Annual Giving retreated in 2008­–09 from the record levels of the previous two years, raising $44.6 million as 57.7 percent of undergraduate alumni supported the campaign.

The total was the third-highest in the campaign’s 69-year ­history but well short of the $56 million goal, set before the sharp downturn in the financial markets. ­Annual Giving raised $54.1 million in 2007–08 and $49 million in 2006–07.

“This was the most difficult fund-raising climate in decades,” said Bruce Freeman ’69, senior associate director of Annual Giving. “This was a very hard-won victory. The 2,500 volunteers worked as hard for that as they ever have.”

The 25th-reunion Class of 1984 led all classes in raising $5.8 million, while the Class of 1959 raised $3.7 million in celebrating its 50th reunion. They were followed by the Class of 1974 with $2.5 million, 1969 with $2 million, 1964 with $1.6 million, and 1989 with $1 million.

The highest total for a non-major ­reunion class was the Class of 1958’s $812,257. Nine other classes also set new records for their non-major reunions.

Freeman noted that 70 percent of members of the youngest five classes supported the campaign, with the Class of 2008’s 75.2 percent setting a record for a class in its first alumni year.

Princeton parents contributed $2.3 million, while graduate alumni raised $1.7 million.  

“This is a challenging time for Princeton and the country,” President Tilghman said in a statement expressing gratitude for the unrestricted funds contributed by this year’s donors.