Articles filed under “In the news”

Ever wonder if Seth Priebatsch, the 21-year-old entrepreneurial wunderkid who dropped out of Princeton his freshman year, misses kicking it with his peers on campus? Well, Priebatsch had this to offer in his Sunday New York Times profile (which described Priebatsch as a “teenage Vulcan):

Why, is that Seth Priebatsch (formerly '11) at Princeton's TigerLaunch?

Why, is that Seth Priebatsch (formerly '11) at Princeton's TigerLaunch?

“I had friends at Princeton; I’m sure it’d be fun to see them,” he says. “But I know that what I’m going after is huge and others are going after it, and if they’re not, they’re making a mistake. But other people will figure it out, and every minute that I’m not working on it is a minute when they’re making progress and I’m not. And that is just not O.K.”

The would-be entreprenuers would be wise to listen to whatever Priebatsch has to offer, terrifyingly determined as it may be: Scvngr, the tech start-up he started while still a student at Princeton, pulled in a cool $4 million from Google Ventures.

Other choice tidbits from the profile (and a video of Priesbatsch giving a TED talk) after the jump!

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6a00d8341c630a53ef01347fc41456970cIn her 1980 bestseller “The Official Preppy Handbook,” Lisa Birnbach defined the prep as someone who had a classic outlook on life and a classic wardrobe to match. You might think that thirty years later, and with the economy in the tubes, a manual on all things preppy would be of no use to you.  But then Lawnparties found you scrambling for an appropriate outfit and then it’s already time to start thinking about job interviews for next summer, and you start to sort of wish you knew some of the inside secrets of this pastel world.

Thankfully, Birnbach and celebrated graphic designer Chip Kidd have released an updated version of the handbook: “True Prep: It’s A Whole New Old World”.  You can watch Birnbach talk about the new book on the Colbert Report here.

Our favorite suggestions on how kick it with the country-clubbers after the jump:

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If these cheekbones could talk: Jane in action (source: The CW)

If you were following our blog these past few months, you know that The Amazing Race isn’t the only reality series with a Princeton connection this fall.  This season (or, as the show’s creator/judge/host/resident eccentric Tyra Banks insists on calling it, “cycle”) of America’s Next Top Model features junior Jane Randall among its bevy of smizing beauties.

Randall, a former member of the lacrosse team who hails from Baltimore, MD, is back at Princeton while the show airs (Wednesday nights at 8 pm on The CW).  So far we’ve only seen Jane in the show’s casting episode, in which she had a scant few minutes of direct screentime.  Still, that was enough time for Jane to: 1) receive the first profanity-bleeping of the cycle (for her reaction to the show’s new grand prize, a cover and two spreads in Vogue Italia); and 2) be labeled “privileged” by one of the show’s judges for attending Princeton and owning horses.

How the 5’9″ History major did going forward in the competition is everyone-but-Jane’s guess.  But while Jane can’t reveal her ultimate fate on the show, she did call us last week to talk about her Top Model experience.

The Ink: What made you want to apply for the show?
Jane:  In October in I was in New York with my mom, and a photographer approached me in Starbucks and asked if I was a model, and I said no. But it was always something I kind of wanted to do. So I went back to my dorm and actually took a couple pictures in my dorm room with my roommates. I sent it in to some agencies and got some calls back. And then I sent them in to Top Model —  I was watching Gossip Girl on the CW website, and there was actually a link to apply for the next Cycle…

Why was modeling something you always wanted to try?
It’s always been something I’ve thought about doing, I guess ever since my growth spurt. People have always said, “Oh, you’re tall and lanky, you should be a model.” But I never had any idea about how to go about doing it.  And then I kind of took it as a sign when the photographer approached me. I figured, why not send in some pictures and find out if I could actually do it?

Before the show, who or what did you think of when you heard the word “model”?
Mainly editorials in magazines. I wasn’t very familiar with runway [modeling], I’ve never really watched fashion shows. I guess an image in a magazine was what I thought of when I heard the word.

And now?  Do you think of yourself?  Do you consider yourself a model?
That’s a good question. Before the show, I definitely did not — it’s something I [just] wanted to do. But through the course of the show, you’ll see I’m trying to figure out if I can.

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IMG_3601lg-1Princeton Dean of the College Nancy Weiss Malkiel will step down from her administrative role at the end of this academic year, the school announced in a Wednesday press release.

In recent years, Dean Malkiel has become a lightning rod for debate over Princeton’s future due to her role in implementing the school’s grade deflation and four year college projects.

But as the official press release notes, Malkiel’s 24-year tenure as Dean of the College — the second-longest among those holding her job — has also included the introduction of many other recognizable policies and programs.  These undertakings include the Princeton Writing Program, the P-D-F grading option, current course distribution requirements, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, and Princeton’s no-loan financial aid policy.

Malkiel will soon return to the History Department, which she joined as a faculty member in 1969 (her husband Burton Malkiel is also a professor at the University, in the Economics Department).   In her post-administrative career she’ll begin work on “a book about the history of coeducation at Princeton” and eventually teach a freshman seminar on coeducation.

Regardless of the endeavors that lie in Malkiel’s future, among current students she’ll likely be remembered, not always fondly, for her strong support of the grade deflation policy that seeks to limit limit the number of A’s academic departments give out each semester.

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The Fitzrandolph Gates await, 2014ers! (Source:

The Fitzrandolph Gates await, 2014ers! (Source:

As New Jersey gets attacked by the mother lode of all rain storms this week (oh hey, Tropical Depression Danielle!), the start of hurricane season prompts every good Princetonian to start his or her annual late-summer countdown till move-in.  (19 days, folks!) At this point, of course, all of our friends at normal schools have already moved in and are partying up a storm–erm, are studying hard, as usual. But hey, we’re too cool to start classes in August.  And so we wait.

And wait.

And wait.

For all you 2014ers out there, have no fear! With any luck, this interim period will be your most hellish Princeton experience by far.  In the meantime, here’s a lovely article courtesy of today’s New York Times about how schools are dealing with  over-protective parents as freshman flock to campus.

At Princeton, parents are politely encouraged to vamoose by students-only events after 5:30pm on move-in day.  Dean Dunne, our Associate Dean of Undergraduates, weighs in: “It’s easy for students to point to [the students-only events] and say, ‘Hey, Mom, I think you’re supposed to be gone now.’  It’s obviously a hard conversation for students to have with parents.”

Here’s hoping your parents know how to let go come September 4th for all you OA and CA folks!  If need be, gently remind them that Parents’ Day is a scant month away…at which point, their pocketbooks and the prospect of dinner off-campus will earn them quite the hearty welcome.

Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at

Source: Teruyoshi Hayashida/PowerHouse Books, published at

As  we dredge hopelessly through the dog days of summer, with New York experiencing one of its hottest July weekends on record, it makes sense that we’re all getting a little back-to-school-fever.  Case in point: the front page of today’s New York Times Sunday Style section, which featured a story on the timelessness of Ivy League preppiness, complete with color picture of Princetonians in all their tiger-toned glory circa 1965.

Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo:

Nassau Steet parties like it's 1965; a spread from the newly-reissued "Take Ivy." (Photo:

The occasion? As we announced to you back in March, Teruyoshi Hayashida’s classic book, Take Ivy, is coming to a retail store near you (as in, a short jaunt down Nassau Street) in just a few weeks.  The style classic, long worshipped by the powers-that-be at prepster labels like J.Press and Ralph Lauren, will be reissued by Powerhouse Books on August 23rd and sold by retailers like J.Crew.  What better way to spark up your post-Reunions, pre-move-in enthusiasm for Sperry Top-Siders and popped collars than to snap up a copy? Until then, you can preview the preppiness at your leisure in this NYT slide show, or read your fill about how this All-American Ivy look has taken over international men’s fashion here. Doesn’t it make you long to dash past East Pyne in a pristine letter sweater on a crisp Fall day?

3045549519_a3dba04a38Even with the outcome potentially spoiled, CDY on the Amazing Race is just so fascinating to me.

In my pre-Princeton life I followed The Amazing Race as fanatically as some people follow football or baseball or the Academy Awards. I would flip out at the announcement of a new destination (“We’ve never been to Ethiopia before!” I’d exclaim, as if I were actually along for the ride instead of bouncing on a beanbag chair in my basement), bawl at the elimination of my favorite teams, and spend hours poring over game analysis on Reality TV message boards.

It was weird, I know. But when you’re a high schooler looking to use pop culture as the means of escape from your so-called teenage life, you really have to commit to your obsessions. Polite interest in a show or team or band doesn’t really get you anywhere – and me, I wanted to go everywhere, skip out of Delaware and cross the whole world three times over, preferably with a CBS camera crew in tow.

What I’m saying is, given this past obsession, the prospect of any old Princeton student on the show would be compelling to me.  But what makes CDY on the Amazing Race­ especially compelling – like I said, out-and-out fascinating – is that CDY wasn’t just any old student during his time at Princeton. He was one of our private college’s public figures – politically, at least, our big man on campus.

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If you are one of the poor phantoms haunting this ghost campus right now, craving some marginally-Princeton-related excitement, this might be the fix you need. We’ve got our mainstays– Whitman’s gubernatorial race, Bradley’s World Cup squad — but this was also a week of broken ankles, bloody noses, and fainting spells. Oh, and heinous refereeing. Tigers sorta set the media aflame this week, for better or for worse.

Something tells us a Fortune cover with a thoroughbred isn't the best candidacy PR move

Something tells us the front cover of Fortune with a thoroughbred isn't exactly the best PR move

Running for office tends to bring all the unsavory bits to the surface, as Meg Whitman ’78 probably knows by now. Her whole family seems to be fair game: gossip rags have had a field day mining all the exploits of Whitman and her sons, Griff Harsh ’09 and Will Harsh ’11. A few days ago, Gawker conveniently rolled it all into one, hyper-hyperlinked, mud-slinging blog post. They lead things off with Griff allegedly breaking some lady’s ankle, and not on the b-ball court:

According to a police report filed later that night, [a 22 year-old woman Valerie] Sanchez and her friends had mocked his fraternity and said “fuck you” and “fuck your fraternity” to him before Sanchez swiped Griff’s baseball cap off his head. The altercation escalated when both parties arrived at Blue Chalk Cafe. According to Valerie’s statement to the police, they were inside the bar when Griff “pushed” her “with two open hands on her chest and shoulder area.” She fell down and felt her right ankle “snap.” A nearby security guard witnessed the event and corroborated Valerie’s version of the events.

The aftermath? Whitman “posted Griff’s $25,000 bail with a cashier’s check and brought her son home,” and the charges were eventually dropped under vague circumstances.

And further stoking the Whitman media flame: maybe-governor Meg apparently roughed up one of her young eBay employees, as the New York Times reported on Monday:

Ms. [Young Mi] Kim later told at least one colleague that Ms. Whitman used an expletive and shoved her. According to one of the eBay employees knowledgeable about Ms. Whitman’s version of the incident, Ms. Whitman said that she had physically guided Ms. Kim out of the conference room.

Unlike Griff’s incident, there was no word as to her actual technique — did she also use the patented Whitman family double-open-hand shove? — but at least Ms. Kim escaped unscathed. Maybe Whitman was just getting in the right mindset, taking after her potential predecessor? Unanswered questions.

There was no roughhousing involved, but General David Petraeus *87 apparently fainted during a congressional hearing on Afghanistan strategy. Senator McCain aimed a question, then “stopped mid-sentence, his face frozen, as Petraeus slumped forward from his seat on to the witness table.” The general recovered quickly, chalked it up to dehydration and jet lag, and shrugged it off … pretty reasonable. (Happens to the best of us. Now that I think of it, happened to that one kid at that one bar mitzvah in 7th grade.)

Meanwhile, the media proceeded to grossly overreact and degenerate into some kind of weird speculative frenzy, best summed up by a genius Huffington Post video:

One of our Press Clubbers works with a DC intern who was present at the hearing and said it was a pretty low-key affair: he left, got some water, came back and apologized. Leave it to the media to blow things violently out of proportions!!!

And after the jump, graphic images of Congressman Jared Polis ’96 bleeding out of his face. Proceed at your own risk:

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Patterson: the inebriated protagonist of his Reunions tell-all

Patterson: the inebriated protagonist of his Reunions tell-all

We have a good thing going here at Princeton — even years after you graduate, you can come back and be an underclassman again for a weekend in May, reveling in all the debauchery that entails, at Princeton Reunions.

But it’s relatively hush-hush, you know? Sure it’s a huge party, but we manage to keep the degree of insanity under wraps and come out looking like… well, like we went to Princeton. Our little secret, yeah?

Until this month’s issue of GQ came out, which features an exposé of last year’s Reunions — you may have already seen a Google Docs scan of it making rounds on a couple listservs (which we’re technically not allowed to link to here, what with copyright and all). The piece, by Troy Patterson ’96 and titled “The Smart Man’s ‘Jersey Shore’” (cringe), makes Woodrow Wilson roll in his grave:

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Look at our little Tiger go! (source:

Look at our little Tiger go! (source:

As discussions keep going strong about last week’s Elena Kagan ’81 nomination, the White House has announced that it will publish Kagan’s undergraduate thesis from Princeton’s Department of History.  This announcement was made after the right-wing site RedState had illegally posted her “socialist thesis” last week; apparently, Kagan (and not ‘ole Nassau) holds the copyright for her undergraduate work.  Her graduate thesis from Oxford will also be released.  A White House official explained:

In addition to requesting an expedited release of the documents from the Clinton White House detailed in [White House counsel Bob] Bauer’s letter, the White House will make available copies of Kagan’s theses from Princeton and Oxford. These documents were not specifically requested by the Judiciary Committee in the questionnaire, but demonstrating our commitment to transparency, they will be made available to the committee and the public regardless.

The thesis can now be accessed online: read away, if you have a few days to spare (as we all clearly do during exam week. Duh.). Or check out the Prince’s Cliff Notes version from earlier in the month if you’re a tad short on time. Read Politico’s full story on the theses releases here. For a more sympathetic take on how college kids are supposed to write theses that are naive and inflammatory (and not meant to be read out of context), head over to Slate, where Christopher Beam wrote a great piece yesterday about how “college is all about screwing up.” Sweet music to our ears, Chris…


PRINCETON, N.J. — The run of the train known as the Princeton Dinky is both impressively long and unusually short. For 145 years, this rail link in a college town has ferried students and commuters over the briefest of distances.

But Year 146 has not been kind to the nation’s shortest regularly scheduled commuter route, which travels a four-minute, 2.7-mile stretch of track between a small station at Princeton University and a larger one at Princeton Junction.

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All of us are in a state of despair, with Dean’s Date looming over us, but let’s just take a quick moment to engage in some “school spirit” (I hear it’s a real thing):


President Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan ’81 to the Supreme Court, NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting tonight. And the White House will officially announce the selection at a 11 AM event tomorrow (Monday), according to The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder.

Kagan, who previously served as the dean of Harvard Law, will be the third consecutive Princetonian to be picked for the nation’s high court, joining Justices Samuel Alito ’72 and Sonia Sotomayor ’76 on the bench.

Princeton will be the most represented college on the Supreme Court, assuming Kagan is confirmed. Stanford is next with two alumni (Kennedy and Breyer) on the Court. Other colleges represented are Harvard (Roberts), Georgetown (Scalia), Holy Cross (Thomas), and Cornell (Ginsburg). Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens graduated from the University of Chicago.

Kagan would be the third Jewish Supreme Court justice if confirmed, leaving exactly zero Protestants on the bench (Stevens is the only one left). She would also be the first Solicitor General to be appointed to the Court since Thurgood Marshall (for whom she clerked after graduating from Harvard Law). Marshall’s nickname for Kagan? Shorty! (She’s less than 5’3″.)

And Kagan is the second member from the Class of 1981 who has become a superstar in American politics. The other alumnus: Eliot Spitzer ’81. (We will refrain from making any prostitute jokes.)

Oddly, it might be liberals who will be more upset with Kagan, who has supported a more expansive view of executive power than many on the Left find palatable. Still, expect Republicans to mount a large effort against Kagan by arguing that she’s “radical” and too gay rights-friendly. In particular, they cite Kagan’s criticism of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during her time as dean of Harvard Law as particularly troublesome:

I believe that policy is profoundly wrong — both unwise and unjust…and I look forward to the day when all our students, regardless of sexual orientation, will be able to serve and defend this country in the armed services.

Last year, the Senate voted to confirm Kagan 61-31, including seven Republicans, when she was nominated Solicitor General, so chances are she’ll be hanging with our girl Sonia (and maybe our homeboy Sam? Probably not…) when the Supreme Court begins its new term in October.

See our previous posts on Kagan here, here, and here.

And you can find our past coverage of Justice Sotomayor and her time at Princeton here, here, and here.