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This Week in Princeton History for June 15-21

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the first woman receives an honorary degree, a senior is arrested during civil rights activism, and more.

June 15, 1978—Elizabeth “Lisa” Najeeb Halaby ’73 marries King Hussein and becomes Queen of Jordan, taking the name Noor Al-Hussein.

Elizabeth Halaby, future Queen Noor of Jordan, at a Princeton football game in 1969. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 223.

June 16, 1931—Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Willa Cather, best known today for having written O Pioneers!, becomes the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Princeton University (Doctor of Literature).

Princeton University’s 1931 honorary degree recipients surround its president, John Grier Hibben. Left to right: pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh, former Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, John Grier Hibben, Willa Cather, and former Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. Honorary Degree Records (AC106), Box 3.

June 17, 1770—Itinerant celebrity clergyman George Whitefield preaches to students at Nassau Hall, his last of many visits to Princeton.

June 18, 1963—Rising Princeton senior Robert M. Cover is arrested in Albany, Georgia while helping the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee register African American voters. He will write about this experience and other conflicts with law enforcement in Civil Rights Movement-era Georgia for the Daily Princetonian later in the summer of 1963. Inspired by his work in Georgia, he will suspend his college education to work there as a civil rights activist for a year, ultimately returning to Princeton to complete his degree as a part of the Class of 1965.

Robert Cover, ca. 1960. Undergraduate Academic Records 1921-2008 (AC198), Box 251.

For last week’s installment in this series, click here.

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