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  May 23-26, 2024


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President's Letter, September, 2017

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Princeton University

Class of 1969

September 2017


Dear Classmates,

Greetings from Tigertown in the year that most of us will turn 70.  Hopefully you can still party like it’s 1969.  It’s been quite a journey since we became upper-classmen 50 years ago.  The Class marches on, however, ignoring the passage of time as we head to our 50th two years hence.  Here’s what’s coming.


Our first class events will occur on November 11 in conjunction with the Yale football game festivities.  We’ll have our class meeting in the morning followed by a tailgate, and after the game our annual fall dinner.  Please monitor the website and your e-mail for details.

In 2018 our big undertaking is the Class trip to South Africa.  STEVE KENNEDY and his wife Sue have arranged an epic adventure for those of us fortunate to go along.  Registration is now closed as we’ve reached capacity of the bus that will be transporting us around Cape Town, the Winelands and the Garden Route, but we do have a waitlist in case someone has to withdraw.  Please let our Trip Registrar KEN MERTZ (kbmertz@aol.com) know if you want to be on that list.  The trip will occur from February 21 to March 5, so trip participants will miss Alumni Day on Feb 24, but our Reunions Chair DAN HARMAN will organize a class gathering for Alumni Day attendees.  Our 49th Reunion will be May 31 to June 3, 2018 so mark your calendars now.

We also expect to have some local and regional gatherings over the coming year as we gear up for the 50th.  Here in Princeton we’ll be arranging joint activities with our grandchild class of 2019, now juniors as we were 50 years ago.  Outside Princeton, we’re working on events that will be communicated to you in a more localized manner.  Of course, if you have any suggestions or ideas for those regional events, please contact your Class Regional VP.  They are: CHRIS MILTON for New England, STEVE HOUCK for New York, ANDY BROWN and JACK MCCARTHY for New Jersey, JACK MEYERSON for Philadelphia, JIM KUZMICK for Washington DC, BRUCE ROSENBERG for Chicago, BRUCE DEBOLT for the Pacific Northwest, TOM COOPER for Northern California and SCOTT KRUSE for Southern California.  You can find their contact information here.If none of our regions are close enough to you and you’d like to serve as a regional VP for your area, we’re happy to have you involved.  Just let me know.


Last year we kicked off our class events with a New York area September gathering organized by Steve Houck at the Fraunces Tavern and Museum in New York.  The program was arranged by Dan Harman, Treasurer of the organization that owns the museum, and we were given a very informative tour by Jessica Baldwin-Phillips the Museum’s Executive Director who we barraged with questions concerning our country’s early days.  Our day was capped by a dinner in the Tavern’s restaurant.
The following month some of us joined the Class of 1968 Seminar on Politics here in Princeton that was organized by Professor Julian Zelizer, one of the most prominent members of Princeton’s faculty who is often seen on CNN and whose columns appear in various newspapers around the country.  We learned a great deal and had a good time socializing with members of the class of ’68.

Later in October, we enjoyed our annual fall dinner after the Harvard football game.   Renowned classicist Professor Denis Feeney spoke to us about how Homer’s poetry was composed and then how it managed to survive through the ages.  Those who attended were thoroughly engaged and asked Denis many questions.

Toward the end of the year, Bruce DeBolt arranged for a regional Pacific Northwest gathering prior to President Eisgruber’s speech to alumni in Seattle.  The reception took place in the Washington Athletic Club on BOB ANDRE’s actual 69th birthday, and some members of adjacent classes joined us.

As the calendar turned to 2017, we had a pizza and sushi party with our grandchild class at Campus Club.  Dan Harman and JIM FLOYD coordinated our side of the event.  Later in February, a number of us made the journey to the Princeton Club of New York on Princeton Night to hear BRENT HENRY reminisce about his days on the Board of Trustees.  On Alumni Day in late February a group of us gathered for a cocktail reception at the Nassau Club, again thanks to Dan Harman, where we were joined by some members of the Class of 2019 including BOB BROWN’s daughter Marcia.

We had a great turnout for our 48th reunion where we were treated to fine weather.  For the first time, we were headquartered in the 50th Reunion tent.  JEFF MARSTON held our banner and led the locomotives, and the events concluded with our annual meeting and dinner in the Lewis Library where we had over 60 in attendance and were serenaded by the Tigerlilies, the oldest female a cappella group on campus.

Throughout the course of the past year some of our classmates also came back to Princeton for three 50th sports team reunions—the ’66-‘67 Ivy League championship teams in football, basketball and lacrosse when we were sophomores.  

PLANS FOR THE 50TH  •  MAY 30 - JUNE 2, 2019

Speaking of 50th Reunions, let’s turn to ours.  The 50th is normally the second largest gathering of a Princeton class, exceeded only by the 25th Reunion.  While we expect that attendance will be good at our subsequent Major Reunions, the 50th will be the last opportunity any of us will have to see such a large number of Classmates and their families at any one time.  It would not be surprising to have more than 400 Classmates attend with a total attendance including spouses, significant others, children and grandchildren and other family members numbering over 900.  If you miss this one, you’ve missed it!

While the headquarters site could change, the 50th Reunion is currently located in the Blair-Campbell-Joline Courtyard, with most of the meals occurring in a large tent at what is now known as “Alexander Beach”, the area bounded by the rear of Alexander Hall, Morrison Hall (formerly West College), Witherspoon Hall and the 50th Reunion Headquarters.  So many of the activities will be in close proximity and movement around campus will be minimized.  It should be a wonderful four days and we are doing all that we can to make those days as memorable (in a good way) as possible!

To make it all happen a lot of thought, planning and work are involved.  A recent 50th Reunion class had approximately 80 Classmates and spouses working on its 50th.  The ideal Reunion Committee should have a balance of experienced hands who have done it before, perhaps several times, and new Classmates and spouses who bring new ideas and thinking to the process.  It is important to have both.  Reunions are supposed to be fun and the people who have the most fun are those involved in the planning of them.  So if you believe that you have some time that you can give the planning process for Reunions, please let us know so that we can find the best way to use your talents.  There are a number of specific areas of responsibility on the Reunion Committee.  The ones that are formally designated are: Alumni-Faculty Forums, Artwork, Associates Liaison, Beverages, Children’s Programs, Community Service, Costumes, Entertainment, Finance, Food, Headquarters, Housing, Memorial Service, P-rade, Program, Publicity/Promotion, Registration, Satellites, Student Crew, Technology, Theme, Transportation and Yearbook.  In addition, we will have other areas of responsibility as we decide to initiate new activities or projects.

Please let our Reunion Chair, Dan Harman, know of your interest by emailing him at reunions@princeton1969.org.  We will have periodic conference calls to discuss our ideas.  We will welcome your input whether you have been working on Reunions for many years or if this is your first time.  So give it a go!


Regarding Annual Giving, our Class Agent BRUCE FREEMAN reports that twenty-six of us participated this past year on the ’69 Annual Giving TEAM.  The Class increased its participation this year to 56.2% and made a significant contribution to Princeton’s record breaking AG total of over $75 million.  Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped, and to all of you who made contributions to the cause.  Our goal next year is to continue building our Annual Giving momentum towards our 50th Reunion.  Bruce will be recruiting additional guys to join the TEAM, so when he calls, just say “Yes!”


Hardworking PICS Chair CHUCK FREYER reports that our Class’ Legacy to Princeton, the PICS program, is having another record-breaking year.  PICS fielded 168 interns in positions all across the country, and in 3 foreign countries, in hospitals, charter schools, art museums and legal aid offices, to name just a few venues.  They are working with immigrants, the homeless, underprivileged youth and the elderly—doing essential work for the agencies where they are interning and giving people in all walks of life a positive impression of Princeton.  All PICS interns receive a stipend (totaling this year about $750,000) to insure that all Princeton undergraduates have an equal chance to participate, regardless of aid status.  In fact, over 625 students applied for PICS’ 168 positions.  For those of you who recall Ralph Nader and his PP’55 classmates coming to our 26th Reunion dinner and challenging us to create something meaningful and lasting with some of our Memorial Fund Drive money, you’ll be interested to learn that PICS has hired a Princeton Alumni Corps (PP ’55’s successor organization) Fellow to work with PICS undergraduate applicants throughout the coming year.  Chuck urges us all to continue to support PICS with our dollars and suggestions for new internships.  You can learn more about PICS on its newly revamped website, pics.princeton.edu, or by following it on Twitter at @PICS_Internship or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PrincetonInternshipsCivicService/?fref=ts.


For the latest news about our classmates, please click here to see PAUL SITTTENFELD’s annual summer newsletter.  We are grateful to Paul for keeping us all together.


Finally, thanks to Treasurer Chuck Freyer’s stewardship, the Class Finances are in good shape.  I want to express our thanks to all our dues payers, especially those who paid at the leadership level.  Enclosed is a dues card.  Please fill it out and send a check to Chuck or better yet just pay your dues on-line on our website.  Our dues pay for everyone’s PAW subscription plus other communications expenses, as well as providing us seed money for the events that bring us all together.
I hope to see many of you either here in Princeton or somewhere else as we keep the Class train running toward our 50th.

All the best,




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