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Princeton University will celebrate its 250th anniversary with formal events with festivities throughout the weekend. Nobel laureate and Princeton English Professor Toni Morrison will deliver the keynote address at a convocation to be held today, Princeton spokesperson Jacquelyn Savani said. "The convocation is serious -- then we start partying," she said. The highlight of the weekend's celebration will be a performance by Grammy-winning musician Sheryl Crow. Other highlights include the illumination of Nassau Hall, Princeton's historic central administrative building. For four months during the Revolutionary War, Nassau Hall served as the capital of the Continental Congress when the congress had to flee Philadelphia. According to Savani, more than 150 windows in the building will be lit with electric candles, and observers on the green outside the hall will each receive a flashlight to light up the sky. "It's going to be a dazzling celebration," she added. In addition to Morrison's speech, Harvard President Neil Rudenstine and Yale President Richard Levin will deliver comments. And Penn Secretary Barbara Stevens will represent Penn in the processional that will lead into the convocation. Savani said the formal aspects of the anniversary -- including the processional and convocation -- will be steeped in tradition, but the Princeton community is especially looking forward to the festivities. "This is a huge party," Savani said. "It's got entertainment for all. You can see why the students are so excited." Princeton sophomore Amber Mettler echoed Savani's sentiments, noting that it is not too often that universities throw such a celebration. "I think it's a great thing," she said. "It's a big deal. Sheryl Crow is going to be singing right outside our window." Saturday's football game between Princeton and Harvard and fireworks tonight will round out the festivities. Princeton's past anniversary celebrations included former U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson, in 1896, and Harry Truman, in 1946. A century after Princeton's founding, Wilson, a Princeton Political Science professor at the time, coined Princeton's unofficial motto -- "Princeton in the nation's service." "That set the tone for the interests of the university in the 20th century," Savani said. According to Savani, Princeton will dedicate a commemorative stone stating, "Princeton in the nation's service, and in the service of all nations." The stone honors the contributions of Princeton alumni, Savani explained.

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