Princeton University

Princeton Weekly Bulletin   December 12, 2005, Vol. 95, No. 12   search   prev   next

PWB logo


Page One
Center embraces discovery across the natural sciences
Students gain scientific savvy in popular biology course for humanities majors

Programs range from beginnings of universe to future of computing
Kang works to pinpoint cause of cancer spread
Fuss explores influence of environment on writers
Nine presidents issue statement reaffirming gender equity commitment

Snowden to retire after serving four decades and four presidents
Gruschow named assistant to the president
Recommendations of Task Force on Health and Well-Being lead to appointments
People, spotlight

Nassau Notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers



PU shield

Nassau notes

Sedaris to speak at Baccalaureate

Photo of: David Sedaris

David Sedaris (photo: Robert Banks)

Humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris has been chosen as the speaker for this year’s Baccalaureate, the interfaith worship service that is one of Princeton’s oldest traditions. The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4.

Sedaris is the author of the bestsellers “Barrel Fever” and “Holidays on Ice,” as well as collections of personal essays, “Naked” and “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” both of which became immediate bestsellers. He made his comic debut recounting his experiences on the job as a Macy’s elf, reading his “SantaLand Diaries” on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He has appeared many times at McCarter Theatre in Princeton.

President Tilghman selects the Baccalaureate speaker after consultation with senior class leaders. In an e-mail to the class of 2006, class officers said they recommended Sedaris “because there are very few people [who] have seen a wide range of human experiences and had the talent to write about them so charmingly and humorously.”

“This ability is highlighted by the fact that he is one of the few authors that Princeton students will pick up and read in spite of all of the other work they may have,” they wrote. “The class of 2006 will surely be inspired by Mr. Sedaris’ perseverance and resulting triumph as we gather together to celebrate our time at Princeton and we prepare to step forth into the world that Mr. Sedaris has come to know so intimately in his failures and his successes.”

Sedaris’ essays appear regularly in Esquire and The New Yorker, and his original radio pieces air on “This American Life,” distributed nationally by Public Radio International.

In 2001, Sedaris won the Thurber Prize for American Humor and was named by Time magazine as “Humorist of the Year.” His book “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” was published in June 2004, and “Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories,” edited by Sedaris, was published in April 2005. Also in 2005, Sedaris was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album (“Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim”) and Best Comedy Album (“David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall”).

Baccalaureate is an end-of-the-year ceremony focused on members of the senior class. Held in the University Chapel, it includes prayers and readings from various religious and philosophical traditions. The earliest recorded Baccalaureate address — titled “Religion and the Public Spirit” — was delivered by President Samuel Davies in 1760 to the 11 members of the graduating class. Since 1972, the address has been given by a speaker chosen by the president after discussion with class leaders.

Seating in the chapel is limited to members of the senior class and faculty procession. Seniors receive two tickets for family and guests who may view the ceremony via simulcast, including on a large screen to be set up outside the chapel.

Greenberg memorial service set for Dec. 13

A memorial service for University Registrar Joseph Greenberg is planned for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the University Chapel.

Greenberg, 58, died Nov. 6 of complications from brain cancer. A 1977 graduate alumnus, he joined the registrar’s office in 1978 as assistant registrar after a year as a lecturer in the Department of English. For the full obituary, visit

The service will be followed by a reception at Prospect House.

Photo of: SUBJECT

Digital photograph by Fanny Chouinard

Exhibition of digital photography

An exhibition of digital photography by Fanny Chouinard, department manager in electrical engineering, is on display at the E-Quad Café. It represents the first of a series of monthly shows featuring artists affiliated with the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Chouinard’s photographs are abstractions of objects not normally thought of as being beautiful, such as a heater shown here. Those interested in submitting work for subsequent shows should contact Lizpeth Nutt at

Winter Holiday Festival set at Frist

The Frist Campus Center’s yearlong fifth anniversary celebration will continue on Wednesday, Dec. 14, with the Winter Holiday Festival from 3 to 6 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to enjoy live music, a variety of holiday desserts and beverages and classic holiday films, as well as take advantage of the opportunity to learn about winter holidays from around the world. Visitors also may pick up a free commemorative Frist fifth anniversary travel mug on the 100 level.

Holiday cookie, gingerbread house and ornament decorating will take place at 3 p.m. in the east TV lounge. Both east and west TV lounges will be showing classic holiday films throughout the festival.

Knitters of all skill levels are invited to stop by on the 100 level to participate in a knitting circle. A representative from Pins and Needles, a local knitting and needlepoint store, will be on hand to provide instruction and advice to novice and experienced knitters.

The Chinese Students Association and Akwaaba, the African students association, will be hosting regional holiday exhibits that showcase their respective cultures and how they celebrate the winter holidays. Members of the Religious Life Council will staff the Interfaith Holiday Table and be on hand to answer questions regarding various faiths and holiday traditions.

Live music will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the 100 level with a West African drumming demonstration in which audience participation will be encouraged. A string quartet of Princeton University Orchestra members will perform at 5 p.m., followed by a Klezmer quartet featuring members of the Klez Dispensers at 5:30 p.m.

A presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will take place in the west TV lounge at 8 p.m. Desserts and hot beverages will be served.

Members of the University also can donate new or gently used winter coats for the Jersey Cares Coat Drive. The drop-off location is near the Mazo Family Game Room on the 100 level of Frist between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. through Thursday, Dec. 15.

The Winter Holiday Festival is sponsored by the Frist Campus Center, Athletes in Action, Dining Services, Fields Center, International Center, Pace Center and Religious Life Council.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit the Frist Campus Center Web site at

The Winter Holiday Festival is part of a yearlong celebration commemorating the Frist Campus Center’s completion of five years of service to the campus community. The celebration will continue with every Frist Center Stage program and culminate with Fristfest Weekend at the end of the spring semester.

Nursery school fall applications due Jan. 15

The University League Nursery School, located at 171 Broadmead in Princeton, is accepting applications for fall 2006 through Sunday, Jan. 15.

The school offers two-, three- and five-day morning programs on a cooperative basis for children ages 2-1/2 through 4, as well as lunch programs and extended and full-day noncooperative care for children ages 3 and 4.

Discounted tuition is available for University families, and scholarships also are offered. The school is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. For more information, call 924-3137.