Marissa Troiano has been '06's class agent since graduation. “I was a scholarship student,” she says. “I came, and Princeton opened my mind and my life. I knew I wanted future students to have the same opportunities I had.”
“I will never forget my four years at Princeton,” says Samantha Lynch. “That’s when I grew up. Princeton will always be a large part of who I am.” The University’s focus on its undergraduates, she says, makes her “eternally grateful for what the University offered me, intellectually and socially.”
As an undergraduate, Maria Hilton served on the U-Council and Priorities Committee, which “opened my eyes to the importance of Annual Giving. The flexibility of AG enables Princeton to be a leader in so many ways.”
Karen Sonneborn calls herself “a soft-sell volunteer. I know everyone has their own giving priorities. But when people understand how important Annual Giving is to the University, they are usually happy to contribute.” A leadership chair and participation solicitor, she has frequently served on her class's special gifts committee. She is also a member of the committee that oversees Princeton's Bridge Year Program.
Laura Elbogen grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, with an affinity for art and architecture from girlhood. Inspired by an art-loving grandmother, she sketched landmarks―houses, public buildings―from the age of five or six. She easily selected art and archaeology as her Princeton major. “I do believe in the power of design to transform our experience,” she says. “Spaces shape our lives.” She sometimes traded her sketchpad for a tennis racket; at Princeton she played varsity tennis for four years.
Jim Williamson volunteers for Princeton “for all the usual reasons: I’m grateful for all I learned here, how I grew as a student and continue to grow as an alum. But it’s deeper than that. Whatever big issues we face today―climate change, disease, world hunger―people at Princeton are working on these issues. To me, there is no more significant way to help make a difference in society than to support the University.”
Three months into his freshman year at Princeton, Charles Allen ’45 was in his dorm room, enjoying a radio broadcast of a football game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Suddenly it was interrupted by a news report: The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Stunned, he realized his life was about to change.
Our photographs are stored in “the cloud” instead of shoeboxes. Many of us have several e-mail accounts. We may use bitcoin for online shopping. How can we keep these digital assets secure for ourselves and our heirs?
Elizabeth Meyer feels “an immediate connection to anyone who went to Princeton. Being an alumna implies an ongoing relationship with the University and all its graduates. I automatically smile whenever I see orange and black!” Her dedication to “ensuring current and future students have the same incredible experience we did” is at the heart of her service to her class and to Princeton.
Bri Bennett calls Warwick, Rhode Island, home, although she was born in Tokyo. “My father was a professional hockey player and we traveled a lot,” she explains. She came to Princeton from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, after a memorable gap year. “I wanted to see more of the world,” she says, so, based in Paris, she visited 22 European countries, while focusing on French language and culture.
James Kirby came to Princeton from Deerfield High School in Illinois, with every intention of becoming a physician. But once embarked on his freshman year, “Princeton presented me with a huge array of fields of study and possible career paths. I had never imagined there were so many options. It was very exciting.” He took introductory economics, among other courses, and found that “It helped me understand the world around me.” He chose to major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Suzanna Sanchez, a performer since her early teenage years, was active with the Princeton University Players, performing, among other roles, Anita in West Side Story and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. When she wasn’t onstage, the Atlanta, Georgia, native was studying for her major, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, and pursuing certificates in finance and in engineering and management.
As an ambitious 17-year-old college freshman, Lawrence Otis Graham ’83 set his sights on getting published. He tried pitching two magazines a story on surviving the college admissions interview; both turned him down. Intent on his goal, he headed to Firestone Library to consult nonfiction books on educational issues written for young people.
Tom Dippel finds that classmates share “a strong commitment to giving back to the University, and particular support for Princeton’s financial aid policy. That’s what drives our efforts for Annual Giving.” And, he admits, there is a spirit of friendly competition with other classes that inspires AG solicitation. He is hoping to “break all records for attendance and for AG in 2018 when we have our 25th Reunion.”
Let’s start with a love story, one that has benefited Princeton. An English major at Princeton, Bill Charrier was also active in Theatre Intime. Soprano Anne Stovall was then a student at nearby Westminster Choir College, and the two met in a Theatre Intime production of Little Mary Sunshine―she in the title role, he providing tech support. He later became the group’s producer and business manager. Bill and Anne Stovall Charrier later founded the Friends of Theatre Intime, which Bill now serves as board chair.
“Monumental and positive change” at Princeton inspired Pierce Selwood ’61 and Alexis Fuerbringer Selwood to establish a charitable remainder trust that benefits Princeton and Smith College. Read their story, which includes a chance meeting with Jimmy Stewart.
If you are thinking of selling stock, you may want to consider another option. Learn more about gifts that give you future gains.
Two members of the Class of 2018 are at Princeton because of charitable remainder trust gifts from members of the Class of ’31 and the Class of ’57. Meet the students who are grateful to alumni they will never meet.
Do you remember your favorite study space in Firestone Library? 1746 Society members can revisit those memories and see the progress of the library’s renovation on a tour before the society’s luncheon on Thursday, April 30.
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.”
“All graduates owe it to Princeton to help maintain the academic excellence that has distinguished our university for the past 250-plus years,” says Henry Barkhorn. “Volunteering for Princeton is something we can all do.” Currently a leadership gifts volunteer, he has served as class president, class treasurer, and critical few chair. He has also been a member of the special gifts committee, as well as a member of the Alumni Council’s Class Affairs Committee.
Bruce Campbell came to Princeton from Riverside Poly High School in Riverside, California. The move to the opposite coast was “a little rocky at first,” he recalls, but he soon found his intellectual home in the Woodrow Wilson School.
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.
“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.