10 episodes

Alumni Day is the mid-winter celebration on campus in which Princeton's most accomplished alumni are honored and recognized. The Woodrow Wilson Award is conferred annually upon an alumnus or alumna of the undergraduate college whose achievements exemplify Woodrow Wilson's memorable phrase "Princeton in the nation's service." The James Madison Medal is given each year to an alumnus or alumna of the Graduate School who has had a distinguished career, advanced the cause of graduate education, or achieved a record of outstanding public service. Speeches from the award winners are collected here.

Alumni Day Award Winners Princeton University

    • Podcasts

Alumni Day is the mid-winter celebration on campus in which Princeton's most accomplished alumni are honored and recognized. The Woodrow Wilson Award is conferred annually upon an alumnus or alumna of the undergraduate college whose achievements exemplify Woodrow Wilson's memorable phrase "Princeton in the nation's service." The James Madison Medal is given each year to an alumnus or alumna of the Graduate School who has had a distinguished career, advanced the cause of graduate education, or achieved a record of outstanding public service. Speeches from the award winners are collected here.

    • video
    The Lion in the Path

    The Lion in the Path

    Hunter R. Rawlings III *70, President of the Association of American Universities, notes that, while American research universities are considered today the best in the world and are emulated, envied and entertained by other countries eager to catch up with our success in building such strong institutions, our universities have never been so hard pressed to make their “value proposition” in the face of such strong public criticisms—for everything from high cost and student debt to curricular sclerosis, administrative bloat and failure to change traditional paradigms in the face of the digital revolution. How, Rawlings asks, do we make sense of this paradox at the heart of the critique? He outlines how the history of the American higher education system and the more recent trends answer this question. He concludes with three reasons to be an optimist about the future. Rawlings was the Madison Medalist, Alumni Day 2014.

    • 39 min
    • video
    In the Nation's Service

    In the Nation's Service

    Sonia Sotomayor ’76, Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, reflects on the various ways that one can live a life of service. She wonders whether we have conflated the idea of service into a daunting goal for the next generation and counsels us to break down “service” to its basics: sacrificing one’s own interests to help another in need. Justice Sotomayor inspires other Princetonians to be role models of service to those around them by providing tangible, one-on-one acts of service and talks about service on the personal, professional, and civic levels. She additionally provides her personal key to happiness: asking two specific questions of oneself each night. Sotomayor was the Woodrow Wilson Award winner, Alumni Day 2014.

    • 40 min
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    Do Princeton Graduates Match the Moment? (Lecture Segment)

    Do Princeton Graduates Match the Moment? (Lecture Segment)

    Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. ’71, President of Purdue University and former Governor of the State of Indiana, questions the preparedness of today’s Princeton graduates to manage the demands of public leadership at a time when leadership is needed most critically. Reflecting upon the complications of our current national reality, President Daniels shares his belief that true efficacy in leadership depends upon entrusting in the good sense of common American citizens and a commitment to the guiding principles of solvency, dignity, and unity. Daniels was the Woodrow Wilson Award winner, Alumni Day 2013.

    • 29 min
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    Academic Research and Public Policy (Lecture segment)

    Academic Research and Public Policy (Lecture segment)

    Arminio Fraga *85, Founding Partner of Gávea Investments and former President of the Central Bank of Brazil, discusses the topics of central banks, inflation, and key lessons from monetary history that should impact the present roles of central banks and government today. By comparing the fiscal past and present of Brazil and the U.S. with their European and South American counterparts, Fraga pinpoints specific corrective measures that restored stability to systems fraught by hyperinflation and makes recommendations for fiscal policies that honor the true scope of what central banks can realistically achieve. Fraga was the Madison Medalist, Alumni Day 2013.

    • 43 min
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    Leadership, Humility, and Service: The Princeton Tradition (Lecture Segment)

    Leadership, Humility, and Service: The Princeton Tradition (Lecture Segment)

    Robert Mueller III ’66, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, reflects upon the core values of leadership, humility, and service learned during his time as an undergraduate student at Princeton University and reinforced by his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He further discusses the effects of globalization, technology, and social media on law enforcement and the need for constant strategic adaptation to protect against global threats and terrorism. Mueller was the Woodrow Wilson Award winner, Alumni Day 2012.

    • 22 min
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    A Conversation with EPA Administrator Jackson (Lecture Segment)

    A Conversation with EPA Administrator Jackson (Lecture Segment)

    Lisa Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, explains how her interest in science began, her career journey, and the need for growth in women’s involvement in the scientific and technical fields. She describes the increase of women in these fields as important to changing the culture of science and redefining women's roles within it, so they no longer believe they must give up what they value about themselves as women to reach the highest pinnacles of the profession. Jackson was the Madison Medalist, Alumni Day 2012.

    • 25 min

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