This is my first letter to you as the incoming class president of the Great Classs of 1972, and I am honored and thrilled to be serving in this capacity.
Before I turn to some of the events that are planned for this coming year, I want to take a moment to highlight the year that just concluded and wow, what an ending to our 45 th year from graduation from Princeton. We had a record turnout for the 45 th Reunion, contributed a whopping $2,291,887 to Annual Giving (with 65.5% participation by the Class) -- helping the University to raise the highest dollar amount in Annual Giving history, continued to support four super undergraduates with our
Class Scholarships (some of the most coveted scholarships among the undergraduates), funded two new innovative courses with our Teaching Initiative (we are still the only class with a dedicated endowment for teaching initiatives), funded our first student civic internships with stipends from our Community Engagement Fund, and continued the tradition of the best organized and most interesting class trips among Princeton alumni classes with an inspiring and record setting class trip to Charleston, South Carolina.
What a superb job Bob Wright did as our Class President these past five years. We owe Bob many, many locomotives of thanks -- we gave him a few at Reunions, but be sure to thank him in person the next time that you see him. I also want to acknowledge and thank Bob’s wife, Sallie, who pitched in to help the Class in numerous ways during Bob’s tenure. It was only fitting that Sallie was made an honorary member of the Class of 1972 at our Class Dinner at Reunions.
So many classmates contribute each year to the success of the Class that it is difficult to acknowledge all of them in one letter. However, a few deserve special mention for the extra efforts made this past year. First, I want to thank our Class officers for their tireless work for and support of the Class. Nikos Monoyios and Pam Lloyd Coulter, our Vice Presidents, did a wonderful job all of last year. Nikos did double duty and served as our Special Gifts Chair and helped to engineer that very successful 45th Reunion campaign, and Pam has graciously agreed to become our Class Treasurer and already is doing a great job in keeping us solvent. Chris Loomis is stepping down as Class Treasurer after a masterful performance of putting our books in order and leaving us with enough funds to get through the summer until our treasury is replenished with our annual class dues. Chris, thank you for all of your hard work and thank you also for that wonderful article on the Women of ’72 that you wrote after Reunions and which is available for all to read on our website.
I also want to thank Merc Morris for his tireless work as our Class Secretary. Merc never misses a deadline for our Class Notes column in the PAW and is fastidious in taking minutes of our executive committee meetings. Of course, we have the best Class Agent in Princeton history. Tom Hoster led us to a record nineteenth year in a row of Annual Giving participation above the magical 60% level, and the funds raised this year put our Class in the top ten of all classes in cumulative Annual Giving contributions – quite an accomplishment. Tom and Nikos had much help this past year from a small army of volunteers and they all deserve our thanks for their time and efforts, but I want to highlight Bob Murley’s contribution as the “Critical Few Chair” in the 45th Reunion Campaign. Bob is a master at fundraising for Princeton and he knows how to articulate the many excellent reasons for giving in a way that is unique among alumni, and he came through once again for the Class of 1972 in his solicitation of several major gifts from classmates.
Fritz and Robby did their usual masterful job in organizing the best run major Reunion for our 45th. They have the production down to a science, and I fully expect that their efforts will be recognized once again with an award from the Alumni Council. Stay tuned for an update later this year.
An integral part of our Class’ contributions to Princeton over the years has been the creation of our various endowment funds to support our class scholarships, our teaching initiative and, most recently, our civic engagement internships. None of these accomplishments could have occurred without the hard work of classmates over many years, in particular, Ron Brown, our Scholarship Fund Chair, Randy Harris, our Memorial Fund Chair, and Grif Johnson and Barbara Julius, our Community Service Co-Chairs. They have continued their excellent work for the Class this past year and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead. Soon we will be announcing the newest recipient of our Class of 1972 Memorial Scholarship – as you are aware, we support one student from each undergraduate year; we will again be funding two undergraduate courses this year through our Teaching Initiative; and we will fund two internships as part of our civic engagement program that was launched recently through the efforts of Grif and Barbara.
Ed Strauss continued to provide support throughout the year in his role as Class Historian and Archivist and again our Class was the beneficiary of his creativity in the form of the logo that he created specially for our 45th Reunion. Ed has created every Class logo over the years, among his many other contributions to the Class, and I know that he will be very busy as we begin to chronicle some of the Class’ accomplishments over the years.
Our Associates Committee under the leadership of Mike Schneider and Rob Smart has really taken charge of reaching out to the surviving spouses and family of deceased classmates to express condolences on behalf of the Class, and also to follow up to make sure that the spouses and family members continue to feel a part of the Class. It is not an easy task, but they do it with such dignity and respect, and many spouses have elected to stay involved with the Class as a result of their efforts.
Doug Harrison has brought our Class into the 21 st Century technologically with his continued improvements to our website and his relentless pursuit of improving our communications with members of the Class in a cost effective manner. We owe much to Doug for modernizing our website and keeping track of the developments at the University in this area, all of which benefit the Class.
Now, on to some administrative matters and highlights for this coming year.
It is traditional for the Class President to remind all classmates of the importance of paying class dues. Unfortunately, we are not able to do all that we do as a Class without some funding, and I ask each of you to contribute your share of the costs of running the Class by paying your class dues. Your Class Officers have kept the dues to the incredibly low amount of $50 (I do not recall when we last raised the dues), but we will only be able to keep this low amount if more classmates pay the dues each year. Enclosed is a list of those classmates who paid their dues last year. I would like to see that list grow this year, and Pam Lloyd Coulter, our new Treasurer, is available to assist you in making your payment
on a timely basis. I am also advised that you can go to the Class website (www.princeton72.org) and make your payment directly on the site (and avoid the cost of a first class stamp). Enclosed is a dues card and return envelope for those classmates who prefer to send in a check. Please take the time to fill out the dues card, provide any news about yourself or other classmates for Merc to include in the PAW column, and save us the cost of additional mailings. As a reminder, the dues go principally to pay for your subscription to the PAW (the best bargain in town if you realize the cost of printed media today), as well as funding our annual contribution to the Alumni Council to support its budget (it is a very modest contribution, given all that the Alumni Council does for us), the cost of maintaining the Class of 1972 website, the cost of these mailings, including the stationery and envelopes, and communications with you during the year about all of our events – both on campus and at local gatherings throughout the country. You can also use the enclosed dues card to record your additional contributions to our Scholarship Fund and the Class of 1972 Civic Engagement Fund. We will also accept payment of back dues, if you recall that you may have missed paying dues in past years. I promise that the funds will be put to good use.
Speaking of putting funds to good use, the Class will continue its tradition of funding four undergraduates with Class of 1972 Memorial Scholarships. We will soon have the name of our newest scholarship recipient who will join Deion King ’18, Sydney Jordon ’19, and Evan Elig ‘20 as Class of 1972 Scholars. I encourage all of you to come to an event on campus – the post-Yale Game reception, Alumni Day or Reunions, come to mind -- to meet our class scholars. They are an incredibly gifted group of undergraduates and they do us proud to be the recipients of our class scholarships.
Through the untiring efforts of Grif Johnson and Barbara Julius, and the generous contributions of many classmates and the contributions from our Memorial Fund under the leadership of Randy Harris, we were able to fund two internships this past summer for two undergraduates organized through Princeton Internships in Civic Service. Vayne Ong did an internship with the University’s Summer Journalism Program and Madeleine Le Cesne did an internship with the New York Artists Equity Association. This relatively new program is off to a great start, and we should be able to fund two
internships on an annual basis in the years to come, and possibly increase that number to three. This is a great cause to become involved in your local communities and is an ideal way to carry out Princeton’s motto of service to the nation and to all of humanity.
Our Class will again be able to support two innovative courses this year with the proceeds from our Class of 1972 Teaching Initiative. The two courses are “Foundations of Engineering I: Mechanics, Energy and Waves”, that is being taught by Professor Claire Gmachl of the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Fall, and “Disability Studies, The Disabled Body” that is being taught by Professor Gayle Salamon of the Department of English and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Spring. As mentioned above, we are the only Class with an endowed fund to support teaching at the University.
Yale Game Reception
This year Princeton will host Yale at home on Saturday, November 11. Come out and see the Tigers compete for the Big Three title and the Ivy league Championship. The team is very talented this year and there is no better setting to watch a fall football classic than in Princeton Stadium, surrounded by classmates. Fritz has arranged for our annual post-game celebration in the Study Hall of the beautiful Peretsman-Scully Hall, that is located across Washington Road from the stadium. The reception is open to all classmates, spouses, family and friends, without charge.
We will also have our Class Executive Committee meeting before the game in the Class of 1972 Dining Room in Whitman College.
Class Dinner in New York
The November fun continues with our Annual Fall Class Dinner on Monday, November 13 at The Princeton Club in New York, organized by Tony Tichenor and Chris Loomis. This year our guest speaker will be own classmate, Ron Brown, who will speak about his new book “A History of Charitable Gift Giving: How Annuities Shaped American Philanthropy.” What a great way to spend a Fall weekend -- a victory over Yale in Princeton on Saturday followed by a Class Dinner in New York on Monday. Make your plans now to attend.
It seems far away, but plans for Alumni Day on February 24, 2018 are already well underway. Fritz has once again secured a star professor to be our guest speaker. We will have Professor Stan Katz, currently Lecturer with the Woodrow Wilson School and Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, with us that evening and we will be hosting the dinner at the Nassau Club (located at 6 Mercer Street, a short walk from the main campus). For those classmates who attended last year’s dinner, I believe that you will agree with me that it is a fine location for our winter gathering in Princeton. Mark your calendars now. Alumni Day is an inspiring day including lectures by faculty and alumni, the presentation of awards to distinguished alumni and awe-inspiring students, the very moving Service of Remembrance, a meeting of the Class Executive Committee and our annual dinner.
I will not spend much time on Reunions now, as that is still a bit off in the future, but the dates this year are May 31 – June 3, 2018. You will be receiving more information later in the year from Fritz and Robby. Off-year Reunions are a real treat and if you have not attended one recently, do come back to Princeton this June. You will not regret the weekend.
We will be continuing our coveted Class of 1972 Trips. The fall trip on the Columbia and Snake Rivers with Princeton Journeys is September 30 – October 7. It is sold-out, but there is trip to Prague and the Czech Republic in the Spring that is being organized by our classmate, Helena Novakova (May 2 – 14, 2018), and there are still a few places available. This will be an exciting trip to a fabulous city and countryside, and a great addition to our growing list of international trips. Contact Robby for details.
Then in the Fall of 2018 we will be traveling to New Orleans on November 7 -11, 2018. Details will be made available later in the year. We will also be initiating some regional events in the months ahead, as we want to be sure to involve as many classmates as possible in activities of the Class. More about that initiative later.
All in all, we have a busy year ahead of us. I encourage all of you to participate in as many of the events and programs as you can as I believe that you will be reinvigorated with the spirit that is unique to the Class of 1972, and will thoroughly enjoy reacquainting yourself with old and new friends. Please let me know if you want to assist in planning any of these events and activities, and we will get you involved.
In the meantime, please accept my best wishes to you and your families for a very enjoyable Fall. I hope to see you soon, either at an event in Princeton or wherever our paths may cross.
Time flies. We’re headed into another major reunion. And the Class has never looked better. We are setting records in all directions and positioning ourselves firmly as THE class of the 70’s. I am very pleased and proud to be able to tell you about it, as well as about things to come this year.
Annual Giving 2015-16
Under Tom Hoster’s incredible leadership again this year, the Class accomplished an extraordinary feat even by the standards we have set for ourselves: over 65% participation -- particularly impressive given that the University’s average was below 60% (58.4%) for the first time in six years. Please read Tom’s report (attached). Thanks to all of you who participated, and a huge thanks to Tom, who is now the longest-serving Class Agent at Princeton after 24 years of service.
Our Civic Engagement project is a significant legacy we will leave to Princeton. As you know, two years ago we announced this project as the outgrowth of Project 2022, and requested contributions and pledges to help us grow this endowed fund to a level sufficient to allow us to fund two internships in civic engagement – one international and one domestic – by our 45th Reunion. I am very pleased to tell you that we have met that objective; next summer we will fund internships with PICS (Princeton Internships in Civic Service) and IIP (Princeton International Internship Program). Thanks to Grif Johnson and Barbara Julius in particular for spearheading this effort and to all of you who have contributed. Please continue to honor your Project 2022 pledges and consider a donation to this worthy cause, either online through our website or by check with the card enclosed.
Alumni Association Award for Largest Class Gathering: This year I am proud to say the Class of 1972 won the Alumni Association award for the Class with the largest gathering of classmates outside of Princeton during the previous year. We won this award with our Civil War trip to Charlottesville (68 classmates and 41 guests attended).
Shenandoah Valley. Last fall, Andy and Ellie Dayton and John and Christine Van Horne led a contingent of 31 ’72 hikers and historians through the beautiful mountains of Shenandoah National Park (Cedar Run, White Oak Canyon and Old Rag) and on to Charlottesville and Monticello, where we enjoyed a full day of immersion in the life, genius, and varied fortunes of Thomas Jefferson in a program thoughtfully constructed by John and Christine. We ended our trip with a glorious sunset and dinner on Montalto, the taller mountain adjoining Monticello, in the beautiful home serving as offices of the Jefferson Foundation.
Santa Fe. In April, Sallie and I led a trip to Santa Fe that was enjoyed by 75 classmates and friends, including local classmates Michael Brown and Michael and Cindi Pettit, who were very gracious as local hosts and helpful with our trip planning. We spent an evening at the Pettits’ spectacular home in the hills outside of town, and enjoyed behind-the-scenes tours at the School for Advanced Research, where Michael Brown is president. We had a special private tour of Los Alamos National Laboratory, visited many of the fabulous Santa Fe museums, hiked Tent Rocks, climbed through cave dwellings at Bandelier National Monument, and enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour at the Santa Fe Opera.
Charleston. Plans are underway for what promises to be a terrific trip to Charleston, last visited by the Class in 2008 for the gridiron contest between the Tigers and The Citadel. Robby Robinson has planning well in hand. Charleston was recently rated the #1 destination city in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine, and this trip may set a new record for attendance. If you are interested, check the class website and get in touch with Robby. We currently have 105 people signed up.
Undergraduate Teaching Initiative
After 14 years, we are still the only class that supports such an initiative. This year ’72 will fund two new courses again: John Danner’s "Designing Ventures to Change the World” (Kelly Center for Innovation in Engineering Education) and Alison Isenberg’s "Trenton-Princeton Project” (History). More information will be posted on our website.
Our class supports one deserving scholar from each undergraduate class. Delaney Johnson ’17, Deion King ’18 and Sydney Jordan ’19 will be joined by a scholar from the Class of ’20 this fall. I hope you will have a chance to visit with these students at a class event on campus this year. They are very special young people and have formed a real bond with our class by the time they graduate.
Upcoming Events On or Near Campus
Annual New York Class Dinner (Friday, Oct. 21, 2016): The day before the Harvard game, this year’s dinner at the Princeton Club of New York will feature the legendary and beloved Pete Carril, head coach of the Princeton basketball team from 1967-1996, as speaker. A separate email will be forthcoming about the event, and information is available on our website. We hope to see many out-of-towners; make a reservation to stay at the Princeton Club!
Harvard Game (Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016): Join us as we beat the Crimson. We will have our usual Executive Committee meeting at 10:00 am (to which all are invited), after which we will adjourn to the University Tailgate at Fine Plaza from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. (The lunch and libations are good, and all you have to do is register online with the University; a reminder will be sent in the fall.) After the game, we will have our traditional complimentary Class reception hosted by Fritz Cammerzell. Last year’s optional dinner was popular, so we will again offer that as well.
Alumni Day (Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017): We will have an Executive Committee meeting at 4:30 pm after the Service for Remembrance, followed by a Class reception and dinner at the Nassau Club. Thanks to the efforts of Fritz Cammerzell, one of Princeton's most renowned professors, Robert George, has agreed to speak to us, so it will be a very special evening.
Reunions (Thursday – Sunday, Jun. 1-4, 2017): This year will mark our 45th since graduation. Robby Robinson and Fritz Cammerzell, Reunion Co-Chairs, will be sending you a letter shortly. I hope you will be able to join us. Mark the dates!
Please fill out and return the enclosed class dues card, or make your $50 payment online via credit card at www.princeton72.org. Dues are small but important as they are our only source of income to pay for the things that benefit all classmates: PAW, the Class website, our membership in the Alumni Association, as well as mailing costs. We have held dues at $50 for twenty years in a row. We would like to avoid raising them, but to do so we will need broad participation from the class. Attached is the list of those who paid their dues last year (we had 34% participation this year and we need at least 40%). At our 45th Reunion, we will provide recognition to all classmates who have paid their dues for this coming year and all three previous years (if you are unsure of your status, check the class website for each year or ask Chris Loomis or Doug Harrison.)
NOTE: Class dues, Annual Giving and ’72 CE contributions are all tax deductible, but they are all completely different from one another and serve different purposes.
Our website has a wealth of information about the class and its activities – past, present and future. Log on and update your profile, add photos, etc. If you need help, contact Doug Harrison, Class Webmaster. www.princeton72.org.
As always, I would enjoy hearing from you. Please send in your dues check (and any news), watch for your Reunions letter, and plan to come to campus this year – especially for our 45th Reunion.