Princeton has kicked off a series of focus groups in cities across the country to help plan a major conference for graduate alumni next Oct. 18–19. 

“This will be one of the University’s marquee conferences,” said Tony Fiori *03, the new president of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni. While specific plans will await the completion in February of the grad-alumni focus groups, he said the event is likely to combine “intellectual engagement with fun aspects.” 

The conference not only will coincide with the centennial of the Graduate College but is expected to be one of the first major events for the University’s new president, Fiori said.

In another effort to boost the engage­ment of grad alumni, Princeton will hold its first departmental regional gathering for alumni, a Dec. 3 dinner at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. The literary event will feature talks by English professor Claudia Johnson *81 and comparative literature professor April Alliston. The University is targeting graduate alumni in the humanities, including classics, philosophy, religion, English, comparative ­literature, and the various language departments. 

Graduate alumni tend to feel a strong connection to their departments, and the politics and psychology departments will be hosting separate grad-alum conferences on campus in April. The events will focus on “the hottest, most relevant topics” in the two departments, according to Debby Corrodi Foster ’92, senior associate director for graduate alumni relations.

Foster heads a three-person team devoted to strengthening the connections of grad alums with the University and with each other. “I’m excited that we now have a larger team of professionals supporting graduate-alumni relations and can leverage the additional expertise and staff” of the Alumni Association, Fiori said.