Dale touched students lives
Princeton NJ -- Martin Dale, a 1953 Princeton graduate who touched the lives of many of today's under-graduates through two fellowship programs he created, died April 24 of lymphoma in Longboat Key, Fla. He was 69.
Dale established summer and year-long fellowships that have enabled undergraduates to pursue nontraditional, life-changing projects around the world. With his gifts, students have studied traditional folk medicine in Tibet, interviewed fisherwomen along America's coastlines and paddled down the Berens River in Manitoba to visit isolated Native American reservations.
"Martin Dale is a hero to an ever-growing group of Princeton students whose lives have been transformed by the summer awards and postgraduate fellowships that bear his name," said Nancy Weiss Malkiel, dean of the college. "Through his remarkable breadth of vision and great generosity, he has opened worlds of possibility to them that they could not otherwise have imagined experiencing."
Dale received a William Cane Scholarship to study at Princeton. He graduated with honors in public and international affairs and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He studied at the University of Strasbourg on a Fulbright Scholarship and received a master's degree with honors from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1955.
Dale began a career as a foreign-service officer in France. He then received an offer from Prince Rainier to come to Monaco as privy counselor, where he assisted the prince in developing Monaco's economic resources and became a close friend.
Dale subsequently worked as an executive with the Revlon International Corp. and W.R. Grace & Co. In addition, he was a consultant specializing in strategic planning and corporate restructuring, principally for Henkel KGaA, a German multinational conglomerate.
Despite his professional success, Dale considered his greatest accomplishment the creation of the Princeton awards bestowed in his name each year. Over the past decade, 90 sophomores have received Martin Dale '53 Summer Awards to embark on projects such as mastering traditional sewing and quilting, producing a gospel CD, apprenticing at the Edinburgh Film Festival, teaching English in Egypt and working with disabled children in India.
"My original idea was that the summer awards would enable students to probe some talent or vocation besides what they were pursuing academically," Dale told the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 1999. He hoped the grants would give the students "a chance to find within themselves some other interests."
With the summer program under way, Dale made another gift to establish an annual fellowship for new graduates. The $25,000 award allows the recipient to devote the year following graduation to an independent project of his or her own devising. The intent is to widen the recipient's experience of the world and promote self-discovery, personal growth and intellectual development. Five graduating seniors have received the fellowships so far.
Dale told the alumni magazine that he had provided for such a program in his will. But after meeting the summer grant recipients, he said, he found that he so enjoyed "having a fingerprint on the lives of these extraordinary people" that he decided to "get some of the joy" by initiating the postgraduate fellowship while he was still alive. He took great interest in the students' projects and pleasure in their success. Each fall, he returned to the campus to meet the award recipients and hear reports on their summer and yearlong experiences.
"These awards I give are the major accomplishment of my life," Dale said in 1999. "Nothing touches me as truly significant other than the influence, small as it may be, I will have had on so many young people. I just do my little pollinating and know that the flowers are blooming."
Survivors include his wife Berteline Baier Dale of Incline Village, Nev.; sons Charles of Aspen, Colo.; Gregory of Tokyo, Japan; Eric of Denver, Colo.; daughter Pamela Grace of Victoria, B.C.; step-son John Baier of Malibu, Calif.; and sister Irene Goldfarb of Princeton.
A secular memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12, in the Princeton University Chapel.
Contributions in his memory should be sent to the
trustees of Princeton University
for the Martin Dale '53