As they hauled their gear to Rockefeller and Mathey colleges on scorchingly hot days last fall, Luis Gonzalez-Yante ’18 and Bo-Ryehn Chung ’18 harbored questions scores of Princetonians have pondered: Will I fit in? Can I handle the academics?
Soledad Mendoza ’16 is the first in her family to attend college. Jia Ning Cheng ’17 traveled halfway around the world to study here. Garrett Gosse ’16 has four college-bound siblings; his family’s resources must stretch to accommodate them all.
Long before she came to Princeton, Tula Strong ’15 was a dancer. But until she came to Princeton, Strong thought she would choose another field for her career. “Princeton gave me the opportunity to turn something that I love into something that is respected in the academic field,” Strong said.
Evelyn Giovine ’16 set her sights on a professional acting career at an early age. “By eighth grade I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. So she faced a tough decision when choosing between a conservatory and Princeton. She selected the University, convinced that it offered the best opportunity to integrate improving her theatrical skills with expanding her academic horizons.
At Princeton, Adam Mastroianni ’14 explored every angle of his interests, from the witty to the wise. He pursued his passion of writing and performing comedy for fun, as well as conducted academic research on humor with an eminent social psychologist. Along the way, he earned numerous awards—including a Rhodes Scholarship—made lots of people laugh, and helped other students adjust to college.
The gifts made to Princeton through Annual Giving go directly into the University’s operating budget, to be used where they are needed most. Here are a few examples of the areas where gifts to Annual Giving have provided essential support to teaching and learning.
Shani Moore Weatherby ’02 considers the financial aid she received as an undergraduate both a “badge of honor” and the motivation behind her efforts to support Princeton, particularly its commitment to need-blind admission and a diverse campus community. “I can now give back,” she says, “because someone gave to me.”
Annual Giving is about more than financial support -- it’s a demonstration of Tiger spirit. The effort is composed of Princetonians working together across generations to keep the University strong and ensure that talented students can have the same Princeton experience that enriched their own lives.
Annual Giving is a reflection of the commitment by alumni, parents, and friends to support and expand Princeton's mission of teaching and research. “Annual Giving is about all of us together, the mighty and the modest, creating exceptional opportunities at Princeton.”
The world has changed in countless ways during the 25 years that separate this year’s 50th and 25th Reunion classes -- from 1964 to 1989 -- but one thing remains the same: the devotion these classes have to Princeton. From Annual Giving to academic support, and from funding for athletics to new structures and improved facilities, they have contributed meaningfully to Princeton’s present and future.
Percussionist Jason Treuting and graphic designer Danielle Aubert, inaugural Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts in Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts, are spending two years on campus, teaching and collaborating with students and faculty. The fellowships, open to early-career artists in all disciplines, bring new artistic energy to campus while allowing students to learn from professionals.
Before Kovey Coles ’15 came to Princeton, he had limited experience traveling internationally. During the past three years, he has taken advantage of three opportunities to go abroad to four countries through the University's international initiatives. These programs have helped him choose his major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and set him on a career path in global politics.
In her EQuad laboratory, Lynn Loo is developing lightweight, easily processed, flexible, and often less expensive plastics to replace metals in electronic devices such as circuits and solar panels. At the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, she is advancing that work by forging partnerships with key companies. Loo, who earned her PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton in 2001, is the Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemical and biological engineering. She also serves as associate director for external partnerships at the Andlinger Center.
Brian Abel Ragen *87, a professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for 25 years until his retirement in 2013, believes that rigorous study in the humanities benefits everyone, regardless of career path. To reinforce his commitment to education, he created two graduate fellowships in English at Princeton and named the University as a beneficiary in his will.
Many elements contribute to the Princeton experience: a distinguished faculty, an exceptional and diverse student body, an unparalleled residential setting, and extraordinary library, laboratory, and computing resources. Annual Giving plays a critical role in each of these areas, which make a direct and immediate difference in the lives of current students.
Professor of Electrical Engineering Sanjeev Kulkarni, director of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, has been on Princeton’s faculty since 1991. He received the University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007 and has earned seven Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Undergraduate Engineering Council. Kulkarni served as master of Butler College from 2004 until 2012. He was recently named dean of Princeton's Graduate School, effective March 31, 2014.
An unusual letter arrived on campus recently from the mother of a freshman: “I need to give back in some way,” wrote Kuntal Parikh, whose son, Agastya, receives scholarship support. “I do not have financial resources to contribute, but am more than willing to do anything else…absolutely anything, from filling envelopes to filing to making calls to making endless cups of Indian chai lattes or dinners or anything else that you can think of.”
Professor Steven Mackey, chair of the Department of Music, is a Grammy Award-winning composer and musician. A member of the faculty since 1985, he was a recipient of the first President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University in 1991.
James Steward, director of the Princeton University Art Museum since 2009, has launched a number of initiatives to position the museum as an educational and enlightening resource for both students and other visitors. He is a passionate advocate for university museums and “the power of art to shape life experience and build community.”
The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is working to transform the ways we generate and use electricity and fuels around the world. The center combines Princeton’s strengths in materials science, environmental science, policy, and engineering—and adds a measure of entrepreneurial creativity—to develop practical technologies and affordable products that can provide renewable energy and mitigate damage to the environment.
Emily Carter is the founding director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied and computational mathematics.
Princeton freshmen face a difficult choice. Should they learn how cells age or how to curate a museum exhibition? Should they study ethics in financial markets, the tipping points of global warming, or whether there is life on Mars? More than half of each year’s entering class enrolls in freshman seminars.
Princeton’s financial aid program guarantees that any student who is admitted can attend, largely thanks to scholarships created by alumni and friends.
Each year students write to express their gratitude to those who made their time on campus possible. Excerpts from those letters offer a snapshot of the impact scholarships have had.