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
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).
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.
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.
of these 2013-14 activities and accomplishments are more fully described on our
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Alumni Day, Service of
Remembrance and Class Dinner – February 21, 2015 in
46th Reunion –
May 28-31 in Princeton (of course).
The Next Five
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.