“I am forever grateful for the opportunities I received at Princeton,” says Chip Newton, who came to the University from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. “I became a responsible adult in those four years. I learned how to think. What to think was up to me.” He treasures connections with friends from undergraduate days as well as those he has met as an Annual Giving volunteer. “Princeton is a relationship that may start when you are 18, but it is one that never ends,” he says.
Back in high school in St. Louis, Missouri, Jim Crawford was a ham radio operator. Then he found out about computers, taught himself to program, and has never looked back. He majored in electrical engineering at Princeton, and took as many computer science courses as he could squeeze in.
Bruce Freeman has just assumed the duties of class agent for the five years leading up to the Class of 1969’s 50th Reunion, but he is no stranger to University service. He has long served his class as Annual Giving special gifts chair, leadership chair, and participation volunteer. He was a reunion committee member, and yearbook editor for ’69’s 35th, 40th, and 45th Reunions. A former member of the 1969 Community Service Fund Board of Directors, he was also a member of his regional schools committee. And he spent 10 years on Princeton’s staff as a senior associate director of Annual Giving.
Hal Saunders has always been proud to wear orange and black. Princeton gave him, he says, “my intellectual awakening and my basic approach to life. I am deeply appreciative of everything the University offered me.” At Princeton he majored in English, and earned a certificate in the Program in American Civilization (now American Studies).
Susie Brennan is a fifth grade teacher at Chapin School in Princeton. “From time to time,” she says, “people have asked me why I went to Princeton ‘just’ to become an elementary school teacher. What better place to go to become anything?” Princeton, she says, “gave me confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher and the education and skills I needed to do so.”
“Princeton gave me so much,” says Bob Nahas, “above all, the ability to think critically.” He “learned so much in a variety of areas. Every day I am grateful for the broad education I received.” He also cherishes “the friendships I made, and connection with so many Princetonians.” That connection has expanded through his work as class agent.
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.
Kentucky native Kevin Smith is driven to “help the people of Appalachia in any way I can.” So why does he volunteer for Princeton? “It’s an easy answer,” he says. “The experience I had at the Woodrow Wilson School, the contact with the faculty, the wide interests of the students, has made my current work possible.”
Jim Balassone has been involved in Princeton fundraising for 46 years, and is currently special gifts co-chair for the Class of 1964’s 50th Reunion campaign. “Every contact with a fellow Princetonian, whether someone I knew at Princeton or someone I have met in recent years, has proven to be its own reward,” he says.