First Lady's photo joins select group

February 5, 2009 3:59:21 PM PST
First Lady Michelle Obama has received a special honor from her alma mater. She's joining the ranks of a distinguished few, immortalized at Princeton University. The Tap Room at the Nassau Inn in Princeton is a cozy, woody hideout where along with the public, students and faculty from the prestigious university across the street have been known to tip a glass or two.

For decades, a photo wall of prominent Princeton graduates has reminded guests of former students who've gone on to fame and fortune-including Bill Bradley, Donald Rumsfeld, Charlie Gibson and Jimmy Stewart to name a few.

Now, there's a new photo on the wall: the class picture of first lady Michelle Obama, who graduated Princeton in 1985 when she was Michelle Robinson.

"I think the wall is a great idea and I think it's nice she's up there. All those people I've seen have contributed something to society and I think she's going to, too," Elaine Taggart of Summit, New Jersey said.

At the unveiling Wednesday night, a group of students and faculty, including Michelle Obama's thesis advisor, Professor Walter Wallace, were there to honor the First Lady.

She is the only African-American on the wall of fame and only the second woman; the first was actress Brooke Shields.

"It's almost 25 years ago and the memories get a little fuzzy, but I do remember her as an especially warm, smiley person," Professor Wallace said.

The chair of Princeton's African-American studies department called Michelle Obama a model of intelligence, style, good citizenship, and commitment to family.

"Her myriad accomplishments testify to the best that a Princeton education can produce," Professor Valerie Smith said.

Michelle Obama looks a lot different now than she did in 1985, but it's the old photos that hang here to remind all who see them of where such famous people started.

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