June 1, 2022

GRAND OPENING: The upscale rental apartments at Nelson Glass House, former home of the business Nelson Glass, are finally finished after a three-year process. The building is shown here in a rendering by architects JZA+D.

By Anne Levin

Three years have passed since Robbie Nelson hired Princeton-based architect Joshua Zinder to turn Nelson Glass, her family’s longtime business on Spring Street, into high-end apartments. Between COVID-19, changes in materials, and some design alterations, the creation of Nelson Glass House has taken longer than Nelson expected.

But the six apartments — all leased except for the one unit designated affordable — are ready, and Nelson is inviting the public in on Friday, June 10 from 6-9 p.m. to take a look around. The units range from $4,000 to $8,000 a month.

“This is boutique living,” said Nelson “All of the units have balconies. It’s unique, and it’s very high end.”

Opening the doors to the public is part of being a good neighbor. “I felt there were a lot of people who have been walking back and forth for a long time, and were curious about what we were doing,” she said. “It was important to me to let them in. I wanted neighbors to be able to see it. I know I always wonder what the inside of places looks like.”

Nelson Glass was founded in 1949 by Nelson’s late father, who also owned the house next door. Instead of selling, she opted to turn the two buildings into rental units. The process has been enlightening.

“I had no idea what I was getting into,” Nelson said this week. “Josh Zinder created a design that is unique and special, but also so intricate. These are not cookie-cutter apartments. Every unit is different. Every unit has a different layout. We ended up making some changes along the way, including to the interior, because of what we felt the market would want.” more

GROWING GARDENERS: Isles, Inc.’s urban agriculture service will be one of the topics on the program at Isles’ Virtual Forum 2022, a five-day series of free webinars, workshops, and panels focused on community development, urban sustainability, and much more. (Photo courtesy of Isles)

By Donald Gilpin

How to build a more equitable and sustainable future in local underserved communities is the question, and Isles, a Mercer County-based community development and environmental organization, has an array of creative answers to that query. 

In a five-day, 15-session virtual forum from June 6 to 10, Isles will host webinars, panel discussions, and workshops on urban community development topics including access to safe housing, building a green work force, street violence prevention, closing the education gap, eradicating food deserts, and more.

Among the local initiatives featured will be GoTrenton, an electric vehicle pilot service offering carshare, rideshare, and shuttle service in Trenton; Trenton Climate Corps, offering youth training and employment in climate resilience and green infrastructure careers; Trenton Community Street Teams, a violence-interruption initiative adapted from a successful Newark program; and the new New Jersey Lead Safe Certificate Law, which takes effect in July and requires all apartments to be tested for lead paint before tenants move in.

Sponsored by NJM Insurance, PSE&G, M&T Bank, Capital Health, Bristol Myers Squibb, The Bank of Princeton, Santander, and Philadelphia Insurance Co., the  Isles Virtual Forum 2022 is free and open to the public. Registration and further information are available at isles.org/forum. Last year the Forum attracted several hundred participants from around the state and beyond. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Ho for Kansas, land that restores us
When houses choke us, and great books bore us!”

—Vachel Lindsay, from “The Santa Fe Trail”

The singing poet had a special place in his heart for the Sunflower State. Early in “Walking into Kansas,” the third chapter of Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty (1914), Vachel Lindsay writes: “I have crossed the mystic border. I have left Earth. I have entered Wonderland. Though I am still east of the geographical center of the United States, in every spiritual sense I am in the West. This morning I passed the stone mile-post that marks the beginning of Kansas.”

Lindsay dates his crossing June 14, 1912. L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz had been published in 1900. In those days it wasn’t “What’s the matter with Kansas?” Kansas was the state of the open road, the place to go “when houses choke us, and great books bore us.” more

Fans of chamber and baroque music can attend multiple weekday concerts during the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO)’s all-new Princeton Festival June 10-25, at a performance tent at Morven Museum and Garden and across the street at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Radio personality Rob Kapilow makes an appearance, and performing ensembles including Germany’s Signum Quartet, the Sebastians, the Festival Chorus, and the trio Time For Three will perform. All concerts are at 7 p.m.

Leading off the chamber music events is a cycle of Franz Schubert’s late string quartets. “What Makes it Great?” host Kapilow explores Death and the Maiden, a pillar of the chamber repertoire, on Monday, June 13 with a performance of the work by the Signum Quartet. The event is presented in partnership with WWFM, the Classical Network, which will livestream the event. Signum continues the quartet cycle with performances of the Rosamunde and String Quartet in G Major on Tuesday, June 14. These events are at Morven.

Thursdays at the Princeton Festival are devoted to Baroque music played on period instruments at Trinity Episcopal Church. On June 16, the 14-piece ensemble making up the Sebastians performs early music by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello and Johann Georg Pisendel in addition to that of Handel, J.S. Bach, and Vivaldi. Selections performed with the Festival Chorus on June 23 include Bach’s cantata Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden, BWV 47 and Handel’s Chandos Anthem “O Praise the Lord with One Consent,” HWV 254. Festival Director Gregory Jon Geehern conducts. more

On Saturday, June 11 at 6 p.m., the LOTUS Project and the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey will present a benefit concert for Ukraine at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Trenton, with a goal of raising $10,000 toward relief efforts.

The concert title, “O Vos Omnes,” is a reference to the Tenebrae vigil service during Passion Week in Christian circles — traditionally held as the darkest time of the year in Christian spirituality. Selections include Ukrainian art and folksongs and a variety of smaller pieces for string instruments and voices.

“Our board member, Omelan Kostoepksy, approached me about performing a Ukrainian benefit concert with Capital Philharmonic,” said Kate Mulligan, the newly-appointed executive director of the orchestra. “When I learned that The LOTUS Project already had a concert in the works, it only made sense for our ensembles to join forces for good in the city and for Ukraine.”

The concert features Ukrainian songs and compositions for chamber orchestra and vocal ensemble and will run approximately an hour long with no intermission. Included on the program is the East Coast premiere of a work by New Jersey native Frank La Rocca, who now lives in California. more

Erikka Reenstierna-Cates is among the dancers in American Repertory Ballet’s spring season finale at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, June 3-5. Titled “Movin’ + Groovin,’” the program features world premieres by choreographers Claire Davison, Ja’ Malik, and Caili Quan. Performances are June 3 and 4 at 8 p.m., and June 5 at 2 p.m. For tickets, visit arballet.org. (Photo by Eduardo Patino, NYC)

“THE SKY IS THE LIMIT”: This work is part of “The Glittering Outdoors,” an art show featuring paintings by Helene Mazur, on view June 7 through October 2 at The Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street.

Artist Helene Mazur seeks to reflect the beauty and the energy of being outside in fresh air. Her work transports the viewer on a journey. Building upon her prior plein air work, Mazur has taken to the studio to create this show producing larger pieces which enable one to immerse themselves in the locale. “The Glittering Outdoors,” a grouping of oil paintings mostly painted on beautifully prepared cradled boards, will be on display June 7 through October 2 at The Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street. The public is invited to a reception and opening on Sunday, June 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.

According to Mazur, each painting in the exhibit has been designed to take the viewer on an adventure to a place that inspires rejuvenation and serendipity. A delight to one’s senses, the colors, textures, and design have been chosen to stimulate the possibility of discovery. The subjects are inviting destinations both near and far including beach scenes, the mountains, flower gardens, and architecture from interesting vistas.

“Each new painting creates an adrenalin rush as I attempt to combine good design, color harmony, and the magic of the moment,” said Mazur. “Light, texture, weather conditions, and emotions are baked into every piece.” more

“INTERWOVEN STORIES”: An exhibition of the community stitching project “Interwoven Stories: The Final Chapter,” created by artist/activist Diana Weymar, opens on Saturday, June 4 at the Arts Council of Princeton with a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. This nationwide project, on view through July 2, includes more than 400 embroidered “pages.”

“Interwoven Stories: The Final Chapter,” the popular community stitching project created by artist/activist Diana Weymar (Princeton University ’91), has gone national and will return to the Arts Council of Princeton’s Taplin Gallery from June 4 through July 2. The exhibition of more than 400 embroidery pieces, stitched by participants from around the country and here in Princeton, opens with a free reception on Saturday, June 4 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Weymar facilitated “Interwoven Stories” as the Arts Council’s 2016 artist-in-residence, creating a special dialogue within the Princeton community. With some participants taking up embroidery for the first time, each stitcher received a fabric page resembling a blank sheet of notebook paper to stitch a story, honor beloved family or friends, or return home to a favorite place through needle and thread.

The response to this project exceeded organizers’ wildest expectations. Each page spoke to the generosity, diversity, spirit, commitment, and creativity of the community, and ultimately more than 100 completed pages were donated to “Interwoven Stories 2016” and displayed in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery to mark the culmination of Weymar’s residency. more

“NEWLY HATCHED”: This mixed media work by Ilene Dube is featured in “Color Play Times Two,” her joint exhibition with Karen Schoenitz, on view June 12 through August 20 at Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro. An opening reception is on Wednesday, June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.

West Windsor Arts, in partnership with Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center, presents “Color Play Times Two,” a two-person exhibit of paintings by Ilene Dube and Karen Schoenitz on view June 12 through August 20. An opening reception with refreshments will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

Dube and Schoenitz met through West Windsor Arts in 2009 when the nonprofit was operating as an arts council without walls. Dube, then president of the board of trustees and chair of the exhibition committee, had been organizing a plein air painting day at the West Windsor Farmers Market. Schoenitz learned about it through local media but, unavailable on the scheduled date, contacted Dube about how else she might participate. Dube, impressed with Schoenitz’s enthusiasm, added another day to the “paint out” and recruited Schoenitz for the exhibition committee and the board. Both artists live and work in West Windsor and remain active on the West Windsor Arts Advisory Council. more

NEW LOCATION: “We want everyone to know we are on Nassau Street now, at the former Landau location. We are encouraged that more and more new customers are finding us, in addition to all our regulars from our days at the Princeton Shopping Center.” Raj Patel, owner of Claridge Wine & Liquor, is happy to greet customers at the store’s new site.

By Jean Stratton   

Claridge Wine & Liquor, the popular place to find wine, beer, and spirits, has a new home at 102 Nassau Street.

For many years a mainstay at the Princeton Shopping Center, the store has a long history. Founded by Claire and Benjamin Levine in 1939, it was originally situated on Leigh Avenue. Since the mid-1950s, however, it was located in the Shopping Center.

Current owners — and brothers — Raj and Hemant Patel decided to move to the former location of Landau’s, the longtime Nassau Street clothing store. That site became available after Landau’s closed, and the Patel brothers  saw a new opportunity.

“We thought a move to downtown Princeton would not only give us a new setting, but also new business,” explains Raj Patel. “We are getting a lot of new walk-in traffic, and we are also happy that we still have many of our loyal Shopping Center customers.” more

RUNNING INTO TROUBLE: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Alexander Vardaro, left, heads to goal last Saturday night against Maryland in the NCAA semis. Junior midfielder Vardaro scored a team-high two goals as the Tigers fell 13-8 to undefeated and eventual national champion Maryland at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. (Photo by Noel Valero)

By Bill Alden

After the start of its NCAA semifinal game against Maryland was delayed for four hours by stormy weather, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team was greeted by blue skies as it hit Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., last Saturday.

Princeton, though, was seeing red about a half hour later as undefeated and top-seeded powerhouse Maryland built a 5-1 first quarter lead over the fifth-seeded Tigers.

But a scrappy Princeton team, which started the season unranked and clawed its way to the Final 4, didn’t flinch, narrowing the gap to 7-4 by halftime.

“We’ve kind of been there before, been through a lot of up and downs, been all over the place this season,” said Tiger senior goalie Erik Peters. “We had all the trust in the world in each other and just the next play. I think that kind of mentality let us get back in the game and keep going.”

Maryland kept going after the break, going on a 4-0 run, as the sun set on the Tigers with the Terps pulling away to a 13-8 run. Two days later, Maryland went on to edge seventh-seeded Cornell 9-7 in the championship game to end the spring with an 18-0 record.

While the loss to the Terps stung, Princeton head coach Matt Madalon was proud of what his team accomplished as it went 11-5 on the way to making its first Final 4 since 2004.

“Credit to an outstanding Maryland team, they capitalized on every mistake we made,” said Madalon. “It is a heck of a team, very well coached. Our senior class group that brought us back to this weekend. I am very proud for our program. Obviously it didn’t work out the way we wanted, but we’re very happy to be here.”  more

FAMILIAR WATERS: Nathalie Verlinde, far left, competes in the bow seat as the Princeton University lightweight women’s varsity 8 churns through the water in a race this spring. Sophomore Verlinde, a Princeton High alumni, will be looking to help the Tiger top boat repeat as national champions when it competes in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships from June 3-5 on Mercer Lake. During her high school career, Verlinde competed on Mercer Lake as a member of the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program. (Photo by Row2K, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Nathalie Verlinde feels at home on Mercer Lake, where she will try to help the Princeton University lightweight women’s varsity 8 boat repeat as national champions June 3-5 at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships.

Verlinde graduated from Princeton High and started rowing for the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Mercer Junior rowing program. as a high school freshman. The Mercer Juniors train on Mercer Lake, and last year her high school teammates came out to see her Tigers team win the national title in a field reduced to two by the COVID-19 pandemic. Princeton won by more than 26 seconds over Wisconsin for its first national crown since 2003.

Now a sophomore, Verlinde and Princeton will face a full field as it tries to cap a perfect season. The Tiger top boat has not been beaten this season, as it won another gold at the Dad Vail Championships in Philadelphia on May 14 to follow up an important win at Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass., on May 1. more

PASSING THE TORCH: Jenn Cook, right, and Chris Sailer are all smiles last Wednesday after Cook was named to succeed Sailer as the head coach of the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team. Cook served for 10 years as an assistant and associate head coach for the Tigers before getting promoted to the top job. Sailer, a Hall of Fame coach who led Princeton to a 433-168 record and three NCAA titles in her 36-year tenure guiding the program, announced last fall that she was retiring after the 2022 campaign. (Photo provided by Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Princeton University Director of Athletics John Mack didn’t have to go far to find a successor to legendary Tiger women’s lacrosse head coach Chris Sailer.

After conducting a nationwide search for a new head coach upon Hall of Famer Sailer announcing last fall that she was retiring after the 2022 campaign, longtime Princeton assistant and associate head coach Jenn Cook was named last week to take the helm of the program.

In her introductory press conference last Wednesday at Chandler Lounge, Cook vowed to be herself as she fills the big shoes of Sailer, a Hall of Fame coach who led Princeton to a 433-168 record and three NCAA titles in her 36-year tenure guiding the program.

“When I was interviewing for this job, a lot of my friends in the lacrosse world said those are big shoes to fill and I couldn’t agree more,” said Cook, a former University of North Carolina star who coached at her alma mater for four years and one year at Drexel before coming to Princeton in 2013.

“What Chris has taught me is that I have to coach in my own shoes and lead authentically. Chris has always led authentically in her coaching style and I am going to do the same. Those are big shoes and I think that the traditions that she has brought here and the tradition of winning is incredibly important. Those are things that I am going to continue to believe in and do but of course have my own spin on it.”

Cook believes she is more than ready to handle the top job. more

HANGING TOUGH: Princeton High boys’ tennis player Melvin Huang hits a forehand in a match this spring. Last Friday, sophomore Huangposted a 7-6, 6-1 win at second singles over Akul Solanki to help top-seeded PHS defeat the fifth-seeded Rams 5-0 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 3 sectional semifinals. PHS went on to defeat second-seeded WW/P-North 3-2 in the sectional final last Tuesday to improve to 15-1. The Tigers will now be competing in the state Group 3 semis on June 2 at the Mercer County Park tennis complex. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As usual, Melvin Huang was the last player in action as the Princeton High boys’ tennis team hosted Hightstown last Friday morning in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 3 sectional semifinals.

Utilizing his grind-it-out style, sophomore Huang posted a 7-6, 6-1 win at second singles over Akul Solanki to help top-seeded PHS defeat the fifth-seeded Rams 5-0.

“I enjoy being on court so I want to stay on it as long as possible,” said Huang. “I want to give 100 percent because if I don’t give it now, when I am going to try. I want to put all of effort into tennis and the hard work has paid off a lot.”

Huang had to work hard to defeat Solanki. “He played really well, he made it really tough,” said Huang.

“He kept getting balls back that I couldn’t get back. He was running all over the court getting everything back. He really wanted to play and stay in the points. He made it hard to finish off points. After the first set, I just tried to calm down a bit and not try to overhit the ball and just make him run even more.”

Moving up to second singles this season, Huang has kept his cool in dealing with better competition.

“It has been kind of the same because I played a lot of second singles last year, it has been fun,” said Huang, who took over that spot after last year’s second singles player, Jack Ling, decided not to play for PHS this spring to concentrate on junior tournaments. “Third singles was kind of easier and now it is more of a challenge at second.” more

ROCK STAR: Princeton High junior sprinter Zach Della Rocca displays his form at the Mercer County Track and Field Championships last weekend. Junior Della Rocca starred at county meet, winning the 400 meters in a school-record time of 48.52 and taking first in the 200 meters. Della Rocca’s heroics helped PHS place fourth in the team standings with 47 points in a competition won by WW/P-North (78). (Photo provided by Ben Samara)

By Justin Feil

Zach Della Rocca’s speed has been a big asset on the soccer field for Princeton High and he always wondered how it would translate in track and field.

The junior in his first year running for the PHS boys’ track team set his second school record while winning a pair of events at the Mercer County Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday.

“I love it,” said Della Rocca of his introduction to track.“It’s very addicting. It’s a very different type of fitness that you don’t get from soccer. We do a lot of weight training which I really enjoy doing. It’s helped me, especially mentally, focus on being able to compete. It requires a lot of mental attention. Anxiety builds so you have to stay calm. I’ve seen it help me in many ways, and I really enjoy it.”

In the 400 meters at the county meet, Della Rocca took first in 48.52, smashing the previous school record of 49.42.

“At Penn Relays, I split 48.4, which was better than the record, but it didn’t count because it was a relay,” said Della Rocca. “I knew I had it in me and I was just really trying to do it in an open 400 at a time that would count for the record. That was my goal going into it and I gave it everything to try to get it.” more

SO GOOD: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Sophie Jaffe, left, races upfield in recent action. Last Thursday, junior Jaffe tallied three goals to help top-seeded PDS defeat eighth-seeded St. Elizabeth 15-4 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B quarterfinals. The Panthers, who improved to 12-8 with the win, were slated to host fourth-seeded Bishop Eustace in the semis on May 31 with the victor advancing to the title game on June 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In the early stages of this season, Sophie Jaffe was part of the supporting cast for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team.

With such high-powered stars as Paige Gardner, Tessa Caputo, Ali Surace, and Elle Anhut dominating the scoresheet, Jaffe was overshadowed a bit.

But down the home stretch, junior Jaffe has been emerging as a star for the Panthers. In the Prep B state title game against Montclair Kimberley Academy on May 20, Jaffe tallied a team-high five goals with an assist and helped dominate the draw circle along with senior Ali Surace down the stretch as PDS rallied from a 12-9 deficit to pull out a 13-12 win.

Last Wednesday, Jaffe tallied three goals to help top-seeded PDS defeat eighth-seeded St. Elizabeth 15-4 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B quarterfinals.

In reflecting on her late surge, Jaffe said she has gained a comfort level on the field.

“I definitely feel like I am growing as a lacrosse player,” said Jaffe, who has tallied 40 points this season on 28 goals and 12 assists. “I am making sure that I am seeing the open girl on time.” more

NICK OF TIME: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Nick Somogyi, middle, fends off two foes in a game this spring. Junior Somogyi’s hustle all over the field helped ninth-seeded PDS make an inspired run in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B semis. The underdog Panthers defeated eighth-seeded Morristown-Beard 11-6 in a first round contest and then stunned top-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s 7-6 in the quarterfinals. The squad’s bid for the title ended when it fell 12-10 at fourth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy last Saturday in the semifinals. The defeat left PDS with a final record of 6-11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Heading into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B tournament with a 4-10 record and having lost seven of its last nine games, the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team didn’t look like a threat to make a deep run in the competition.

But ninth-seeded PDS proceeded to defeat eighth-seeded Morristown-Beard 11-6 in a first round contest then stunned top-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s 7-6 in the quarterfinals.

Panther head coach Joe Moore, though, wasn’t stunned by his squad’s late-season heroics.

“I think there is a lot that goes into the success that we are finding,” said Moore. “For starters, we are finally healthy for the first time this season. That is a big contributor but I don’t want to use the injuries as a crutch. I would say that the injuries and the adversity that we had made us stronger because our younger players and less experienced guys had to step up. Now that we are back to full strength those guys are actually contributors.”

After losing 6-5 to Mo-Beard in the Prep B state tournament, the Panthers were fired up for the rematch in the Non-Public tourney.

“The obvious difference is having Charlie Hogshire in that game the second time around,” said Moore, of sophomore Hogshire, who scored three goals in the win over Mo-Beard with Sebastian Rzeczycki tallying two goals and three assists, Ollie Hall adding two goals and two assists, and Harry Bernardi contributing two goals. “He is a big contributor, he helps set the tempo on offense.”

The win was a confidence builder for the Panthers. “We are young so any time that we are able to go and steal a quick win or even if it’s a loss but it is a moral victory, you hang on to that moment,” said Moore.

“Being that we are so young and we don’t have a ton of experience at the varsity level, confidence is a big factor. It has been challenging for us to find confidence. Right now things are clicking and we couldn’t be more confident.” more

FLYING HIGH: Stuart Country Day School track star Giselle Jean-Marie flies to victory in the 100-meter hurdles at the Prep B state outdoor championship meet last week. Sophomore Jean-Marie also placed first in the high jump, triple jump, and shot put at the meet to help Stuart finish third in the team standings. (Photo by Kevin Broughton, provided courtesy of Len Klepack)

By Bill Alden

Although the Stuart Country Day School track team didn’t place first at the Prep B state outdoor championship meet last week, the Tartans still produced a winning effort.

With numerous Stuart athletes achieving personal bests, the squad finished a strong third in the team standings, piling up 71 points as Montclair Kimberley tallied 111 to win the title with Villa Walsh coming in second at 71.50.

Heading into the competition which was held on May 23 at Newark Academy, Stuart head coach Len Klepack wasn’t sure how his young squad would perform under the pressure of a state meet, especially since there hadn’t been a Prep B state outdoor championship meet since 2019.

“I was hoping to finish in the top five; we knew Giselle Jean-Marie would get a lot of points but other people reached new levels for us,” said Klepack of sophomore standout Jean-Marie who ended up scoring a lot of points for the Tartans, placing first in the high jump, triple jump, shot put, and 100-meter hurdles.

“They all just did what you want as a coach, we want them to try to be their best and is basically that is what happened.”

Over the course of the spring, the Stuart athletes patiently went about their business with an eye to peaking in May. more

May 25, 2022

Grand Marshal Heather M. Butts ’94, center, and other officials lead the way as the Princeton University P-rade, which has been held virtually for the past two years, returned on Saturday afternoon with a march through campus during Reunions Weekend. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

“PERSISTENT” 2022 GRADUATES: Princeton University held its 275th Commencement on Tuesday, May 24, in Princeton Stadium. University President Christopher L. Eisgruber presided and praised the students for their persistence through the challenges of the pandemic. (Photo by Charles Sykes, Associated Press Images for Princeton University)

Presiding over his second graduation in the past week, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber told a gathering of more than 1,200 graduating seniors, plus graduate students, families, and friends assembled in Princeton Stadium, that persistence would be the quality that mattered most “across the many dimensions of achievement or talent … the ability and drive to keep going when things get hard.”

Eisgruber praised the students for overcoming “challenges that none of us could have imagined when you began your studies here,” and for persisting “brilliantly” throughout their time on campus and away from it, remotely, during the first year of the pandemic.

Eisgruber emphasized the value for students to persist to graduation and the value of a diploma, but noted that many students at other universities, because of financial barriers or other difficulties, have not been able to persist. “One way or another, we need to add back the chairs missing from graduation ceremonies around the country,” he said.

Last Wednesday, May 18, Eisgruber presided over the graduation of the Class of 2020, which returned to campus for a traditional ceremony nearly two years after their virtual graduation. more

NEW CLASS OF ’22 MEMBER: Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke to members of the Princeton University Class of 2022 at Princeton’s Class Day celebration on Monday, May 23, and he was inducted as an honorary member of the class. He poses with Class Day Co-Chairs, from left, Sarah Lee, Julia Chaffers, and Christian Potter. (Photo by Princeton University)

By Donald Gilpin

Emphasizing the challenges of “the failings in our society” and “our divided nation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci urged about 1,200 Princeton University seniors, along with families and friends gathered on Cannon Green on May 23, to commit to fighting injustice “and work with all our might to remedy the cultural disease of racism, just as we fight the viral disease of COVID-19.”

Fauci was selected by the Class of 2022 as keynote speaker at the University’s first in-person Class Day since 2019.  Chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and the leader of the White House COVID-19 task force, Fauci is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He has advised seven presidents on health issues and in 2008 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Fauci pointed out lessons learned from the pandemic. “Our country’s experience with COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on one of the great failings in our society: the lack of health equity.”

He continued, “Many members of minority groups are at increased risk of COVID-19 simply because the jobs they have as essential workers do not allow them to isolate from social activity. More importantly, when people in minority groups are infected with the coronavirus, they have a much greater likelihood of developing a severe consequence due to elevated rates of underlying conditions … that lead to an increased risk of hospitalization and death.”

Emphasizing the effects of “the undeniable racism that persists in our society,” Fauci called on his audience for a promise that ”the tragic reality of the inequities experienced with COVID-19 does not fade after we return to our new normal.” more

By Donald Gilpin

Cannabis, legal and illegal, is available and in use in Princeton. Sales of retail cannabis have been legal for adults in New Jersey since April 21, with the nearest store just a few miles away on Route 1 and deliveries available throughout the state. The aroma was in the air at the P-rade and at various other Reunions gatherings on the Princeton University campus over the weekend.

But there will be no dispensary opening in town in the foreseeable future, as the May 17 Princeton Council Virtual Special Meeting on the issue of cannabis retail provided a relatively quiet culmination to six months of often fierce debate over the pros and cons of opening a cannabis store or stores in Princeton.

The meeting was advertised as a continuing listening session for Council. At the previous session on March 29, there were about 35 members of the public still lined up to speak at the end of a four-hour Zoom session attended by about 345 people.

Only 14 of the 35 returned on May 17, however, and after 45 minutes, with 13 of the 14 voicing opposition to a cannabis dispensary in town, the Council members began their discussion.

Councilwoman Eve Niedergang, who had headed the Cannabis Task Force that recommended in November 2021 that Council pass an ordinance allowing up to three cannabis retail establishments in town, expressed reluctant acceptance of the fact that despite potential advantages of a cannabis store in Princeton, that there was obviously widespread opposition and that the Princeton cannabis debate was too rancorous and time consuming.

She emphasized that the issue had had a “disturbingly and perhaps uniquely divisive” impact on the community and had taken a tremendous amount of Council’s time and energy.

“I continue to believe that Princeton should approve and regulate its own cannabis dispensary,” said Niedergang in a prepared statement, noting that cannabis and its challenges would exist in Princeton with or without a local store.  more

PLAYING A ROLE IN A RENAISSANCE: Clyde Bethea, shown here with his tunable organic dye laser system in 1978, was among the panelists in a special presentation at Morven Museum, where an exhibit on Bell Labs in New Jersey is on view. (Courtesy of the Bethea Family)

By Anne Levin

The invention of cell phones, solar panels, radar, and the discovery of the Big Bang owe a debt to Bell Telephone Laboratories, better known as Bell Labs, which began operating throughout New Jersey some nine decades ago. Playing a significant role in these and other inventions were Black scientists, researchers, and mathematicians, who were encouraged to flourish at Bell’s Murray Hill headquarters in ways they might not have been as warmly welcomed elsewhere.

Their accomplishments were the focus of “20th Century Black Scientific Renaissance at Bell Labs,” a panel discussion presented live and online May 17 at Morven Museum, where the exhibit “Ma Bell: The Mother of Invention in New Jersey” is on view through next March. Moderated by Princeton University Professor William A. Massey, the panel included three Bell veterans. Two who were discussed have died in recent years.

Princeton resident and historian Shirley Satterfield introduced the panel. “Their time at Bell Labs was a glowing and noted renaissance,” she said. “Each brings his or her own accomplishment that opened up a better world to their dedicated work.”

Between them, the panelists hold a total of nearly 800 patents. Three are members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and one was a member of the inaugural class of the American Mathematical Society Fellows. The lists of accomplishments credited to them is long and impressive.

Clyde G. Bethea, recruited by Bell in the early 1970s, is an expert in the field of lasers, imaging, and quantum electronics. Having been at Bell Labs for more than 35 years, he is currently working on laser imaging for non-invasive, early-detection breast cancer tumors, for which a patent is pending.

“The idea came to me when I was in the hospital with lymphoma in 2003,” he said. “I started working in these ideas to figure out how to detect breast cancer in real time.” Bethea’s portable laser-stimulated cancer tumor imaging system, which he first developed at home, would allow cysts and tumors to be seen with very high accuracy.  more

By Anne Levin

At its meeting Monday night, Princeton Council voted in favor of two resolutions to enhance safety on Rosedale Road and General Johnson Way, the site of a pedestrian fatality last summer.

One of the resolutions reduces the speed limit from 40 and 45 miles per hour to 35; the other allows for a closure of the road this summer to build a roundabout. The hope is that construction will be completed by the time school starts in the fall.

The initiatives, which required the cooperation of Mercer County, made their way through the approval system quicker than usual. “We’re very fortunate that Mercer County really put safety as the utmost priority and took the action to get us to this point,” said Deanna Stockton, the town’s deputy administrator for infrastructure and operations. more

Joshua Katz

The Princeton University Board of Trustees voted on Monday, May 23 to fire Classics Professor Joshua Katz, effective immediately.

The dismissal followed an investigation initiated in February 2021 prompted by “a detailed written complaint” from an alumna who had a consensual relationship with Katz while she was an undergraduate under his academic supervision, according to a statement by Princeton University.

That relationship had prompted disciplinary proceedings against Katz in 2018 resulting in his unpaid suspension for the academic year 2018-19 and three years of probation from 2019-2022. 

The recent investigation concluded that Katz had “misrepresented facts or failed to be straightforward” during the  2018 proceedings and had discouraged the alumna from speaking and from “participating and cooperating” and from “seeking mental health care although he knew her to be in distress, all in an effort to conceal a relationship he knew was prohibited by University rules,” according to the Princeton University statement.  more