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  May 28-31
52nd Reunion, 2021

  May 27-30

53rd Reunion, 2022

  May 19-22

 

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President's Letter

September, 2014


Dear Classmates:


It is a pleasure to write this letter to you—my first as your new President. I am honored to have been elected and will do my best to sustain the enthusiasm that’s been generated by my predecessors. In that connection, I am pleased to report that our past two Presidents, BILL CHARRIER and DICK BOTT, have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Presidents so there should be plenty of continuity. The other members of our leadership team can be found via the "Classmates" pull-down menu above. They all have considerable experience, and I am grateful to each of them for continuing to serve as we move toward our 50th reunion. It is not just up to the office-holders, though. The more of you who become involved, the stronger we will be.


Review of 2013-14

Last year was very eventful, culminating in our wonderful 45th reunion followed by unprecedented success in our annual giving drive. This summer our PICS Program placed more students than ever before to serve in non-profits around the country and abroad (more on all of that later).


First of all, though, I must thank Bill Charrier for the tremendous job he did as our President for the last five years. He is indeed a tough act to follow. The year we had is a reflection of the time and effort he put into the job, and he didn’t even get to see the culmination at our 45th because he had to participate in a family wedding held over the same weekend.


We started the year in September by holding our second overseas mini-reunion, this time in Germany (pictured at left) very capably organized by DAVID and ÉTEL FISHER. Intellectual leadership was provided for much of the time by Professor Mike Jennings of the German Department at Princeton, and registration fees plus additional contributions from classmates who went on the trip enabled ’69 to make an $11,000 contribution to the Princeton German Summer Work Program. The SWP, which resembles in many respects our PICS program, is a labor of love spanning decades for David, Étel and Mike.


The next event was a micro-reunion in early October in the state of Washington where several of us gathered to celebrate the conclusion of JIM GREGOIRE’S epic hike across the country. Later that month, thanks to JIM and JUDY KUZMICK, 28 of us enjoyed another micro-reunion touring the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar Hazy Center (photo, right) followed by dinner at Jim and Judy’s place.


In Princeton, we held our regular dinner gatherings for both the Yale game in November and Alumni Day in February, where ANNE CHARRIER was made an honorary classmate much to her surprise (still don’t know how Bill managed that).


In April, LYNN SHOSTACK was once again kind enough to host many of us at a dinner preceding the annual magic show at McCarter, part of the DAVID A. GARDNER Magic Project for the Humanities at the University that she oversees.


Our 45th reunion followed all of this. Thanks to the efforts of DAN HARMAN and his team, it was a smashing success. We had close to 250 classmates back and over 500 registered attendants. This is almost as many as we had at our 40th. We were also treated to amazing weather and were able to play golf, attend some interesting panels where many of our classmates were featured, march in the P-Rade (like Chris Thomforde, right, giving a very high five!) to our theme song, "Dancin’ in the Street” played by our own Charter Bus (above, left) and dance the night away on three separate evenings, including to the tunes of the Bus on Saturday.


23 classmates donated wine for our reception on Friday where we welcomed President CHRIS EISGRUBER as an honorary classmate (photo, left, our newest honorary classmate in his vest, with Jim, Marc and Dick), and at our Sunday morning send-off brunch, a jazz trio headed by BARRY MILES SILVERLIGHT and including his brother, Terry, Class of ‘79, treated us to a performance. It was a memorable end to the festivities. Kudos to Dan and his team, and I am most pleased to add that Dan has agreed to stay on as Reunion Chair for the next five years putting us in good hands for our 50th in 2019 and all the years in between.


We capped our 45th Reunion year with a tremendously successful Annual Giving campaign. We achieved both our dollar goal ($2,069,000) and our participation goal (69%), raising $2,094,030 from 505 classmates, a participation rate of 69.5%. This made us only the second Class in the past ten years to raise more dollars at our 45th than our 40th, and we achieved the second largest participation rate in class history and the third largest dollar total. Another impressive accomplishment was that fifty classmates who had not participated in recent years gave to our 45th. Many thanks to those who contributed and especially to the over thirty AG volunteers who made this happen. A special thanks goes to our outgoing Class Agent BOB AXELROD. During Bob’s five-year tenure our donor total went from 431 (57.7%) to 505 (69.5%), an increase of 17%, with an increasing number of donors each year. Bob has guided us to five successful years in a row, resulting in a total of $3,173,800 raised while he was Class Agent. Bob has set a high bar for our AG efforts, but with Bob’s Special Gifts Chair BRUCE FREEMAN leading the charge for the next five years I am confident we can sustain this momentum.


All of these 2013-14 activities and accomplishments are more fully described on our website (princeton1969.org) overseen by our Webmaster extraordinaire, JEFF KAPLAN. The best way to keep up with what’s going on in the Class is to establish your login credentials and join our on-line community. Jeff is happy to help if you have trouble with that. Thus far we have 416 members. If you aren’t one of them, please join us.


CSF/PICS

We can all take pride in the Community Service Fund and its Princeton Internships in Civic Service (or PICS) Program, a principal legacy of our Class to the University and future generations of Princetonians. The Program is in great shape and stronger than ever under the leadership of Chairman CHUCK FREYER and the direction of our extremely capable Executive Director, Jeri Schaefer. Key developments include:


• With the help of many both on and off the PICS Board, PICS moved onto campus in the Pace Center offices in the Frist Campus Center to enhance its visibility among the students. For the past several years, PICS has been receiving applications from between 400 and 500 undergraduates – almost 10% of the student body.


• PICS has broadened its board to include members of 6 other classes in addition to ’69 and created a Student Advisory Council to bring the customer perspective to the governance of PICS. All are making tremendous contributions and developing into future leaders of the program. A structured effort to increase the number of partner classes also contributes to the perpetuation of our legacy.


• PICS has built a bridge to the Career Services Office and its exciting new Director, Pulin Sanghvi, who shares PICS’ view of the importance of connecting current undergrads to like-minded alumni as career mentors, and also sees the value in highlighting careers in the non-profit world for Princeton graduates.


• PICS is on a growth trajectory to double its size, in order better to serve the overwhelming student demand. For several years, the program has offered about 75 internships, covering less than 20% of the applicants. This year it fielded 94. 40 of these were clinical and/or research positions in non-profit hospital settings; the rest were scattered across education, environment, legal aid, social service and the arts. Next year PICS expects to have120 students serving in community and civic service positions all across the US and abroad. 


PICS intern gathering at Sandy Rea's house (see End-of-Summer Newsletter for more)


For many PICS interns, their internship will be a life and/or career changing experience; but all of them will leave their internships with an appreciation for the rewards of service in the non-profit sector and, we hope, a commitment to continue to serve one or more non-profits throughout their professional lives – no matter what career they pursue. The new PICS video by award-winning producer Melvin McCray ’74 captures very effectively the essence of what we have created together as a Class. If you missed its first public screening at reunions it’s at http://vimeo.com/87002341.


Of course, doing all this costs money, something I know well as a former CSF Chairman and head of PICS fundraising. To ensure that all students have equal access to PICS internships, each student receives a stipend. Many of the non-profits that host our interns are unable to fund much of this cost. So PICS covers that gap through outreach to alumni who share an interest in the type of service being provided, and by using its own funds.And the cost of PICS staff and other operational expenses comes almost entirely from annual unrestricted fundraising. So please, consider PICS in your charitable giving (click here to give). Every gift makes a difference!


Class Finances

Our Class Finances remain in good shape with a bit over $36,000 in the coffers to open the year. Last year we also passed through $12,838 in donations to PICS and $9,758 in donations to the Class Scholarship Fund. Check-offs for both are on the dues page of this website.


Thanks also to DAVID PENSAK for serving as our Treasurer for the past five years. He turns the mantle over to Chuck Freyer who served as Reunions Treasurer for the 45th, and brings prior experience as Class Treasurer to the position.


With everyone focused on the 45th, dues collections suffered somewhat last year. In addition, the Class paid for the yearbooks that went to those who didn’t make it back for the Reunion. So the treasury took a hit over the course of the year, and we are hoping this will be a "rebuilding” year. Please take a moment now to help us, either by returning the  dues card that was enclosed with your mailed copy of this letter with your check or by clicking here to pay directly via thie web site.


I also hope many of you will consider paying dues at the Leadership level going forward. Leadership donations help us keep the Class finances in good shape and also underpin the initiatives we’ve taken in terms of increasing opportunities for all of us to get together and stay connected.


Summer Newsletter

PAUL SITTENFELD’S summer newsletter is also posted here. We are so fortunate to have him as our Secretary. Please continue to provide him with material. The web page includes a button to click for you to let him know what’s going on in your life.


The Calendar

Below are the main events planned for the coming year. While major reunions are a blast, the smaller events often provide more opportunity to actually spend time and re-connect with fellow classmates. Please note the many events scheduled for mid-October so even if you’re tied up for one, perhaps you can attend another.


Class of 1968 Seminar October 17-18 in Princeton. Over the past few years the Class of 1968 has organized a seminar on an academic theme, and a few of us have had the opportunity to attend as invited guests. The seminars include presentations by various Princeton professors, as well as suggested readings for participants. This year ’68 has graciously asked us to join them as a class, and the theme for this year’s seminar is Foreign Policy – particularly appropriate when the world is in such turmoil. So this year the seminar will be our now traditional fall mini-reunion. It will run from noon Friday to noon Saturday. Our number of participants will be limited to around 40, and we will have a first-come, first-served sign-up on our website soon, so please stay tuned for an e-mail announcing the opening of registration.


Princeton in Africa Benefit Dinner October 23 in New York. Princeton in Africa is a first cousin to our PICS program having been initially supported both financially and administratively by our Community Service Fund. This year our classmates JIM FLOYD and GEORGE HRITZ are going to receive the Princeton in Africa Founder’s Medal at the Annual Dinner, and ’69 will figure prominently in the evening. Jim and George both helped found Princeton in Africa, and George served as its President for many years. Jim is currently Vice President. We’d like to fill a couple of tables with classmates in their honor, so those of you in the New York metropolitan area (and those of you who aren’t) please keep the date open. It should be a very special occasion. Again, stay tuned.


Harvard Game, Class Steering Committee, Tailgate and Dinner – October 25 in Princeton.

Alumni Day, Service of Remembrance and Class Dinner February 21, 2015 in Princeton.

46th Reunion – May 28-31 in Princeton (of course).


The Next Five Years

My main goal for the next five years is to increase participation throughout the country. Those of us who live in the Northeast Corridor have ample opportunity to get together for various class functions, but we’d really like to see our classmates from further afield more than every five years. To that end we will be invigorating our regional outreach and try to arrange for more mini and micro gatherings outside the Northeast. We will begin to develop those plans as we gather for the Class Steering Committee meeting on October 25. If you can’t attend, please communicate any and all ideas to any of us so we can start to develop our plans. Let’s have some fun.


All the best,

Rick


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