Some years ago Ray Close purchased a plot of unimproved farmland. Later a major highway interchange was planned nearby. Because of the resulting capital gain it made excellent tax sense to donate the property to Princeton and create a trust, “something I had always wanted to do,” Close said.
Close was an Arab affairs specialist with the CIA for 26 years and then an independent consultant on the region. He and his wife, Martha (Marty), spent 37 years in Arab or Muslim countries, including Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
International understanding is an important priority for Close, whose family has been involved in global initiatives as teachers, businessmen, and diplomats in Arab countries for four generations. He and Marty designated their trust to support the Woodrow Wilson School’s Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative and policy conferences, and for athletics, especially international travel by the women’s varsity teams.
A former vice president of his class, Close currently serves on its executive committee and is an active Annual Giving special gifts volunteer.
“My father, Harold Close ’1910 [*22], and my two late brothers, Ralph ’44 [*53] and Art ’46 [*50], demonstrated to me that nurturing our University can be an enduring source of gratification,” Close said. “I believe that this is the most important legacy we as graduates can pass on to future generations of Princetonians.”