Accolade: She is the first woman elected as president of Princeton and the second female president in the Ivy League
Biography: Shirley Tilghman succeeded Harold Tafler Shapiro and became the 19th President of Princeton University in 2001.
Her Presidency presidency has placed an emphasis on increasing the diversity of Princeton's faculty and students; widening access to the university through improvements to its generous financial aid program and the elimination of admission through "early decision"; fostering a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and research; and strengthening the university's international perspective through a wide range of initiatives - from the Global Scholars Program, which brings international scholars to campus on a recurring basis, to the Bridge Year Program, which gives incoming freshmen an opportunity to defer their studies for a year in order to devote themselves to public service overseas.
Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. She was a founding member of the International Mammalian Genome Society. She serves as a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. From 1993 through 2000, Tilghman chaired Princeton's Council on Science and Technology, which encourages teaching science and technology to students outside the sciences. In 1996, she received Princeton's President's Award for Distinguished Teaching.
"What made it truly thrilling was that the genes were organized
in a way that was totally unexpected.
So nature took us by surprise." - Shirley M. Tilghman
Scholarly Corner Original Written Work By UChicago History Faculty