Giving Stories

Karen Hammerback Sonneborn ’95, Annual Giving Volunteer

March 23rd, 2016 / Annual Giving

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 Trimble Elbogen ’07, Annual Giving Volunteer

February 22nd, 2016 / Annual Giving

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.

James J. Williamson ’07, Co-Class Agent

February 4th, 2016 / Annual Giving

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.”

Charles Allen ’45 and Raymond Beagle ’47: Princetonians In Our Nation’s Service

November 18th, 2015 / Development Com...

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.

Elizabeth Friedland Meyer ’93, Co-Class Agent

November 11th, 2015 / Annual Giving

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.

Briana A. Bennett ’05, Annual Giving Volunteer

September 15th, 2015 / Annual Giving

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 H. Kirby ’89, Annual Giving Committee

September 10th, 2015 / Annual Giving

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 B. Sanchez ’04, Co-Class Agent

August 26th, 2015 / Annual Giving

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.

Lawrence Otis Graham ’83: A Lifelong Love of Firestone

June 30th, 2015 / Development Com...

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.

Thomas A. Dippel ’93, Co-Class Agent

April 28th, 2015 / Annual Giving

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.”

J. William Charrier ’69, Annual Giving Volunteer

April 23rd, 2015 / Annual Giving

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.

Henry C. Barkhorn III ’71, Annual Giving Volunteer

March 3rd, 2015 / Annual Giving

“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.

Janet Morrison Clarke ’75 Discovers Another Family at Princeton

February 4th, 2015 / Development Com...

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.

Ray E. Newton III ’86, Class Agent

January 21st, 2015 / Annual Giving

“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.

Pages

Subscribe to Giving Stories