AlumniCorps looses founding member and dedicated leader
Dear AlumniCorps Community,
We were deeply saddened to learn last week of the passing of Peter T. Milano '55, a founding member and long time ardent supporter of Princeton AlumniCorps. Pete and his wife Christine were the first people to greet me at my first Princeton AlumniCorps board meeting 8 years ago. Their warm welcome made me feel like part of the community and set the tone for my tenure at AlumniCorps.
Born and raised in Yonkers, NY, Pete met his lovely wife Christine at Yonkers High School. She was a constant presence by his side at board meetings and other Princeton AlumniCorps events. Pete majored in Mechanical Engineering at Princeton and fully immersed himself in the Princeton community. He played varsity football and served as Vice President of the Canon Club. He was also a member of the Air Force ROTC and continued his military service after Princeton, eventually obtaining the rank of Captain.
Having both served as AlumniCorps president and on our board, Pete’s passion and commitment to Princeton AlumniCorps were evident from the beginning. As classmate George Hackl shared, “Pete was the football hero of our early years and the civic leader of our retirement years. He has always been a guiding star for AlumniCorps and, because of his style, his intelligence and his thoughtful way with people, a leader I found it wise to follow. George shared further, “ He always listened at length to intricate arguments, then added new broader thinking that put Project 55 in perspective with the Class of ’55 and with Princeton University. Many differences of opinion were often settled when seen in this larger light. He was able to do this in that big but gentle bass voice, evenly delivered, adding at times a bit of a chuckle to keep people at ease. We will miss him beyond measure.”
In the 2008 Princeton AlumniCorps Founders Book Pete shared, “ PP55 has meant so much to me and much more: the sheer delight of interacting with and helping young Princetonians; the exhilarating experience of working with classmates first, and then with multi-generational alums, to build a shared vision for PP55; the inner feeling of making up for some of the civic deficit I had accrued in not being active enough in public and community affairs earlier in my career. PP55 helped to show me how the widespread lack of volunteer human capital can perpetuate broken systems that impact society so negatively.” His own words, published many years ago, perfectly encapsulate both his commitment to Princeton AlumniCorps and the impact he had on the young Princetonians and classmates that had the true gift of interacting with him.
Pete is survived by his wife Christine, his son Thomas of Watertown, MA, son Steven and wife Ruth of New Canaan, CT and son Peter and wife Karen of Essex Fells, NJ. He is also survived by six loving grandchildren - Michael, Emily, Matthew, Kaitlin, Kaileigh and Peighton.
Pete’s enthusiasm and passion for AlumniCorps, his sense of calm and his inherent warmth will be greatly missed. Please join me in extending condolences to the entire Milano family.
Princeton AlumniCorps Welcomes New Executive Director
Princeton AlumniCorps is proud to announce the appointment of Caryn Tomljanovich to Executive Director, effective July 1, 2020. Caryn is currently the Director of Programs and Strategy at AlumniCorps and replaces Kef Kasdin, who has moved to San Francisco for personal reasons and will retain the volunteer role of President of AlumniCorps, to which she was appointed in 2016.
Since 2013, Caryn has been a driving force behind AlumiCorps’ growth across the country. During her tenure, she expanded the number of projects in the ARC Innovators program as well as planned and implemented the first-ever Project 55 Fellows retreat in 2019. She has focused her work on deepening relationships with our Project 55 partner organizations and building a stronger civic engagement curriculum for Project 55 Fellows. She led the development of the Bold Idea and worked closely with Appleseed to create a network of individuals and organizations focused on immigration issues. Caryn has also worked in partnership with Emerging Leaders’ facilitators Hilary Joel and Yael Sivi, to strengthen the program’s curriculum around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Caryn notes, “Our work in strengthening the nonprofit sector, providing opportunities for civic engagement, and developing the next generation of nonprofit leaders to work towards a more equitable and just society is critically relevant to where we are as a society. I am excited to work with the board and staff on the next chapter in our growth and development and the impact we can see in our communities.”
A previous AlumniCorps Executive Director, Andrew Nurkin, who hired Caryn, shared, “In my time as Executive Director, I saw Caryn earn the respect and trust of the Board, volunteers, staff, community partners, and program participants. AlumniCorps’ work is as urgent now as it has ever been, and I know it will meet the moment with Caryn as Executive Director.”
Caryn holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Connecticut College and a master’s in public policy with a focus in community development from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany. She also holds a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion from Cornell University. Having grown up in East Windsor, NJ, Caryn notes that her professional life has brought her full circle back to the Princeton area.
The search committee included AlumniCorps Board Chair Liz Duffy, Vice President Debra Kushma, and board members Karen Ali, Andrew Protain, and Dick Walker. Duffy said, “The board and I very much look forward to working with Caryn in her new capacity to build on AlumniCorps three decades of experience mobilizing people, organizations, and networks for the public good. That work is as essential as ever today, and Caryn is the perfect person to ensure our continued impact.”
Let’s welcome Caryn with a note of congratulations! She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. Princeton AlumniCorps: Engage at Every Age from Princeton AlumniCorps on Vimeo.
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. The organization is located at 12 Stockton Street, Princeton, an historical landmark building constructed in 1834.
Letter to the Class of 1955
Dear '55 Classmate, October 2020
This is arguably a year like none other: we are living through a global pandemic; there is racial reckoning happening across the country; and an election looms large in the near future. The work we started with Princeton Project 55, now Princeton AlumniCorps, 30 years ago, has never been more vital.
This year, AlumniCorps is supporting 47 recent Princeton graduates as they work on issues of systemic change at 37 different public service organizations across the country. From breast cancer research, to unemployment issues, to environmental conservation, the Fellows are working to solve some of our most urgent societal ills.
Recently, a regular supporter asked the AlumniCorps staff to share some data about our class giving. We are pleased to report that our class is still a major contributor to AlumniCorps’ budget, even though our numbers are decreasing. Ninety-one of us gave over $117,000 in the last fiscal year. This year, we aim to raise $115,000, which would contribute 29% of AlumniCorps’ total fundraising goal.
This is where we need your help: Our fiscal year just began July 1 and we kicked off a new annual campaign. Make your annual gift and help us reach our class target. We know there are many organizations vying for your attention, so we hope you will invest in the organization our class founded 30 years ago and ensure its perpetuity.
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:
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.
30th Anniversary Gifts
AlumniCorps' theme for the 30th-Anniversary Gala was Constellations. This imagery of a group of interrelated bright points echoes connections we’ve made that catalyze change in the nonprofit sector. We find success in the clusters of networks that, together, create light in the darkness, connecting people and organizations in a variety of configurations all designed to light up their corners of the sky.
When the event, slated for May 28, 2020, was canceled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many supporters who had already purchased tickets and tables, as well as several sponsors, agreed to donate their purchase price to AlumniCorps. Thank you to this special constellation of donors who helped ‘create light in the darkness’ with their generosity. Donors to this special fund from the Class of '55 are listed below. In addition, Steve Boyd’s ‘55 children submitted a tribute to their father in honor of AlumniCorp’s 30th anniversary.
Anne M. Barnett s’55
Thomas D. Boyatt ’55
Donna J. Dean h’55
George C. S. Hackl ’55 & Ann W. Hackl
Albert P. Hinckley Jr. ’55
Thomas S. Jordan ’55
William W. Mills, Jr. ’55
Roland Morris ’55
Frank F. Mountcastle Jr. ’55
Anthony C. E. Quainton ’55 & Susan Quainton
James M. Seabrook ’55
Judith Hole Suratt s’55
Alan M. Willemsen ’55 & Clarissa Willemsen
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.
Kenly Webster '55
Conception of Princeton Project ’55 June 1989
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.
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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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