Current Issue

May 12, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 13

Alumni Scene

Service takes center stage at Reunions

By Brett Tomlinson
Published in the May 12, 2010, issue


Steven Veach
Princeton Project 55, the inspiration and model for several alumni-led service projects, is celebrating its 20th year, and to mark the anniversary, the organization is holding a gala May 27, the Thursday of Reunions. Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., will deliver the keynote address, and the founding leaders from the Class of 1955 will be honored.

In its first two decades, Project 55 has placed more than 1,200 interns or fellows at nearly 560 nonprofit organizations that aim to solve societal problems. That adds up to about 900 years of service. Project 55 fellowships continue to be a popular option for graduating seniors: 145 students — 12 percent of the senior class — applied for about 50 openings this year.

The Project 55 celebration is one of several service-themed events on the calendar for Reunions May 27–30. Other highlights include a Habitat for Humanity project sponsored by the classes of 1950 and 2005, and a Class of 1995 book drive for an elementary school in Missouri.  

The Association of Princeton Gradu­ate Alumni, which will celebrate Reunions with a “PrinceTunes” musical theme, is collecting musical instruments for its service project. Donations will be given to local schools.  

The Class of 2000, in recognition of its 10th reunion, called on classmates to pledge 10 hours of community service in advance of Reunions. The class also plans to participate in a Princeton Water Watch cleanup project on Reunions weekend.  

For its 25th reunion, the Class of 1985 has launched the Princeton University Reunions Run, or PURR, a 5-kilometer fun run at the West Windsor fields Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The run will benefit two charities, Princeton Young Achievers and Friends of the World Food Programme. Participants can register online at www.princeton85.org.

In addition to the service projects and traditional gatherings like class dinners, Reunions 2010 will include a full slate of educational programs. Alumni-faculty forums will cover a range of topics, including international relations, health-care policy, innovation in education, investing trends, green technologies, and controversies in pro and college sports. Other events include former New York governor Eliot Spitzer ’81’s Saturday-morning lecture on “Lessons from the Economic Crisis,” at 10:30 a.m. in Room A02 of McDonnell Hall. PAW will sponsor a panel discussion about politics and the approaching midterm elections, featuring alumni journalists, Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Frist Performance Theater.  

At several major-reunion headquarters, alumni musicians will help to start this year’s parties. Pianist Rocky King ’45, bandleader Stan Rubin ’55, trombonist Tom Artin ’60 and his Nassau Jazz Band, and a rock band of ’75 alumni, led by Hollis Russell ’75, all are scheduled for reunion gigs. The Battle of the Alumni Bands returns for its third year, Friday at 11 a.m. on the Frist Campus Center’s south lawn. Later in the day, at 7 p.m., a group of traditional Irish musicians will hold an open session with and for alumni in the Whig Hall Senate Chamber.

Five major classes, ranging from 1975 to 1995, are sponsoring the second Singles Mingle reception for single alumni, Friday from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at Chancellor Green. Last year’s inaugural event drew about 100 people, according to Jill Baron ’80, who organized this year’s mixer.

On Saturday, President Tilghman will hold her annual conversation with alumni at 10:30 a.m. in Richardson Auditorium. The Class of 1985 will lead the P-rade, beginning at 2 p.m. The University Orchestra will perform its annual concert at Finney and Campbell fields at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Handheld Reunions

For the second year, the Alumni Association is providing a smartphone-friendly Web site that allows returning alumni to access a range of information, including headquarters sites for major reunions and satellite classes, a schedule of open events, news alerts, parking and shuttle information, weather forecasts, band schedules, and lyrics for Princeton songs.  

To use Reunions Mobile, enter m.princeton.edu/reunions in your mobile Web browser.

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