Ben Bernanke Delivers “Hilarious” Speech at Princeton

This past Sunday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed Princeton’s Class of 2013, doling out the signature jokes and charming witticisms for which Americans nationwide have come to know him. Though Chairman Ben is technically a Harvard man, he served as the head of Princeton’s Department of Economics for around six years after stints at Stanford and New York University. Yesterday, then, was something of a homecoming for our favorite salt and pepper economist, and boy, did he deliver. CNNMoney called him “hilarious!” Bloomberg News called him “humorous!” After all, Bernanke employed many tactics associated with truly funny people, like delivering his speech in list format (always demonstrative of serious effort), endorsing monogamous relationships and even quoting the seminal Tom Hanks film “Forrest Gump.”

“Life is like a box of chocolates,” Bernanke told the assembled grads. “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it.”

Pretty funny, huh? Judge for yourself and read the full speech here.

Meet Alex Jaffe, Princeton’s Newest Most Eligible Bachelor

Before yesterday Alex Jaffe was just another nice Jewish boy from the Upper East Side trying to find his soul mate in the rough and tumble dating world that is Princeton University. But now Alex is (probably) the hottest commodity on campus, thanks to his mother Susan, who sent in a letter to The Daily Princetonian urging female undergrads to go out and find themselves a man (specifically her son). Here she is, describing him for all the single females out there:

“My younger son is a junior and the universe of women he can marry is limitless.”

Well, if it wasn’t before, it sure is now.

You can read about the curious content of the letter elsewhere, but now please turn your attention to the new poster boy of the Princeton singles scene.

Here’s what we know about Alex:

  • He’s from New York City
  • He uses his mother’s last name on Facebook
  • He went to the elite Stuyvesant High School
  • He scored an 800 on one section of his SATs
  • He plays the French horn
  • He likes theater
  • He wears a lot of orange (a lot)
  • He’s a member of the Princeton Brass Ensemble AND the Princeton Wind Ensemble

Here’s hoping that Alex has the good sense to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and marry an intellectual equal. A word of advice though ladies: This Tiger likes it rough. Just check out his neck.

Princeton Alum Fired From Penn For Making Fun Of Applicant Essays

Woman Laughing at Comp.jpgShocker: Of the 31,127 students who applied to the University of Pennsylvania last year, some were not “Penn material.” And thanks to one brave Princetonian, we now know who wasn’t up to par.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that former admissions officer Nadirah Foley, Princeton Class of 2011, was fired by the university late last year after she was discovered mocking applicants’ essays on Facebook. According to The DP, Foley also shared these essays over College Confidential, prompting responses such as “This loses my respect for UPenn and for the general admissions process SOOO much.” Everyone in the admissions department must be devestated.

Here are some of the students who proved worthy of Foley’s scorn:

  • A student who had “long and deep” connections to Penn because he had been circumcised at the school’s Hillel.
  • A student who overcame his fear of going to the bathroom in the great outdoors.
  • A student who thought Penn was near the beach.

MSNBC Airs The Daily Princetonian’s Misquote of Antonin Scalia

Yesterday we noticed The Daily Princetonian’s unfortunate misquote of Antonin Scalia’s comments on homosexuality during a Q&A at Princeton on Monday evening. (The article was soon corrected.) Then, last night, MSNBC aired the same error beneath the paper’s logo. We imagine the scene at the Prince’s newsroom went something like this:

Unnamed Prince staffer #1: Oh my god. Our logo!

Unnamed Prince staffer #2: Our error. The error.

Unnamed Prince staffer #3: No. Nooooooooooooo!!!!

Unnamed Prince staffer #4: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Disembodied voice of Shirley Tilghman: It was the only quote that anyone cared about!

Disembodied voice of David Petraeus: The only quote that mattered!

Exeunt.

There’s a Huge Party at Princeton Tonight, and You Are Not Invited

Multiple sources have forwarded us a Facebook chat transcript, produced below, between two Princetonians: one, an “old money Azerbaijani freshman” (according to one source) who tonight is “dropping ~$20k on a massive party” at Princeton’s Colonial Club, the other a “sorority girl” and Tiger Inn member who really — like, really really — wants to attend said gathering.

We’ve replaced their names (and those of their friends) with Princeton alumni of historical and cultural import — a gesture of charity, sure, but also practicality: the whole transcript is kind of bleak and harrowing once you realize that flesh-and-blood Princetonians really do appraise and sort each other in the manner portrayed here.

Full, horrible transcript, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Princetonian’s Unseemly Affair with David Petraeus

Yesterday the critic Glenn Greenwald published an excellent column describing the meretricious dynamic — recently thrust to the fore by the sudden resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus — between the American military and the individuals paid to report on it:

The military is by far the most respected and beloved institution among the US population — a dangerous fact in any democracy — and, even assuming they wanted to (which they don’t), our brave denizens of establishment journalism are petrified of running afoul of that kind of popular sentiment.

While Greenwald calls out several TV anchors for emoting, he misses one of “establishment journalism”‘s worst offenders: The Daily Princetonian.

Six weeks ago, in a 3,000-word story, the paper reported rumors that Petraeus was seeking Princeton’s presidency. (He’s an alum of the Graduate School.) A representative passage (bolding ours):

Other classmates of Petraeus described him as serious, intense and hardworking, which some said was necessary because of his desire to acquire a doctoral degree on a compressed schedule. Yet despite this indefatigable commitment to his academics, he still maintained a separate commitment that he would never cheat on: physical exercise. Petraeus ran competitively at the time and would always find time to fit a lengthy run into his schedule, classmates said.

Fast-forward to Friday. Within hours of Petraeus’s resignation, the Prince reported that, during interviews conducted for the article quoted above, Paula Broadwell’s relationship with Petraeus seemed sort of vague:  Read the rest of this entry »

Like Every Other Normal Human Being Would, Michelle Obama Runs Away from Princeton Screaming

Princeton is notable for a lot of reasons—its lack of a law school, its eating clubs (the bicker process in particular), the fact that it employs novelists like Toni Morrison and Jeffrey Eugenides who then produce ones like Jonathan Safran Foer and Jennifer Wiener, and on and on—but as this Prince story makes clear, the most notable thing about Princeton is the relationship alumni have with their alma mater.

At the yearly Reunions, graduates frock themselves in orange, sing Old Nassau, and get drunk—much, of course, like many other schools. But Princetonians do so with an intensity unmatched even by its Ivy League peers, so that the alumni who don’t partake in Reunions’ communal obliteration (and the entire culture of self-congratulation such gatherings encourage) can appear bitter, like frowny scolds who don’t appreciate everything that was given to them.

Over the past seven years, as her husband rose to national prominence, University officials made at least six direct overtures to [Michelle] Obama to return to Princeton or speak at Princeton-affiliated events. In all but one case, Obama has rebuffed the University’s advances, often citing a busy schedule.

Later: Read the rest of this entry »

Work for IvyGate: Back to School Edition

It’s that time of year again. While the Ancient Eight are preparing themselves for the quickly upcoming academic year, here at IvyGate, we’re looking for new talented contributors to join our elite ranks. And, as we’ve said before, “Experience is arbitrary.”

Seriously though, we want you! We’re looking for the next crop of newsies to break the big stories, investigate enticing leads, and cover the day-to-day foibles of the Ivy League. We’re looking for columnists to give their opinions on Ivy League sports, ethics, and whatever else you can think of (we’re open). We’re looking for design and multimedia mavens to create images, cut videos, and generally make us look as pretty as possible.

Have your work read by literally thousands of eyes every day, including some of the snarkiest most beautiful and intelligent commenters in the game. Join the entity recently referred to as a “blog” by The Huffington Post, ABC News, and many other equally impressive outfits. And look out, because there’s a website redesign coming soon that’ll knock your socks off.

If anything here appeals to you, or you have something slightly/wildly different in mind, or you have no idea what you’d want to do, hit us up at tips@ivygateblog.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mitch Daniels, Known Drug User, Now in Charge of Big 10 University

When he attended Princeton during the late sixties and early seventies, Mitch Daniels ’71 was arrested, fined, (but not jailed) and jailed (for two days) for possessing LSD, some pills, and two shoeboxes full of marijuana. In a Washington Post op-ed published in 1989, Daniels blamed the whole affair on an “unfortunate confluence of [his] wild oats period and America’s libertine apogee,” whatever that means.

This week, Daniels was named president of Purdue University, where no one, ever, smokes marijuana, does drugs, or consumes alcohol underage.

Daniels is uniquely unsuited to head a university. (To take any kind of employment in higher education, really.) In the same op-ed he detailed his collegiate indiscretion, Daniels argued for strict sanctions on users caught with quantities of drugs far smaller than those he himself, at Princeton in 1970, was caught with.

Last year Jacob Sullum, at Reason, detailed the extent to which Daniels escaped a much harsher penalty:

Daniels’ assertion that “justice was served” obscures what a huge break he got. Under current New Jersey law, possessing more than 50 grams (about 1.8 ounces) of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Given the amount of pot Daniels had (enough to fill two shoeboxes), he easily could have been charged with intent to distribute, which under current law triggers a penalty of three to five years (for less than five pounds). And at the time of Daniels’ arrest in May 1970, New Jersey’s marijuana penalties were even more severe. Six months after his arrest, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a case involving an 18-year-old who was caught with a tiny amount of pot (clearly just for personal use) and got a sentence of two to three years in prison.

The policy content of Daniels’s op-ed doesn’t really do him any favors, either (from ProQuest):  Read the rest of this entry »

The Not-So-Far-Fetched Fictitious Alumni and Attendees of the Ivy League, Part II of II

Previously: The Not-So-Far-Fetched Fictitious Alumni and Attendees of the Ivy League, Part I of II

HARVARD

Harvard University’s Thurston Howell III (Gilligan’s Island), besides having the whitest name in history, is, of course, an allegory representing his brethren from Cambridge.  Trapped on an island, he’s just like every other Harvard alumnus: alone.  Harvardian isolation comes from many sources—an abnormal inflation of self, a woeful lack of social skills, or having gone so batshit crazy in Lamebridge that you lock yourself in a cabin in the woods and mail people bombs. However, Howell sticks out in his solitude by literally being isolated on an island—albeit with some commoners. (Of course, he retains the famed Harvard “work ethic” by refusing to perform physical labor.) Preferring Bearitas to Veritas, he further shows a social disconnect by sleeping with his Teddy more than his wife.

PRINCETON

Students at Princeton University have a particular and peculiar translation for their motto, Dei sub numine viget: God went to Princeton. Uhh, what?  Either Princeton’s Classics department is failing, or the school has one heck of an ego problem.  Anyways, here’s a guy (God) who claims to be all for justice, but likes to kill little boys (Exodus 11:5), is super possessive of a tree (Genesis 2:17, not unlike that other Princetonian from Harold & Kumar), and just generally doesn’t want us to have a good time.

Speaking of people with multiple personas, another Princephonian is Bruce Wayne.  A Classics major, Wayne (hopefully) knows that Princeton’s motto actually means Under God’s power she flourishes. Otherwise? Leave it to a Princeton guy to lack any superpowers, but still have the audacity to fight crime in tight clothes—and leave it to a Classics major to revive pederasty. Gotham’s defending knight?  Or weird pedophile? Probably a little of both; either way, the new film is gonna be way better than The Avengers, in addition to actually staring an Ivy League superhero. (Like, c’mon, Tony Stark went to MIT…sooo not Ivy League.)  Read the rest of this entry »