EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) _ Hundreds of Northwestern University students took a break from their final exam studies to gawk and wave at Britain's Princess Diana, in town to raise money for cancer research.

The princess, who is in the Chicago area for a three-day visit, smiled and waved to students lining the short walkway between University Hall and a sculpture garden Tuesday night.

Today, she attended a symposium on breast cancer at Northwestern University Law School, and later was to tour the Cook County Hospital before heading to a dinner at the Field Museum of Natural History.

Tuesday's brief walking tour of the campus brought whoops and cheers for each wave and smile by the estranged wife of the prince of Wales.

Screaming ``Oh my God, there she is!'' people surged forward, racing across a muddy lawn to keep up with Diana and university president Henry Bienen.

``She glows. She's charismatic. She's very kind,'' said Neil Ray, a senior who shook Diana's hand. ``She made me feel good about myself.''

Diana's arrival was heralded by the sirens and helicopters, but many students stayed indoors because of finals. She paused to speak with several leaders of the student government and to accept a grocery store bouquet of flowers from three women.

``She was really down to earth,'' said Yetu Robinson, a sophomore speaker of the student senate.

The princess is in Chicago until Thursday to raise money for three cancer-related organizations _ London's Royal Marsden Cancer Appeal; Gilda's Club, a support network for women with ovarian cancer; and the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

The Committee for the Royal Visit expected to raise $1.2 million from Diana's visit.