Warm Spirits Create Festive 100th Alumni Day Despite Frigid Winter Weather

A thousand alumni and numerous Classmates braved single-digit temperatures and a Saturday afternoon snowstorm to reunite at the 100th Alumni Day celebration. In honor of the centennial, the event spanned two full days this year. Friday's program included a whirlwind exploration of language covering that first learned by infants, gender-specific responses to phrasing, student poetry slams, the language of terrorists, and computer languages. Alumni gathered in the new Frick Chemistry Laboratory for the kickoff celebration featuring delicious food and student dance and music ensembles. That evening Class members including President Podie Lynch, Kirk Liddell, Jack and Ronnie Hittson, Alan and Karen Usas, and Ray Ollwerther met for a delicious and relaxing dinner at Mediterra on Palmer Square.

The agenda for Saturday began with talks by the two award winners. Receiving the Madison Medal was Martin Eakes *80, CEO of Self-Help, which has loaned $7 billion to business, non-profits, and low-income people. His stirring address, "Homes, Lending, and Wealth Inequality in America," described the success of Self-Help and underscored the mounting challenges created by the concentration of wealth in a small proportion of the population. The stage in Alexander Hall next became the venue for Queen Noor of Jordan (Lisa Halaby '73) to receive the Woodrow Wilson Award. Her remarkable journey from Princeton architecture student to royalty at the age of 26 afforded her opportunities to learn, observe, and comment on critical issues facing the Middle East, its neighbors, and the world. Censored for her outspoken speech, she has continued to draw attention to the tragedy of war, the importance of human rights, and the role of women.

The traditional Alumni Day lunch held in Jadwin Gym was especially festive as the centennial events continued. Classmates who met together for the meal included Vice President Kirk Liddell, Howard Zien, Ray Ollwerther, Richard Neill (in from San Francisco), William Armiger, Rich and Maria DiFedele, and Alan and Karen Usas. The University uses the event to announce a number of major academic awards and prizes. The Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowships were given to four outstanding graduate students whose research was profiled for the audience through video clips. Two amazing undergraduate students received the Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize and addressed the audience with stories of their accomplishments and how Princeton and other factors played a role. One of the most moving parts of Alumni Day each year is the Service of Remembrance in honor of those alumni who have died in the past year. Class Treasurer Howard Zien represented '71 in the procession. More photos are in the Photo Gallery and also here along with additional information about the event.

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