Weekly Bulletin
September 27, 1999
Vol. 89, No. 3

[Page one]

Shapiro offers fanfare for '03
Prizes reward excellence
Math helps explain protein folding
Macedo to direct program in Law, Public Affairs
Registrar Broh to go to COFHE
Summer labors
Water, water everywhere
ERISA information
Grants available


Shapiro offers fanfare for '03


Gallery trumpet in the Chapel (Photo by Randall Hagadorn)

Opening Exercises occurred on September 15 this year. Instead of Sunday, it was a Wednesday, for the first time ever.

The change was made because of complications in the schedule of freshman registration and orientation due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, and there were some who feared that the midweek date would affect attendance. If it did, however, it wasn't for the worse: the Chapel was as crowded and the atmosphere as festive as ever when President Shapiro welcomed the Class of 2003.

"I believe it is entirely fitting that we should begin this academic year and mark this moment in our history with some fanfare," said Shapiro. "During this coming year, we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Copland's birth let us listen for a moment to an excerpt from Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man,' which was first performed in 1942 as an acknowledgment of the efforts and sacrifices of Americans involved in World War II."

The audience sat rapt until the final chords died away.

"You may be the first class of undergraduate and graduate students to be welcomed to our campus by such a rousing and inspiring greeting," Shapiro continued.

"And while the power of this fanfare certainly reflects the pleasure we take in your arrival on campus, I must admit that the main reason I chose this music is because I have always been moved by Copland's astute observations on the role of the listener with respect to a particular piece of music. I have been struck by how apt those observations were for the way in which students or any learners should approach the new ideas they encounter in their classes, in the library, in the laboratory and in many informal settings with their fellow students or with faculty.

"With respect to music, Copland stressed three things. The first was that the listener had to take a very active role. It was not sufficient to simply listen and react in an idle or offhand fashion. Second, Copland felt that it was necessary for active listeners to listen intently, making sure that they heard everything that was incorporated into the melody. The third responsibility of the active and intense listener was to understand what came before a particular musical moment and what would follow from it.

"Copland was also fond of pointing out that in musical composition one waits in vain for inspiration to arrive unbidden. Rather one finds inspiration through active and continuing exploration of ideas

"The principles that lie behind Copland's active, intense, comprehensive, thoughtful and successful listener are the same ones that lie behind the successful learner in the broader world of ideas that you will encounter at Princeton," Shapiro told the new students.

"To be a successful learner here, it is not enough simply to 'take in' whatever you somehow manage to hear in the classroom or read in the library. Nor is it enough simply to carry out an assignment in routine fashion you must be an engaged, active and intense participant in the exploration of those new territories of thought and analysis that will be open to you. Moreover, just like Copland's successful listener you must be constantly engaged in trying to understand where particular ideas come from and where they may take you.

"The chance to engage in such an intense learning experience," he noted, "does not come often in one's lifetime."