Unless you have a son or daughter graduating, you probably will not be able to get a ticket to Princeton’s commencement next Tuesday, June 3 — it’s one of the hottest tickets of the year. And unless you are a Princeton alumnus or a friend of one you probably will not be able to sneak in to the parties under the tents on Friday and Saturday nights, May 30 and 31.
Invited or not, however, you are likely to be a party to a colossal traffic jam if you venture into downtown Princeton at an inopportune time. The Tuesday morning of commencement is one bad traffic day. Another is Saturday afternoon, May 31, when the alumni P-rade wends its way through the campus, starting at 2 p.m. (and open to one and all who can find a place to park in town and walk onto the campus). Another traffic stopper: the now traditional alumni fireworks display that Saturday evening, when Washington Road between Route 1 and Faculty Road is closed to traffic from around 8:30 to 8:45 p.m.
Perhaps the most accessible events of the Reunions weekend are the faculty-alumni forums that take place in various academic buildings on the Friday and Saturday mornings.
While not as boisterous as the other Reunions fare, the forums feature a bright and diverse section of the returning alumni — ranging this year from Eddie Cox, the son-in-law of former President Nixon (married to Tricia Nixon Cox) to the basketball coach at Georgetown to Annalyn Swan, who co-wrote the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of artist Willem de Kooning.
Herewith some of the noteworthy events of this year’s alumni-faculty forums:
Friday, May 30
Do We Take Our Infrastructure for Granted? McCormick 101, 9:15 a.m. Moderator: David Billington ‘50, Professor of Engineering.
Panelists: Connie Crawford ‘78 *81, senior vice president and chief engineer, MTA, New York City Transit; Todd R. Campbell ‘83, project manager, Minnesota Department of Transportation; and Theodore Zoli ‘88, technical director - bridges, HNTB Corporation.
Is There an Honor Code in Sports? McCosh 50, 9:15 a.m. Moderator: Chris Sailer, head coach, women’s lacrosse.
Panelists: Robert F. Casciola ‘58, former president, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame; Edward Swift ‘73, senior writer, Sports Illustrated; Karen Smyers ‘83, professional triathlete; John Thompson ‘88, basketball coach, Georgetown; Maura Bolger ‘03, assistant director of athletics for compliance and recruiting, Fairfield University.
Beyond the iPhone: What will Technology Look Like in 2018? McCosh 46, 10:30 a.m. Moderator: Edward Felten, professor of computer science and director, Center for Information Technology Policy.
Panelists: Hervey (Peter) Stockman Jr. ‘68, astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute; Don M. Boroson ‘73 *77, Optical Communications Technology Group, MIT; Katherine Hays Miller ‘98, chief operating officer, Massive Inc./Microsoft Corp.; J. Alex Halderman ‘03, Ph.D. candidate, Princeton Department of Computer Science.
What’s Next for Healthcare Reform? McCosh 50, 10:30 a.m. Moderator: Uwe E. Reinhardt, professor of economics and public affairs, Woodrow Wilson School.
Panelists: Mark Siegler ‘63, University of Chicago professor of medicine and surgery; director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; Raymond J. Baxter ‘68 *76, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente; Max Gomez ‘73, health and science editor, WNBC; Jonathan C. Javitt ‘78, former chair, President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and adjunct professor, Johns Hopkins University; Evan Fieldston ‘98, attending physician, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Natural Resources and Sustainability. McCosh 46, 2:30 p.m. Moderator: Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School.
Panelists: Steven Rockefeller ‘58, professor of religion emeritus, Middlebury College; Kirk Emerson ‘73, director, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution; John H. Rogers ‘88, senior energy analyst/ advocate, Union of Concerned Scientists; Gil Rogers ‘98, staff attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center; and Andrew Jarrett ‘03, geologist, Chesapeake Energy.
What To Do about Free Trade and China, McCosh 50, 2:30 p.m. Moderator: Lynn White, professor of politics and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School.
Panelists: Gordon Y.S. Wu ‘58, chairman, Hopewell Holdings Limited John Taylor ‘68, professor of economics, Stanford University; David Sedney ‘73, deputy assistant secretary of defense/East Asia, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Carol A. Wingard ‘83, managing partner, Greater China, L.E.K. Consulting.
Saturday, May 31
How Will the Dust Settle? Themes in the 2008 Presidential Election. McCosh 50, 9:15 a.m. Moderator: Martin Gilens, associate professor of politics.
Panelists: Eddie Cox ‘68, partner, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler; Sarah Rosen Wartell ‘83, executive vice-president for management and general counsel, Center for American Progress; Chris Lu ‘88, legislative director, Senator Barack Obama; Massie Ritsch ‘98, communications director, Center for Responsive Politics; Bill Beaver ‘03, legislative assistant, United States Senate.
Investing Today: What’s the Next Bubble? McCormick 101, 9:15 a.m. Moderator: Robert Vanderbei, professor of operations research and financial engineering
Panelists: Marc E. Lackritz ‘68, CEO, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; Scott Gurvey ‘73, bureau chief and senior correspondent, PBS Nightly Business Report; Joseph Gatto ‘78, vice chairman, Lehman Brothers; and Andrew Bary ‘83, associate editor, Barron’s.
Writing as a Career, McCosh 46, 9:15 a.m. Moderator: Paul Muldoon, professor and chair, Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts.
Panelists: Annalyn Swan ‘73, editor, writer, and biographer; John Oakes ‘83, executive editor, Atlas and Co.; Lisa Harper ‘88, adjunct professor of writing, University of San Francisco; Greg Behrman ‘98, non-fiction writer; Jennifer Kogler ‘03, novelist.