The campaign “aims to engage our alumni and friends, encourage a spirit of service to the University and to humanity, and help us expand the frontiers of knowledge.” ­— President Eisgruber ’83
Photo: Sameer A. Khan h’21
Venture Forward is the University’s fifth major campaign

The University has launched Venture Forward, a campaign to build community and alumni engagement, seek support for Princeton’s strategic initiatives, and share its “defining principles and their impact on the world,” according to an Oct. 1 announcement. 

“The Venture Forward campaign puts Princeton’s values into action,” President Eisgruber ’83 said in the announcement. “It aims to engage our alumni and friends, encourage a spirit of service to the University and to humanity, and help us expand the frontiers of knowledge.”

The campaign’s fundraising priorities align with areas highlighted in Princeton’s most recent strategic plan, including college access and affordability, financial aid, data science, bioengineering, the environment, American studies, and other areas of the liberal arts. Venture Forward’s website,, hosts a video entitled “Dare to Venture,” and invites alumni to participate in online events and volunteer activities, from interviewing prospective students to supporting student and alumni entrepreneurs. On Oct. 22 — the 275th anniversary of Princeton’s charter — the Alumni Council celebrated Orange and Black Day, “a new digital tradition for Princetonians to show their Tiger pride on social media.” 

Three alumni co-chairs will lead the campaign’s steering committee: Katherine Brittain Bradley ’86, Blair Effron ’84, and James Yeh ’87.

Venture Forward is Princeton’s fifth major campaign, and each has been led by a different University president. The most recent campaign, Aspire (2007-12), led by Shirley M. Tilghman, raised $1.88 billion, surpassing its $1.75 billion goal and yielding major additions in the creative and performing arts, neuroscience, sustainability, and engineering.

Princeton would not release the fundraising target for the current campaign. “We are not announcing a specific financial goal for Venture Forward,” University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss said in a statement to PAW. “Rather, this campaign is mission-driven,” he continued, listing the three primary goals of engagement, philanthropic support, and sharing Princeton’s vision for the future.

The campaign’s quiet phase began in 2015, Hotchkiss said, and previously announced major gifts include funding for a new home for computer science in a renovated and expanded Guyot Hall, which will be renamed for donors Wendy and Eric Schmidt ’76; the lead gift for Hobson College, on the site of First College (the former Wilson College), from Mellody Hobson ’91 and the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation; and a gift to support environmental research and educational initiatives, made by the High Meadows Foundation, a philanthropic organization co-founded by Judy and Carl Ferenbach III ’64. The amounts of the gifts were not announced.