Classmates in the News--2012
Venture Capitalist Thanks Princeton, Honors Parents
By V.L. HENDRICKSON
The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2012
One of Princeton University's newest dormitories had been open under an assumed name. But as of Saturday, its true identity will be revealed.
Peter Wendell, a 1972 graduate of the university, and his wife, Lynn (class of 1977), made a $5 million gift to open the dorm at Princeton's Whitman College in 2007. The building was to be named Eugene and Virginia Wendell Hall after Mr. Wendell's late parents.
At that time, however, one of their sons was applying to the school.
"He was proud there would be a building with his grandparents' name on it at the university," said Mr. Wendell, a trustee of the university and a partner at Sierra Ventures, a venture-capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif. "But he didn't want to have people question why he was a student there."
So, the building was dubbed North Hall when it opened. "Other board members were calling me Mr. North," Mr. Wendell said.
Now that their son, Patrick, has graduated, the dormitory will be unveiled with its intended name, in front of all the elder Wendells' living descendents.
Mr. Wendell credits Princeton for many of the connections he has made in both his personal and professional lives, but one of the most important connections in this project was actually in his wife's class—businesswoman Meg Whitman, who is the current chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard. Her gift of $30 million helped start Whitman College and Mr. Wendell was part of the yearlong conversation that resulted in that donation.
"I told her if she gave the lead gift, I'd go out and do everything I could to bring in additional resources," Mr. Wendell said. "And when you're a person asking for a gift, it's good if you make your own first."
The Wendells' $5 million was matched by their friends Scott Cook, the founder of the financial-software company Intuit, and his wife, Signe Ostby, neither of whom attended Princeton, but who were friends with Ms. Whitman.
It was "an unbelievable show of generosity," Mr. Wendell said.
Mr. Wendell and his wife spend most of their time on the West Coast, but maintain a home in Princeton. He grew up in Demarest, N.J., in a family "of modest means."
"My father never attended college. I had a full-tuition scholarship at Princeton for four years, which was very generous of Princeton," he said. "Princeton had a transformative impact on my life."
Mr. Wendell has worked to give back to the institution as a sort of thank you for putting him on the path to success. But of course, his parents also had a hand in that, and this weekend's unveiling will be a tribute to them as well.
"I've made a billion and a half dollars of investments in small companies over the years, but this is the best investment I've ever made. Hopefully my parents are dancing in heaven."
A version of this article appeared November 17, 2012, on page A23 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Venture Capitalist Thanks Princeton, Honors Parents.
Jim Marshall to head up U.S. Institute of Peace
1:36 pm July 23, 2012, by
Former Georgia congressman Jim Marshall of Macon, a Democrat ousted in 2010 by Republican Austin Scott, has landed a job as presidency of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Currently lecturing at Princeton University — he was once a law professor at Mercer University, Marshall will assume the job on Sept. 14. He succeeds Richard H. Solomon, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, who has led the institute for the last 19 years.
Former Georgia congressman Jim Marshall of Macon/AJC file
And what, you may ask, is the U.S. Institute of Peace? From the press release:
Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent federal agency, the Institute is now the leader in training, educating, and implementing programs that help manage conflict through nonviolent means and that create structures to maintain peace in post-conflict situations. Current President Richard Solomon oversaw the expansion of USIP from a small educational and analytical organization into an operational agency with offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq, as well as a presence in Pakistan and Libya.
Solomon cited Marshall’s past experience in Congress and as an Army Ranger:
"He has an impressive record of public service at several levels of government, including four terms in Congress, as well as an outstanding record of service in the U.S. Army. He has the experience and vision to build on the Institute’s foundations of three decades of programmatic work in international conflict management and peace-building.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider