“I believe that once you’re a Tiger, you’re always a Tiger. It’s a family that you want to stay a part of and thus will do whatever you can to help support. It’s easy to smile and say, ‘Yes, I played at Princeton!’ when you continue to contribute to its success and excellence.”
—Denna Laing ’14, women’s ice hockey co-captain
Tigers from every generation rallied on Dec. 3 as Princeton conducted its sixth annual Tiger Athletics Give Day (TAGD), a Giving Tuesday challenge dedicated to supporting Princeton’s 37 varsity teams and their mission to “achieve, serve, and lead.” Alumni, parents and friends were invited to join the hunt for Princeton’s 500th Ivy League championship, and the community responded by shattering previous giving records during the 24-hour period, with more than 7,200 donors contributing a total of $3.2 million — surpassing last year’s dollar mark by 17 percent.
The success of TAGD mirrors the recent streak of Tiger accomplishments. Since 2000, 31 of the 33 Princeton teams that compete in the Ivy League have won at least one league title. During the 2018-19 school year, Princeton led the Ivy League with 12 league titles, and two programs added championships this past fall, including the field hockey team, which also reached the NCAA final. With the winter sports seasons under way, Princeton currently boasts 499 all-time Ivy League titles dating back to 1956, almost 70 more than its nearest rival.
Alumni support is an essential element in Princeton Athletics’ competitive excellence, as it enables training and facility initiatives such as locker room upgrades and out-of-region team travel for Princeton’s 1,000 student-athletes. Nearly 20 percent of the undergraduate population participates in intercollegiate athletics.
The camaraderie and discipline resonate long after graduation. Katie Norbury Carlin ’04 starred as an All-America defender on the women’s lacrosse team that won two NCAA titles. “In the spirit of #TAGD three things I gained as a D1 student athlete and apply to my work daily...,” she tweeted during the TAGD challenge. “1. Time management; 2. How to take constructive criticism; 3. How to be a team player. Forever grateful #orangeblackpride.”
Princeton’s teams compete against each other during TAGD, with the Princeton Varsity Club Board of Directors awarding bonus funds to the top fundraising programs. Just as Princeton’s current student-athletes continue to raise the bar with their performance, this year’s TAGD challenged Athletics Friends Groups to do the same: to “Raise the Bar” and exceed their five-year average for TAGD giving.
Scores of current student-athletes staffed the phones to handle the contributions, and a series of online videos and livestreams helped inspire participation. As a result, almost every Friends Group soared past their “Raise the Bar” goal, led by Rowing (333 percent above previous average), Volleyball (278 percent), and Baseball/Softball (266 percent).
The generosity contributes to an atmosphere that makes an immediate impression. “The facilities we have, the support of the entire school, has just been incredible,” said Jackson Fretty ’23, a freshman on the men’s golf team. “I really feel like I’m being supported to the max. It just makes me feel like I’m part of something special.”
That spirit is a large part of why Princeton Athletics continues to thrive, 150 years after the first college football game and 44 years after Princeton women claimed their first Ivy League title (in basketball).
“Most of the great things in my life can be directly or indirectly tied back to the opportunity to attend @princeton & play for @princetonlax,” said Tom Schreiber ’14, All-America midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team, in an Instagram post. “I’m thankful for those that afforded me that opportunity & am proud to support the next generation as part of Tiger Athletics Give Day. #TAGD.”
Missed TAGD19 and still want to support Tiger Athletics? Please visit https://makeagift.princeton.edu/Athletics/MakeAGift to support the team of your choice.