Princeton’s approach to annual giving misses the mark. Why? It stresses one’s intellectual attitude when it should focus on our emotional response. Low key the chants “going back” and “giving back.” We never left!
Princeton is not a society, an organization, an association, a nonprofit, or a business in any general sense. Decades earlier male only, applicants who applied for admission were well aware Princeton in name and reputation was more than a highly selective academy with academics as its core role. Princeton’s aura encompassed global leaders in past centuries and the present in every field of endeavor, whose names a few we could recite.
We alumni in earlier decades subliminally felt we were invited to be eventual equal members of a highly exclusive set of individuals of great esteem who were now aligned in a bond for life.
As Princeton reached far out to bring to the fold females and others who saw our university in the narrow focus as an academic institution only, the leading University lights should address new incoming students in a presidential speech that “Princeton” is for you now to be a co-equal and integrated member of a selective exclusive group that encompasses a wider ideal beyond the purely four years of specific academic coursework.
All alumni are exclusive lifelong bonded members of a name that is viewed and reflected upon as a “club.”
We are members of a club. We visit our club headquarters at any time for any reason to meet with other members for meals and conversation.
As lifetime members of our club called Princeton, we are encouraged to deposit annual dues, a sum of one’s choice.
Dues delivered periodically are the emotional expression outward to reaffirm being one in a unique, highly exclusive body of which we are all proud beyond description.
We do not “go back” to our club. We have never left!