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President's Letter

September, 2012


Travels with ’69 – Springfield and Charlottesville; Germany Next?

Annual Giving Breaks TWO Off-Year Records

CSF Enters New Phase of Partnership with Pace Center

Seva Kramer to Retire; Jeri Schaefer Named Next CSF Executive Director

Website Completes 2nd Year with 235 Subscribers, Many Upgrades

President Tilghman Honors Lynn Shostack with Dinner at Home

David Fisher Receives Alumni Council’s Highest Award

Planning Begins in Earnest for Our 45th Reunion

The Incomparable John Fleming to Speak at Fall Dinner

Highlights of the Past Year

Let’s open with a word about participation since that’s what underpins many of the stories in this year’s report. In Annual Giving ’69 reached its highest participation rate since our 20th reunion. Class dues participation was the best in recent memory. Classmates who had not served in quite this way before, ALAN MEYERS (with a lot of help from ROSEMARY), BRUCE ROSENBERG AND PAUL SITTENFELD, organized our mini-reunion in Springfield last fall. The same is true of Charlottesville this coming October with BRUCE DEBOLT, ROD FERGUSON AND KEN MERTZ picking up the tools. DAVID AND ÉTEL FISHER are starting to plan our second European mini-reunion, a river cruise through the Rhinegau in 2013. Fully 10% of the undergraduate student body would like to get one of our coveted summer Princeton Internships in Civic Service, and a growing number of classes and regional associations are joining us in a substantial way to grow the program. But ’69 still provides the core around which this increased participation has coalesced. Our Class has some giants and we’ll have words about some of them further on. But it is the hands of the many that make it such a privilege to conduct our little orchestra.

Our first event of the 2011-12 year was actually ‘68’s – they invited us to join them at their 24-hour Symposium on The Brain led by Professor Sam Wang. We were treated to a rich and diverse overview of Princeton’s substantial commitment in the field of neuroscience, and the stage was set for similar cooperation with our nearby classes going forward. Then on to our 5th mini-reunion in October where we were embraced like old friends by what seemed to be the entire historic preservation community of Springfield, Illinois. Our intellectual leader, Lincoln biographer Michael Burlingame ’64, who describes himself as a psycho-historian (with due apologies to Isaac Asimov), provided marvelous insights into the forces that shaped the personality and political career of our 16th President.

On the left we see co-organizer BRUCE ROSENBERG with Abe as a young surveyor at New Salem. One of the wonderful surprises of the weekend came with a candlelight reception at the Old State Capitol where we were welcomed by the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Reactivated, a period choir and a score of docents in full regalia.  It was like stepping through a time portal.

To the right, Bruce Debolt tries his lawyerly charms on one of said docents, seemingly with limited success.

The rest of the fall and winter unfolded with back-to-back treats. Our Mistress of Magic, LYNN SHOSTACK hosted an extra-special David Gardner Magic Project evening in early November with Penn and Teller. As usual she treated the Class to a pre-show dinner and a block of prime seats.

Homecoming weekend a few days later featured the usual Class Steering Committee meeting, pre-Yale-game tailgate arranged by JACK MCCARTHY, CHIP JERRY, CLAY MCELDOWNEY AND JEFF MARSTON, capped off with an upscale dinner in the Presidential Dining Room at Prospect. Professor Steve Pacala, Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute, spoke on the consequences of delay due to political deadlock in addressing climate change. Not everyone in the room was a believer and a lively discussion followed. PAUL HANLE promises to be a regular at Class events in Princeton having recently become CEO of Climate Central, an independent, non-profit journalism and research organization co-founded by Pacala, dedicated to helping mainstream Americans understand how climate change connects to them.

The New Year kicked off with a warm and memorable dinner hosted by President Shirley Tilghman at her home honoring the life and legacy of classmate DAVID GARDNER, a legacy carried on with exceptional energy and imagination by his widow and honorary classmate LYNN. David was remembered movingly in remarks by PAUL SITTENFELD, and Shirley spoke at length about the freedom given to Princeton scholars and engineers by the Magic Project and Project X respectively to pursue intellectual and experimental endeavors that depart from the status quo and have the potential to reshape a body of knowledge or result in unexpected practical breakthroughs.

DAN HARMAN carried the white carnation for the Class at the Alumni Day Service of Remembrance in February. At the dinner that evening at the Nassau Club we continued broadening our net for engaging speakers by recruiting English Professor Emeritus Will Howarth who spoke about collaboration using as a model the historical novels which he and his spouse write together as the pseudononymous Dana Hand.

At our 43rd reunion DAVID FISHER was honored by the Alumni Council with the Award for Service to Princeton, recognizing 25 years building the Princeton Alumni Association of Germany into one of the University’s most vibrant overseas alumni groups. David, with a lot of help from spouse ÉTEL, has also completely revitalized the Princeton German Summer Work Program which offers a wide range of internship opportunities to undergraduates seeking a cultural immersion experience. Here is David with the other Crystal Tiger recipients flanked by ÉTEL and University Vice President and Secretary, BOB DURKEE, who completed 40 years of his own service to Princeton this year.

The weekend included our traditional Saturday pre-P-rade lunch in the Class of ’69 Memorial Garden and the Class meeting and dinner at the Class of ’56 Lounge in the stadium, topped off by the rooftop view of the fireworks. We enjoyed the warm hospitality of our hosts, the Class of ’67, throughout from start to finish.

But this year the reunions team tried something new for Friday evening dinner – a joint barbecue with ’68 and ’70, well-attended by nearly 100, about half ‘69ers. All enjoyed the chance to mix and catch up with friends from the immediately adjacent classes as well as our own classmates. The event was enhanced by the intimate setting of Hamilton Courtyard. The group shot was taken on the courtyard steps.

Our website completed its second year (its first full year, actually) under the assiduous management of Communications Director JEFF KAPLAN with 235 subscribers and a host of upgrades. Jeff has posted a comprehensive Webmaster’s Report detailing all the new features. One of my personal favorites is My Payments which lets registered users see all their transactions done through the site – very handy if you can’t remember whether you signed up for something or paid your dues. Anything you are reading about here you can see in more detail with a slew more pictures on the site, and much more besides. But we are missing a few photos. Achieving a complete pictorial history of ’69 from the pre-digital age is probably beyond our reach. But we should be able to fill in the blanks since the turn of the millennium, and get at least a few shots from our major reunions going all the way back. So here’s Jeff’s appeal: search your archives and send him anything interesting you can find from our 32nd in 2001, our 33rd in 2002 and our 38th in 2006, plus all the majors from our 30th on back to our 5th. He is(almost) constantly on duty at webmaster@princeton1969.org.

Class Finances

Treasurer’s Report – DAVID PENSAK reports the best dues participation rate in many years with 269 classmates chipping in, up 14% over last year. 92 stalwart leadership dues payers brought total dues to $22,675 in support of general class activities, including PAW subscriptions for the entire Class. After providing for all FY 2012 expenses and accruals for prepaid FY 2013 expenses we have an unobligated balance of $52,129 in general Class funds and $2,457 in the major reunion account. The Class transferred $5,467 to the Class of 1969 Scholarship Fund administered by the University and $14,262 to the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, both amounts funded by dues check-offs. As usual, the dues check-off is only a portion of the total contributed by classmates to the CSF. See the CSF section for a more complete financial picture on it and the PICS program.

The first dues card and return envelope for this year are enclosed in the physical mailing of this letter.  We want to continue to push the participation envelope.  To our active contributors, many thanks, and for everyone else please join or rejoin your classmates in supporting '69.  Mail the card or even better, save the stamp and do it right here on the website today.  Online payment also makes the bookkeeping easier and eliminates the chance that you will mistakenly get one of David's annoying dunning notices later in the year.

Annual Giving Report – It was an extraordinary year for Annual Giving under the steadfast leadership of Class Agent BOB AXELROD. For the second year in a row Bob and his team rallied ’69 to break our off-year dollar record, finishing with $305,926, nearly 8% up from last year’s previous record and blowing through our University-established target of $300,000. But Bob has been quietly (well, maybe not so quietly) working on participation, and this year the effort paid off in spades. The result was foreshadowed when’69 won the AG Locomotive Challenge in our peer group for the second year running with 101 gifts during May and garnering the $10,000 prize. When the counting was done 456 classmates got us to 61.9%, the highest giving rate since our 20th reunion, and beating the University average (which includes all those over-aggressive youngsters) for the first time since our 30th.

Here are Bob and Class EVP DICK BOTT at the Pre-P-rade hoagie lunch in the ’69 Memorial Garden. Bob’s smiling, but at this point he’s not done yet. A huge locomotive to Axelrod’s Army whose hours on the phone made all the difference: BILL BENJAMIN, GEORGE BOGGS, BILL CHARRIER, TOM CULP, DICK BOTT, BILL EARLE, RICH EDWARDS, CLAUS FRANK, BRUCE FREEMAN, MIKE GEHRET, ART HAMM, PAUL HANLE, MIKE KIESEL, BOB LOVEMAN, ROD MATHESON, LARRY MILLS, CHRIS MILTON, BOB RAYMAR, BRUCE ROSENBERG, PAUL SITTENFELD, ANDY STEELE, BROOKE STODDARD, JAY WILSON AND GREG ZAIC. Special thanks to Boggs, Hamm and Zaic who joined Bob this year for the first time.

So what’s next? Well, the University sets the dollar targets for each class, but Bob is letting his 45th participation goal out of the bag early – 69%. He’s going to need even more help to get there in the next two years, so send him an e-mail (agent@princeton1969.org) and sign on to the team that will make this inspirational goal reality.

Community Service Fund and the PICS Program

It has been another all-headline year for the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund and Princeton Internships in Civic Service. But the biggest headline is the impending retirement of our beloved Executive Director and honorary classmate SEVA JAFFE KRAMER (pictured at our 43rd with JEFF KAPLAN) after 15 years of service.

Seva is the only Executive Director the CSF has ever had and more than any other single person is responsible for molding our Class legacy. So it was with considerable fear and trepidation that the board finally came out of denial and appointed a Search Committee consisting of CSF Chair, CHUCK FREYER, JIM GREGOIRE, RICK KITTO, Seva and Sue McSorley ’77. The Committee reviewed over 40 applicants, several of whom were exceptionally well-qualified.

After two rounds of interviews the position was offered to Jeri Schaefer who accepted with great enthusiasm and started September 4. She is a graduate of American University and New York Law School. After practicing workers compensation law for several years, she took time off to raise her family and is now re-entering the work force with us. For the past twelve years she has been a leader in, and presently chairs, the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County. In this role she has been successful in the strategic direction of an organization experiencing rapid growth and transition, board development and fundraising, among other things. She lives with her family in Princeton. Seva will remain active for the next year training Jeri and the new PICS Program Manager replacing Laura Spence-Ash, who has accepted a position in the Princeton Psychology Department.

Chuck also reports a very successful conclusion to negotiations with the Pace Center to extend and deepen our partnership in the administration of the PICS Program. The new Pace Center Director, Kimberly de los Santos, has already proven to be a visionary leader and supportive partner, offering office space for the CSF Executive Director co-located initially with the new PICS Program Manager, as a part of the recent amendment to the Operating Agreement between CSF and the University.

The PICS Annual Report for 2011 (posted on the website, of course) notes two central developments in the evolution of CSF and PICS. The first is the steadily increasing support from other individual alumni, classes and regional associations, both in sponsoring new internships and in financing the Program. While ’69 classmates continue to comprise the largest annual donation group (over $51,000 in 2011), contributions from these affiliates collectively reached over $87,000 last year, a great trend if we are truly to institutionalize and perpetuate our legacy. The second is a structured effort to increase internship offerings in the fields most in demand among the undergraduates, beginning with the medical and health policy area.

Board member and pediatric surgeon Marty Eichelberger ’67 led a national development effort that resulted in quadrupling PICS medical internships in one year, which is partly responsible for our placing 77 interns in the field this past summer, the largest number in the history of the Program. Here Dr. Eichelberger is shown with 6 of the interns in one of the operating theaters at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.


Going from the big picture to ground level, classmate DAVID MYERBERG jumped on this initiative as a way of creating a nexus of value between Princeton students and his home state of West Virginia. David committed the financial resources and leadership to make something happen. David's daughter-in-law, Kimberly Foley on the faculty of University of West Virginia School of Medicine, formulated a brilliant internship and mentored Austin Sanders '14 in her work there with help from Connor Louden ’08, now a 4th year med student at UWV SOM. David and Austin are pictured below and his words capture the essence of his experience as a first-time PICS internship sponsor: "Cynthia and I look forward to funding this again next year. Further, I plan to share this experience with others in the West Virginia Princeton Community in the hope that we can develop other such internships in our state in both medicine and other areas of civic service.” And former PICS intern Mark Kovler ‘09, now a med student at George Washington University, brings it full circle when he says: "I look forward to the day when I can serve as mentor to Princeton students interested in medicine.” That’s what the PICS Program is all about.


Similar But Not the Same


LEONARD SCHAEFFER is another classmate who has discovered the joys of making a direct impact on the lives of Princeton undergraduates. Through the Schaeffer Family Scholarship, he provides funding for eight students annually at Princeton, two in each class. Leonard not only aids these students financially but also spends time getting to know each student and mentoring their academic and professional lives and says that he would love to get other Classmates involved. He has recently created a vehicle to encourage alumni Schaeffer Scholars to donate to this scholarship fund so that future generations may benefit from this program. It’s that full circle thing again.

On a completely different front, Leonard, having had a distinguished business career in healthcare as CEO of Wellpoint, became intrigued by some very innovative, internationally recognized, research on breast cancer metastasis being undertaken by Associate Professor Yibin Kang in the Molecular Biology Department. With Leonard’s support, Kang’s lab has not only provided novel biological insights into the disease, but also potential new ways of preventing or treating metastatic breast cancer. Truly amazing for a university with no medical school or associated hospital!

The Secretary's Corner

MR. SITTENFELD brings us several more pages of classmate news in his engaging Summer Newletter, complete with pictures this year.  Click here to read it and send him news of your life at secretary@princeton1969.org.  He loves to hear from us.


Planning for the 45th

Remember the participation theme we opened with? Preparations will soon begin in earnest for our 45th Reunion May 29 – June 1, 2014. Your Reunions Co-Chairs, DAN HARMAN, RICK KITTO AND ANNE CHARRIER will hold an initial planning meeting of the still forming Reunion Committee for the 45th on Saturday, October 20 before the Class dinner that evening. Watch your e-mail for the exact time and place. The Class of ’69 has a long tradition of well-attended, lively reunions and this one will be no exception. How robust it will be is a function of the contributions of ideas and efforts from our classmates, spouses and widows. This is where YOU come in!

The Reunion Committee comprises members who have various areas of responsibility including: Alumni-Faculty Forum, Artwork, Associates Liaison (spouses and widows), Beverages, Community Service, Costumes, Entertainment, Finance, Food, Headquarters, Housing, Memorial Service, P-rade, Program, Publicity/Promotion, Registration, Satellite Classes, Student Crew, Technology, Theme, Transportation and Yearbook. Some of these responsibilities involve being in Princeton frequently while others do not. We also usually have some Reunion Committee members who serve as "utility players” to provide additional help as needed. Reunion Committees tend to work best when they have a mix of veterans from prior reunions and new classmates, spouses and widows who can bring fresh thinking. We have a number of veterans who have already agreed to continue with the 45th, but we need to enlist some new volunteers to contribute ideas and talents. If you are interested in participating or are on the fence, please send the Reunions Co-Chairs a quick email at reunions@princeton1969.org or come to the meeting on October 20. You know you want to be part of this. It’s all about participation.

The first order of business will be the selection of a theme and accompanying logo. The theme should be a short phrase or slogan that reflects in some way who we are as a Class or what our expectations are about the Reunion. For example, the Class of ’67’s theme this year was "Clear the Track, ’67 is Back”, with a logo based on the Dinky. The Co-Chairs want to collect theme ideas in advance of the meetingon October 20, so if you have any ideas related to a theme, particularly one that lends itself to an interesting logo, please send them an email at reunions@princeton1969.org.

The Calendar

This part always grows as we go along, so watch your e-mail and the website, but the following list is what we know today. In particular note that our dinner speaker October 20 will be Professor of English Emeritus John Fleming, whom the late Robert Fagles once described as the second funniest man alive after Robin Williams. This will be your reward for joining us at the 45th planning meeting before dinner.

Warm regards to all,

J. William Charrier

Class of 1969 Calendar of Events 2012-13

October 11-14, 2012 – Mini-reunion in Charlottesville, Virginia

October 20, 2012 – Homecoming Weekend

· 9:30 am – Class Steering Committee meeting, Hearth Room, Maclean House

· 11:00 am – Pre-game tailgate behind Ivy Club

· 1:00 pm – Princeton vs. Harvard – Go Tigers!

· 5:00 pm – 45th Reunion planning meeting (exact time and location to be announced)

· 6:30 pm – Class reception and dinner with guest speaker Prof. John Fleming

February 23, 2013 – Alumni Day and Service of Remembrance in Princeton

Class dinner arrangements to be announced

May 30 – June 2, 2013 – 44th Reunion in Princeton

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