Princeton University Class of 1955

    As Princeton AlumniCorps looks ahead to its thirtieth anniversary in 2020, the work of mobilizing leaders for the public good has renewed urgency. Long-standing issues such as climate change, poverty, racial inequality, health disparity, and educational equity continue to require creative thinking and wholehearted action, while a revitalized democratic society depends upon robust, ongoing engagement by leaders of every age.

   More than 1,600 alumni have served as Project 55 Fellows or Interns. Fellowship class has range from 34 to 52 fellows, with a target of 45-50. Forty-five recent Princeton graduates are Project 55 Fellows this year, and annually approximately 13% of the senior class applies to the program. A 2015 survey showed that approximately 60% of Project 55 alumni have remained in the nonprofit or public interest sector. More than 200 volunteers make the fellowship program possible by serving as mentors, planning seminars and social events, providing support to fellows during the year, and liaising with partner organizations. Connections with other fellowship programs through The Alumni Network enrich the fellowship experience.  

 Mike Lee '55 welcomes new Executive Director Kef Kasdin '85. Further details on our website www.AlumniCorps.org

  
 

Our Mission and Scope

 

   The mission of Princeton AlumniCorps is to inspire and build civic leadership among alumni across generations by engaging them in significant activities that influence and improve our society.

   By engaging alumni in significant public service initiatives, we will:

  • Contribute to constructive social change;
  • Strengthen the University as a source of civic leaders;
  • Expand each Princetonian’s ability to make a difference, by engaging with others;
  • Enrich and expand the lifelong Princeton experience;
  • Multiply our impact through collaborating and sharing our vision with other universities;
  • Further extend Princeton’s service to the nation and to the world.

   Princeton AlumniCorps is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with annual operating expenses of $600,000. Our programs are national in scope and operate in Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC. We are volunteer-led, with an actively engaged Board of Directors and more than 200 volunteers whose time and talents make our programs possible.

   Since our founding in 1989, we have provided alumni with opportunities, training, and support needed to put their energies to work addressing significant social issues. Our current programs engage alumni in significant public service activities throughout their lives, from the moment they graduate college to their encore careers. We also serve as an active model and catalyst for other universities and alumni groups to achieve their goals of alumni-driven civic engagement. With more than 1600 program alumni and a network of more than 500 nonprofit partner organizations, Princeton AlumniCorps is a unique convener of people and organizations committed to building not just a new generation of civic leaders, but civic leadership across generations.

   For a copy of the most recent AlumniCorps Strategic Plan 2017-21, please send a request to info@alumnicorps.orgPrinceton AlumniCorps: Engage at Every Age from Princeton AlumniCorps on Vimeo.


History

   During the 1989 class mini-reunion in Washington, DC, Ralph Nader '55 planted the seed for an organization of classmates to give back to our alma mater (see resolution). In 1990, small group founded Princeton Project 55 to share their talents, achievements, experience and motivations with Princeton upper class undergraduates. In 2010, the name of PP 55 was changed to Princeton AlumniCorps to reflect its expansion and success in involving alumni from many classes. However, the soul of Princeton Alumni Corps remains in the Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program.  


           

   Princeton AlumniCorps ( formerly PP 55) is a nonprofit organization established to mobilize alumni, students, and others who share our concerns, to provide civic leadership and to develop and implement solutions to systemic problems that affect the public interest. PP55 was born of the realization that there is a vast untapped resource among groups of college alumni which could be made available for the public good.  Financial support from 1955 classmates remains essential. About 1/4 of the costs of running Princeton AlumniCorps are contributed by our classmates.

 

 

 

Letter to the Class of 1955


Dear '55 Classmate,                                                                                                          October 2017

 

Last month, several of us had the opportunity to attend AlumniCorps' September Board meeting. We are thrilled to report that the State of AlumniCorps could not be better. Five terrific new Board members ranging from Project 55 Alumnae Lisa Getson '93 to Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil '97 were inducted (see Board Directory, enclosed), and the development committee reported that "Middle Years" alumni have now surpassed us '55ers in Annual Contributions. Representatives of the Area Committees, meanwhile, moved us with stories of how they have taken up the mantle left by '55er classmates Chet Safian and John Fish to watch over Project 55 Fellows and continue to provide excellent mentorship, support, and community. And the leadership at 12 Stockton is simply top-drawer. We are, collectively, thrilled that the legacy we have built now stands on such firm, durable pillars.

 

But that doesn't mean that our job is done!

 

AlumniCorps recently completed a new Strategic Plan (a one-page version is on our website). The plan calls for greater expansion of our programs to new cities. It calls for deeper connections to our vast network. It calls for leadership through our Bold Idea. And it calls for further strengthening of our organizational finances and stability.

 

We '55ers have pledged to support these efforts, either by increasing our annual contributions or pledging to name AlumniCorps in our estate planning, or both. We write today to challenge you to do the same. Let us continue AlumniCorps' success and ensure its future. It is a legay unlike any other. Won't you join us in supporting it?

 

George Hackl, Chair      Frank Crews    Kirk Davidson    Tom Graham    Pete Hawryluk    Mike Lee    Charles Mapes    Pete Milano

                                  Kenly Webster    Alan Williemsen    Rogers Woolston


How can I make a gift to AlumniCorps?

   There are several ways to give to AlumniCorps. Regardless of how you give, your investment in Princeton AlumniCorps allows us to continue to inspire and support generations of alumni working in the public interest.Gifts to Princeton AlumniCorps may be allocated to the annual fund, the endowment, or to a specific program area. For more information about how your donation will be used, please see our Giving Priorities.


   Make a Secure Credit Card Donation Online: To make a gift immediately click here.

   Contribute via US Mail: To donate to Princeton AlumniCorps via US mail, please send a check or money order to:

Princeton AlumniCorps
12 Stockton Street
Princeton, NJ 08540 

   Make a Gift of Stock: The most convenient way to make a gift of stock is through electronic transfer. For general operating support, please use the following information: Vanguard DTC # 0062 Vanguard Account # 71975296 Please notify Princeton AlumniCorps of a gift of stock by faxing a copy of your broker instructions to (609) 921-2712 so that we can value and acknowledge your gift accurately.

   Matching Gifts: Many companies have matching gift programs. If you or your spouse are employed or serve on the board of a company or foundation that matches individual contributions, please obtain a matching gift form and submit the completed document, along with your gift, to Princeton AlumniCorps. This is an easy way to double or triple the value of your gift.

   Memorial Gifts: Gifts in honor or in memory of an individual are always appreciated. Simply indicate your wish on the check, stock transfer instructions, or the online form.

   Amazon Smile: Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases. You can use your existing account and have the same shopping experience as on Amazon.com; sign into smile.amazon.com and select Princeton Project 55 Inc as your charitable organization.

   Make a Planned Gift: Members of the Keystone Society have made a planned gift to AlumniCorps. For more information about our planned giving program, please see our Giving Priorities



Remembering Mike Robbins
September 19, 2014

Dear AlumniCorps Community,

   With sadness we share the news that Mike Robbins ’55 passed away on Saturday, September 13th at his home in New York City. Mike was a longtime champion of AlumniCorps and the Project 55 Fellowship Program. He and his wife Lois were well known among the Project 55 fellows and volunteers in New York City for their hospitality and generosity, hosting welcome dinners in their home and encouraging class after class of young graduates as they began working in the public interest.


   A supporter of Project 55 from the beginning, Mike served on the Princeton AlumniCorps Board of Directors from 2006 to 2013 and for many years led AlumniCorps fundraising efforts among the Class of 1955. His annual letters to his classmates in support of AlumniCorps were written with a distinctive humor and humanity that never failed to inspire, as he put it, bigheartedness in others. In one recent letter he wrote that "The Princeton Project 55 Fellowships are an exclamation point in a world of commas and dots.” The same could be said of Mike himself, who brought optimism, energy, and wisdom in equal measures to his involvement with AlumniCorps. In deliberations large and small, he was quick to identify the best course for the organization and advocate for it with succinct, and often comic, clarity.

   Mike worked on Wall Street for fifty-two years as a partner of several firms, concluding his career by starting his own firm, Robbins & Henderson, in 1980. He was a member of the New York Stock Exchange for 41 years and served for three terms on the governing board of the NYSE from 1992 to 1998. Though he retired from the stock exchange in 2007, in true ’55er fashion he started an encore career in 2011 writing for Bloomberg News.

   He is survived by his wife Lois; daughters Juli Greenwald '83, Jil Pollock '85, and Polly White '91; his brother Benedict; and six grandchildren, including Project 55 Fellow Alix Greenwald ’10. A memorial service will be held in New York City on Sunday, September 21st at 11:00 a.m. at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue.

   Mike’s hallmark wit and kindness have left a lasting mark on Princeton AlumniCorps. We will deeply miss his friendly presence, his keen insight, and his good cheer.

In Community,

Kenly Webster '55

Chair


Conception of Princeton Project ’55        June 1989


Preamble

   We, the members of the Princeton University Class of 1955, having attained moderate success in our individual pursuits, look uncomfortably at an endangered world. The successes we have achieved in the private sphere have not often been matched by enhancement of the common good. Material well being for ourselves has not led to the healthy society we seek. We see a world beset by ecological deterioration and impending social crises in the United States and throughout the world.

   Approaching the end of our sixth decade of life we are at a juncture where many of us have resources, time and energy to focus more clearly on the public agenda.

   We observe that young men and women, now undergraduates at Princeton, share many of our concerns and commitments. They too want to be effective public citizens. They too are concerned about the environment, the cities, the disadvantaged. They too are talented and energetic.

   We believe that the interaction of our classmates and students in addressing public problems, in fundamental and systemic ways, would blend idealism, experience, commitment, and talent to the benefit of students, ourselves, and the larger community.

   We also believe that this interaction and this commitment to the public agenda will serve as a model for those similarly situated and so inclined. 

Resolution

   The Executive Committee of the Princeton University Class of 1955 hereby approves this Resolution on this 3rd day of June 1989:
  • WHEREAS there is a need for new thinking , new patterns of involvement, and new actions, for addressing society's problems at local, state, national and international levels;
  • WHEREAS the Princeton University Class of 1955 has diverse talents and experience which can be brought to bear on devising solutions to such problems;
  • WHEREAS the Class of 1955, in the tradition Princeton in the Nation’s Service, is prepared to contribute our talents and experience to public interest and civic action endeavors for the betterment of the human condition;
  • WHEREAS we sense a potential of human energy within our generation that can be directed toward such projects;
  • WHEREAS we recognize the untapped energy and potential of Princeton students to pursue these same goals;
  • WHEREAS we envision that mutual and enduring benefits will flow from interaction between our generation and Princeton students working together on public interest and civic action endeavors; and
  • WHEREAS this proposed union of interest and action can serve as an inspiration and possible model for others;
   NOW, THEREFORE, the Princeton University Class of 1955 resolves to establish a permanently endowed, not-for-profit institution located in Princeton, New Jersey and dedicated to the above principles and for the following purposes:
  1. To mobilize the talents, experience and energies of our classmates and others of our generation on specific public interest and civic action projects towards solving systemic social problems;
  2. To promote and support the direct involvement of Princeton students in such public interest and civic action projects in cooperation with members of our Class or indepen­dently; and
  3. To generate other initiatives consistent with our guiding principles .
President:  Alan Willemsen
Vice-president:  Richard Herbruck
Secretary:  Michael Robbins
Treasurer:  Harry Berkowitz
Reunion Chairman:  Hilary Lipsitz
Class Agent:  Tomas Boyatt

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