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.
He went on to earn an MBA at Harvard Business School (where he was roommates once again with two of his Princeton roommates), and has had a long career in the investment industry, including investment banking, private equity investing, and hedge fund management. He enjoys the investment industry as “a dynamic field always presenting new questions, new challenges.” He is founder and president of Deerpath Capital Management, an investment management firm in New York City.
Kirby is a longtime member of his class’s special gifts committee and has also served on the participation committee. He says he enjoys communicating with classmates, both those he knew as an undergraduate and new friends made through volunteering for AG. He finds that most classmates are receptive to his phone calls: “Generally,” he says, “people who went to Princeton love Princeton, and even though it may not be the perfect time for them to donate to the University, they are happy to be contacted.”
Kirby and his wife Heather live in Bronxville, New York, with their three children: Caroline, 15 years old; James Jr., 12; and 10-year-old John. A good deal of family time is spent “at the kids’ soccer games and track meets, or helping with homework.”
With limited time for other volunteer commitments, Kirby says, “It’s pretty much Princeton for me.”