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  May 20-23

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President's Letter, September, 2018

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Princeton University

Class of 1969

Dear Classmates,

Greetings from the best old place of all, 50 years after we commenced our senior year.  Your class leadership is developing plans for our 50th Reunion—an opportunity to gather together once again as we did in June of 1969.  Much has happened since, and we plan to celebrate.  THERE IS ONLY ONE 5OTH!  A good portion of this letter will be devoted to it, but for those of you who won’t read much further, please note the following:

Most communications regarding the 50th will be by email or through the Class Website so if you want to hear from us in the most timely manner, please make sure we have your CURRENT contact information.  The best way to do that is to go to tigernet.princeton.edu and check/update your profile with your most current information.  While this update should find its way to our Class records, the best practice is to also go to our Website: princeton1969.org to update your profile there.  Please also include classmail@princeton1969.org in your address book to reduce the chance that our e-mails will end up in your spam folder. 

Plans for the Year 

Our first opportunity to get together in our 50th Reunion year will come earlier than usual.  This year the homecoming football weekend will be celebrated on October 13 against… (Drum roll)—BROWN, our not so traditional rival.  Both the Harvard and Yale games are away this year due to the Ivy League trying to promote regional rivalries in the last game of the season, which in our case will be with Penn.  It’s not so clear, at least to me, why Brown was chosen as the homecoming football weekend opponent (it could have been Dartmouth, Cornell or Penn), but at least an early October gathering offers the prospect of better weather.  Therefore, we’ll be having our annual Class Steering Committee meeting, tailgate, dinner and reception on Saturday, October 13, so please mark your calendars.   Details will follow via e-mail.

The other event in Princeton you should note on your calendars is Alumni Day on February 23, when the University always arranges an interesting program for returning alums, culminating in the moving Service of Remembrance.  That evening we’ll have a reception and/or dinner for classmates.

Throughout the year we’ll try to arrange smaller regional gatherings, but we’re not planning any mini-reunions or other large get-togethers outside of Princeton this coming year, because we’d like everyone to focus on getting back here for the 50th.



Review of Last Year

Last year provided some special experiences for many of us. The homecoming football game was with Yale.  It was a cold day as we joined the Alumni Association tailgate after our Class Steering Committee Meeting.  Our own RICH BRACKEN was honored at halftime along with the other football captains over the years, and we gathered afterwards for a reception and dinner in the Atrium of the new Frick Chemistry Building where Professor Alain Kornhauser*71 of the Engineering School (photo, below left) treated us to an entertaining presentation on self-driving cars.

As we moved into 2018 we held our annual intersession get together with our grandchild class—the Class of 2019—who will graduate 50 years after we did next June (photo, right:  JIM FLOYD with members of the Class of 2019).  Some of us also gathered for Alumni Day where JIM FLOYD carried our class carnation in the Service of Remembrance. Photo, right, of Jim with members of the Class of 2019.

Meanwhile in late February, a fortunate group of us journeyed halfway around the world to South Africa where Sue and STEVE KENNEDY organized a memorable three-segment trip—the first to Johannesburg, the second and central segment to Cape Town and adjacent Winelands and the third across the southern tip of Africa along the so-called Garden Route to the Amakhala Wildlife Refuge.  Regardless of which segments one joined, the trip proved to be unforgettable. We all witnessed and learned so much while thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. Moreover, a nice surplus from the trip will be used for the next several years to support a PICS internship at Princeton in Africa named after Sue and Steve..  A more complete description of the trip along with photos can be found on the Website..  Photos below:  STEVE KENNEDY, left;  Sue Kennedy with AUSTIN SHERER, right.



We also had some regional gatherings on the West Coast—one in Portland in December organized by BRUCE DEBOLT and another in Los Angeles in May organized by SCOTT KRUSE in conjunction with President and Honorary Classmate CHRIS EISGRUBER’s presentation to Southern California Alumni.  Photo below, from left:  RICK McKINGHT  GREG TREVERTON, TOM HUDNUT, RICK KITTO, JON TAPLIN, GEORGE HANDZO, SCOTT KRUSE in L.A.

Our 49th Reunion followed in June. The most noteworthy event from our perspective was that CHUCK FREYER received the Service to Princeton Award at the annual Reunions Awards Lunch on Friday (photo, right).  This is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association at Reunions. Chuck is the sixth of us to receive this prestigious award, first presented in 1972.  No other class has had more recipients.   Our honorary classmate Professor Emeritus JIM MCPHERSON was another of the four recipients so our Class walked away with half of the honors.  Later that afternoon, we held a Reunions Committee meeting and that evening had our annual barbecue with the Classes of ‘67, ‘70 and ‘71. On Saturday, many joined the hoagie lunch in our Memorial Garden, but the weather that had threatened all weekend finally arrived that afternoon and rained out the P-rade for the first time in 65 years.  This was particularly ironic for the Class of 1968, as 50 years before, when they graduated, the P-rade was curtailed due to the transit through Central New Jersey of Robert F... Kennedy’s funeral train.  Reunion Chair DAN HARMAN has promised that the weather will be much better in 2019.  You can read Dan’s more complete summary of the 49th on our website, and speaking of Dan, let’s turn to the 50th.

50th REUNION:  May 30—June 2

Preparations are moving along well. It’s time to start planning to attend, so you will have the opportunity to join what we project to be over 400 Classmates (more than half of the Class!) and more than 900 total attendees. 

Why should you come? Here are the five reasons most often given, in order, by alumni who return to Reunions:

1. To see old friends and their families, make new ones and introduce or reacquaint your family with Classmates
2. To march in the One and Only P-rade 
3. To attend evening parties and dance to the music of great bands
4. To see the campus and what’s new
5. To see the fireworks

In addition to the above, there are the Alumni-Faculty Forums and other panel discussions and speakers, tours of the campus, receptions hosted by eating clubs, athletic teams, musical groups and affinity groups and other activities that will make the weekend seem to be over almost before it begins. There will also be a Class Memorial Service to remember those Classmates who are, sadly, no longer with us, except as they live on in our memories.

Our Reunion Committee, about 40 strong, is hard at work to make our Reunion as enjoyable as possible for all Classmates and members of their families including spouses and partners, children and grandchildren. We will continue to send you updates as more information becomes available.  We expect to open registration on or about October 1 and at that time you will be able to register, tell us about special dining or transportation needs, order optional costumes and regalia and reserve housing if your housing choice is booked through the Class (campus housing and the Erdman Center of Princeton Theological Seminary).  We will also provide information on our Website, including travel tips, schedule information, housing information and other information about the Reunion as soon as it becomes available. So please read your emails that come from classmail@princeton1969.org and check the Website frequently to stay current with our plans..

Soon after we open Registration, we will open up our Yearbook entry portal on the Website so that you can input information you would like to have included. You will have the opportunity to provide your most recent contact information, a photo that you would like to share and an essay telling the interesting story each of us has. Our goal is to mail a printed copy of the Yearbook to each Classmate before Reunions so that you will have a chance to read about your Classmates before you actually see them, so please get your entries in to us promptly.

We look forward to seeing you and your family!


Thanks to the efforts of over thirty classmates on the AG TEAM last year, our Annual Giving results for our 49th Reunion year were terrific.  We raised $247,859 from 408 donors or nearly 60% of the class.  This was an increase in both participation and dollars over the previous year.  To put that in context, the Princeton Endowment would have to be increased by $5,689,000 to generate the equivalent of what we raised over the past year.  A perfect example of Annual Giving as a “living endowment.”  

During our 50th Reunion year, our AG Campaign will be a very important part of the University’s annual fundraising program.  Efforts are well underway, and we have 59 volunteers on the 50th AG TEAM.  We will officially kickoff the campaign on October 1st. 


You can all be justifiably proud of ‘69’s Class legacy, the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program. PICS hit all time highs this year in the categories of (i) student interest: 650 students applied for an Internship, representing 15% of all Princeton freshmen, sophomores and juniors (PICS doesn’t accept applications from seniors); (ii) number of internships offered: 200 were offered and we actually placed students in 190 of those, and (iii) size of the stipend budget--all PICS interns receive $450/week pay for their work, to insure that all students have an equal chance for a PICS internship regardless of financial aid status or family circumstance, which means that we had to raise almost $900,000 from generous alumni and the sponsoring organizations (PICS gets no direct financial support from the University) to fund these stipends, in addition to our overhead budget for staff, etc. ’69 still provides more support to PICS than any other single Class. Without your help, the program would be much smaller and provide these potentially life and career changing opportunities to far fewer students. So give yourselves a pat on the back if you support PICS!

This is the second year that PICS will employ a Princeton Alumni Corps fellow to help guide and counsel our student applicants, since it worked so well last year.  You should also know that the PICS Board continues to expand: it now includes representatives of 15 different Class years, two University Trustees, two of Princeton’s most prominent and popular faculty (Professors Stan Katz and Miguel Centeno), and the current President of the Alumni Council, Jennifer Daniels ’93. If you would like to learn more about PICS’ work, please contact PICS Chair CHUCK FREYER ’69, now in his tenth year of leading the charge for PICS.


Please see PAUL SITTENFELD’S summer newsletter to catch up on recent news about classmates.  We are so fortunate to have him as our Secretary.


The Class’ finances are soundly in the black, thanks to the outstanding effort made by Classmates in this past year’s dues campaign. Our participation rate increased by 20% over last year, and we expect to do even better this year as we move closer to our 50th. Thanks especially to the many of you who gave at the Leadership level ($125 or greater) and really buoyed our receipts. In addition to the dues payments, the Class contributed $6580 to our Class Scholarship Account with the University (up by 25% over the contributions last year).   Among other things, Class dues pays for the PAW; helps support the Alumni Council who works for the benefit of all alumni; and allows the Class to promote regional gatherings and mini-Reunions. All Class funds are carefully stewarded by your officers to insure that your dollars go as far as possible.

A dues card was enclosed in the paper mailing of this letter for the coming fiscal year that also provides a check-off for contributions to PICS and the Scholarship Fund.  You can also contribute through the Website by clicking the Class Dues & Donations icon along the left sidebar of each page.  One advantage of the latter is that it keeps track of your payments to help prevent you from paying twice—not that any of us would ever do that.  Please give generously this year to whatever you wish. 

Hope to see everyone in around 9 months—the gestation period for our 50th has begun.. 

All the best




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