A trio of numbers leapt off the page and, combined, do not seem to augur well.
Annual Giving: Only 56.8 percent of undergraduate alumni gave (see story, page 13). This is well below the usual 60 percent or higher. Are alumni expressing some displeasure at recent strategies?
Yield of admitted students: This year at 66.6 percent, instead of usually more than 68 percent. Are our friends in Cambridge and Palo Alto doing a better job here? Are they also committing to athletes on a more timely basis than Princeton’s Office of Admission does? I did convince a Seattle native to attend after five hours of telephone conversation. We need to do much better here.
Alumni offspring: Only 13.2 percent of students accepting admission offers, compared to 14.4 percent last year and at least 15 percent in the past. Much of Princeton’s strength has been the support and loyalty of its alumni and the maintenance of its close-knit culture. The admission office needs to remember who brought them to the dance. There is anger here.
I trust that the trustees and President Eisgruber ’83 will focus on these unhealthy trends. Princeton’s unique strength has derived from its sense of family, cohesion, and loyalty. Let’s not blow it.