Alexandra Day ’02 returned to Princeton in January as the new deputy vice president for alumni engagement and director of the Alumni Council. She relocated to a home in downtown Princeton from New York City, where she had worked as vice president for public affairs at The Juilliard School. She recently fielded a few questions about her love for Princeton, the music of Richard Wagner and the global reach of Princeton pride.
What do you love most about your job in alumni engagement?
The people! In my role as director of the Alumni Council, I work closely with Princeton volunteers from every decade. Their enthusiasm and dedication to a place we all hold dear is inspiring and the main reason I’m excited to come to work every day.
What are the greatest differences between Princeton today and the Princeton you remember from your undergraduate days?
The breadth of experiences and aspirations of the student body.
What did you study at Princeton and what was the subject of your thesis?
I majored in comparative literature, and my thesis (“Wagnérisme as a Gesamtkunstwerk”) explored Richard Wagner’s influence on French literary culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, specifically as it was perceived and exhibited by Charles Baudelaire and Marcel Proust. I could talk about it for hours!
What’s your Princeton place: the building, nook, or outdoor space on campus that makes you feel the most connected with the University?
Blair Arch. (So many arch sings!)
Do you have any favorite places off-campus?
With so much of my student experience rooted on campus, I’m still getting to know the off-campus scene, but it’s been fun discovering Bent Spoon and Terhune Orchards.
You've traveled quite extensively in your life: what’s the most distant place that you’ve been where you’ve encountered a friendly Princeton alum who’s asked, "What class are you?”
Friendly Princetonians abound, near and far! I’ve been asked “what class” everywhere from the wilderness of Washington state during a coast-to-coast bike ride to places further afield such as St. Petersburg and South Africa.