area school children at theaters, concert halls, art galleries and museums in the city. (The total commitment to this program will be roughly $500,000.);

• provide $250,000 in scholarship support for students at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which lost more than 100 students and alumni (firefighters and police officers) as a result of the attacks;

• provide week-long programs this summer on the Princeton campus or at the Princeton-Blairstown Center for children who lost parents in the attacks; and

• provide funds to support faculty and staff who are able to contribute special expertise to New York's renewal, rebuilding and recovery, and to support graduate student dissertation research and undergraduate senior thesis research related to the attacks.

"Over the past three months, we have been encouraged by students, faculty, staff members, alumni and trustees to find ways in which Princeton University could help meet pressing needs resulting from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11," President Tilghman said in announcing the programs last month.

"These conversations suggested several guidelines," she continued. "First, given Princeton's proximity to New York, we ought to focus on needs resulting from the attacks on the World Trade Center. Second, given Princeton's mission, we ought to develop programs that involve teaching and research, and especially programs that help meet the needs of school children and students. Third, given the desire of so many members of the Princeton University community to help, we should draw as much as possible on their various talents and interests. And fourth, without trying to do more things than we can do well, we should try to identify and help meet a range of needs rather than concentrate all of our resources in one single area. The result of these conversations is the four programs we are announcing today."

The four programs are described below. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available through a Web site for these programs at <>.

Arts Alive

The Arts Alive program has three principal goals:

• To provide live arts and cultural experiences in New York for up to 10,000 New York City-area school children from schools that were most directly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, either because they were relocated or dislocated as a result of the attacks or because they are in communities that suffered an especially high concentration of those who lost their lives in the attacks and rescue efforts.

• To help provide economic sustenance to arts and cultural organizations in New York through the program's ticket purchases at a time when many such organizations are struggling financially as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks.

• To provide opportunities for Princeton students to offer workshops and other educational programs to the school children who will be participating in the program.

The University will conduct the Arts Alive program in partnership with HAI (Hospital Audiences Inc.), a New York City-based not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1969 to provide access to the arts for New Yorkers who are isolated from the cultural mainstream (including the elderly, individuals with disabilities and at-risk youth) and that recently has been working with the New York City Board of Education to identify ways to provide the city's public school students with opportunities to attend live arts and cultural programs. HAI (which also stands for "hope and inspiration through the arts") will identify the public schools to be approached, work with the schools to identify the children (from elementary grades through high school) who will participate in the program, identify the most appropriate live arts or cultural experiences for the school children (including theater, dance, music, art galleries and museums), arrange for tickets and transportation, and work with Princeton students to plan workshops and other educational programs in the schools. HAI has constructed a Web site for the program at <>.

Princeton student participation will be coordinated through the sophomore class of 2004, which has adopted Arts Alive as a special class project, and the student Performing Arts Council, which represents a broad range of student performing groups at Princeton (see related story on this page). The expectation is that Princeton students will participate in each of the arts and cultural experiences offered under this program and will develop educational programs to prepare the school children who are participating to derive full benefit from their experiences.

It is expected that the first events under this program will take place in early February and that the program will continue through late April or early May.

Scholarship program at John Jay

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, one of 20 City University of New York campuses, was founded in 1964 as the only liberal arts college in the nation devoted to criminal justice. It enrolls about 11,500 students and, as a relatively young school, has only about 25,000 alumni. More than 100 of its students and alumni were among the firefighters and police officers who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

John Jay offers baccalaureate degrees in fields ranging from criminal justice, international criminal justice and police studies to fire science, forensic science and security management. It also offers several masters programs and a doctoral program in criminal justice. Undergraduate tuition for in-state students is $1,600 per semester. While its students may qualify for federal and state aid programs, John Jay has very few scholarship funds of its own.

The $250,000 contribution from Princeton University will allow John Jay to establish a scholarship program to honor the memory of the public service heroes of the World Trade Center attack who received academic training at John Jay. The purpose of the program will be to develop undergraduate researchers, practitioners and scholars in the areas of public service and criminal justice and to help attract superior students to the college. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and documented perseverance and dedication in pursuing a career in public service.

Beginning this fall, John Jay will award five scholarships to members of its incoming class and five to currently enrolled students who have completed at least 30 credits. The scholarships will provide $1,000 per semester and will be renewable up to eight semesters as long as the student remains enrolled full time and maintains a specified grade point average. Each scholarship recipient will enroll in two courses that are designed to prepare the student for an independent research study related to the criminal justice/public service field. A student whose project is approved will receive an additional $1,000 scholarship for graduate study and the research will be published in a special publication entitled Justice Scholar. It is estimated that the Princeton contribution will be sufficient to support the program for at least seven years.

Summer programs

The Princeton University programs for children who lost parents in the attacks on the World Trade Center or in the rescue efforts will be week-long experiences this summer offered at no cost to the participants. These programs are still being planned, but there is likely to be at least one on the Princeton campus for high school students that will draw upon Princeton students and alumni associated with the University's Teacher Preparation Program, which prepares Princeton undergraduates to become certified elementary and secondary school teachers. Some of the graduates of this program are currently teaching in New York City public schools. The campus program probably will offer a mix of educational, cultural and athletic experiences and college and other counseling.

There also is likely to be one program at the Princeton-Blairstown Center's 275-acre site in northwest New Jersey for middle school students. The Princeton-Blairstown Center is an independent not-for-profit organization affiliated with the University that, through a professional staff and college-age counselors, offers outdoor experiential education programs that blend traditional summer camp experiences with outdoor living and adventure activities that develop self-confidence, group cooperation, leadership and self-esteem.

Princeton alumni in the New York metropolitan area will be invited to meet with the middle school and high school students in the summer camp programs, to participate in some of the activities, and to sustain mentoring relationships on a continuing basis in the students' home communities, most of which are in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.

"This program for children who lost parents as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center is designed to provide them with a memorable summer experience," Tilghman said, "but also to give them opportunities to get to know other young people in similar circumstances and to get to know Princeton alumni who may be able to provide them over time with continuing guidance and assistance as they think about colleges, careers and other life choices."

Research, professional assistance fund

The two-year research and professional assistance fund will have two principal purposes:

• To provide support for faculty and staff whose expertise and skills could help New York City in its planning for recovery, reconstruction and renewal, including funds to allow faculty to work full time on such projects during the summer months. These faculty and staff may be in fields such as architecture, engineering and urban planning, but they also may be in other fields. (In the days immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks several Princeton faculty members and students in architecture and engineering led efforts to assess damage and advise rescue teams at the World Trade Center site and in neighboring areas.)

• To provide research funds so that graduate and undergraduate students can work on these faculty or staff projects, or to fund senior thesis or dissertation research related to the attacks or the city's response, reconstruction and renewal.

Shortly after this fund was announced, organizers received a request from Laura Kurgan, an assistant professor of architecture who was working on a volunteer basis with two recent graduates and a current student to develop a memorial map around Ground Zero in conjunction with a number of community groups in lower Manhattan. The map was designed to orient visitors and to provide basic information about the site and recent events in the interest of facilitating reflection and remembrance. She received a contribution from the University toward the initial press run for the map.

Overall coordination of the four Princeton programs will be provided by Robert Durkee, vice president for public affairs, and Karen Woodbridge, associate director for community and state affairs.

Students' spark brings arts alive for children

When members of the class of 2004 heard the University was creating some programs to assist people affected by the World Trade Center disaster, they immediately volunteered to help.

Now class members are leading an effort that will provide live arts and cultural experiences, as well as educational programs, for some 10,000 New York City-area school children this spring.

Along with the University's Performing Arts Council, the class of 2004 is coordinating the involvement of Princeton students in "Arts Alive." Students will participate in each of the arts and cultural experiences offered at theaters, concert halls, art galleries and museums, and will develop educational workshops so that the school children get the most out of these experiences.

"We had heard President Tilghman initially propose the idea of utilizing Princeton human resources and capital resources to aid in the Sept. 11 disaster," said Maureen Monagle, class secretary. "We decided that our class has so many unique talents that we would love to get involved in the program she was talking about with the arts."

So class officers contacted Tom Dunne, assistant dean of undergraduate students, and Robert Durkee, vice president for public affairs and an overall coordinator of the four programs the University is funding (see related story on this page).

"We were really encouraged by the way the students responded," Durkee said. He and Dunne decided to work with the class as a means of reaching into the entire student body.

So far, most of the work has involved organizational tasks. The sophomore officers sent an e-mail to class members seeking volunteers for leadership positions in the effort. Within six hours, 75 students had responded. The officers have screened and interviewed candidates and selected people for the positions, as has the Performing Arts Council.

"The next thing is combining with the Performing Arts Council and mobilizing both groups to work together," said Monagle, who is serving as co-chair of the effort with a member of the Performing Arts Council. "It's a really short time frame."

The students will meet in January during reading period and are planning a kickoff event in early February on campus featuring two actors who have had lead roles in the Broadway production of "Les Miserables." The actors are expected to sing and talk about their experiences in the theater, as well as to give the students some pointers on gearing workshops for the age groups involved, she said. The students also will be meeting with representatives from HAI, the New York City nonprofit organization that is Princeton's partner in the project.

Monagle emphasized that all students are invited to participate and that they need not have extensive knowledge of the arts. "We're really encouraging everybody to get involved," she said. Jobs range from helping with logistics for the workshops to attending the events with the school children.

She believes the Arts Alive initiative is giving Princeton students a much needed outlet for responding to the tragedy.

"In the aftermath of Sept. 11, a lot of students wanted to help but there was not much we could do," Monagle said. "This is providing an opportunity for students to show their talents and interests and to get involved in helping New York City."

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