In 1963, when Fernando Aenlle-Rocha was not quite two years old, his family left everything in Cuba and sailed to America. He became the first in his family to attend college. “Princeton transformed my life,” he said. “It began the process of opening my eyes to opportunities and the rest of the world.”
When Janet Morrison Clarke heard in 1969 that Princeton was going coed, she thought, “I might be able to get in.” Despite her guidance counselor's misgivings, Clarke applied and was admitted. It turned out to be a pivotal decision. “From the moment I set foot on campus, where I knew no one, it felt like a family,” she said.
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.”
Y. S. Chi ’83 says the more he gives to Princeton, the more he receives. If his volunteer record is any indication, the relationship has been extraordinarily fulfilling. Chi is a former University trustee and has worked on behalf of the Alumni Schools Committee, the Council of the Princeton University Community, Annual Giving, Career Services, the Princeton Varsity Club, Capital Giving, the East Asian Studies Advisory Council, the Bridge Year Committee, and more. He also has given generously in support of University priorities.
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.
When Harvard alumnus Jim Posner was choosing a graduate school, he decided on Princeton because “Princeton was flexible, welcoming, and encouraged individual goals.” It is the same flexibility and attention to individual circumstances that Posner found in Princeton’s Office of Gift Planning when he sought a way to show his “great appreciation” to the University.
Paul Sittenfeld ’69’s commitment to education inspires him to help others have the same experience. He and his wife, Betsy, created a Princeton charitable lead trust to further strengthen University bonds and assist their family.