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Queen Noor to speak at '00 Baccalaureate

Queen Noor of Jordan – formerly Lisa Halaby '73 – will be the speaker at this year's Baccalaureate, the year-ending Chapel service for the senior class, the University announced yesterday.

Queen Noor, a member of the University's first coeducational class, graduated with a degree in architecture and urban planning. While working on international urban planning projects, her involvement in the design of an aviation training school brought her to Jordan, where she met King Hussein. The two were married in 1978.


Since then, Queen Noor has helped promote Arab-Western relations as well as an international understanding of Middle Eastern politics. She also has performed humanitarian work in the areas of disarmament, women and children's welfare, community development, education, human rights, culture and public architecture and planning.

The announcement signaled the end of a semester-long process that included an open discussion forum for members of the Class of 2000 and administrators, as well as a Web-based submission form for nominations.

The forum and submission process established three finalists: Meg Whitman '77, president and CEO of eBay; Wendy Kopp '89, founder of Teach for America and Queen Noor. Once these candidates were announced on the Web, a class-wide vote showed Queen Noor to be the favorite speaker of the senior class by a large margin.

Vice President and Secretary Tom Wright '62 said scheduling difficulties prevented Queen Noor from committing to the event immediately.

"She's an enthusiastic alum, and I don't think there was any question that she wanted to try to fit this in if she could," he said.

Senior class president Robert Anolik said he was thrilled the University was able to get his class's first choice.


"Beyond the inherent excitement of her celebrity, she has been a global humanitarian and represents Princeton's motto well because she has been in the service of all nations," he said. "I'm glad we were able to bring a female because it appropriately recognizes and celebrates this year as the 30th anniversary of Princeton's admission of women."

With graduation fast approaching, the senior class has chosen its beer jacket. The top five designs for this year's jacket were placed on the class Website for voting. The winning jacket was a bowling-style jacket with the number 2000 wrapped around the torso.

Last year the selection of the beer jacket became a subject of controversy when senior class officers, ignoring class voting results, chose the jacket which had finished third in the voting.

Anolik said that ensuring fair voting was one of his goals as class president this year. "Everyone in the class feels very passionately about the jackets," he said, noting that almost 60 percent of the class voted. "It was very important to me to make sure this went smoothly and fairly."

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The response to this year's voting process has been very good, according to Anolik. "Many people have thanked many of the officers for ensuring it was a secure process and it is a class decision," he said.

"Last year was ridiculous," Andy Kim '00 said of the beer jacket selection. Kim said the voting this year was convenient and fair, although he disagreed with the popular choice of his classmates. "I really didn't like that jacket, but I understand they are supposed to be kind of ugly," he said.

Nirav Patel '00 and Blair Irwin '00 said some of the jackets were at a disadvantage in the voting because instead of a graphic on the Webpage, there was only text describing them. "If all the designs were standardized, maybe the voting would have been fair," Patel said.