September 13, 2000
Every September brings
the excitement of a new academic year and focuses our attention
on the future. As we look ahead this fall, I believe that the future
holds unusual promise for Princeton, thanks in large part to the
alumni, parents and friends of the University who helped the Anniversary
Campaign reach a record-breaking total of $1.14 billion when it
finally closed its books this summer. On behalf of the Trustees,
I would like to express our gratitude to all whose gifts and volunteer
efforts contributed to the extraordinary success of the Campaign.
The result is "extra-ordinary"
in several ways. The Campaign total of $1.14 billion is un-precedented
for an institution of Princeton's size. Even more important is the
fact that we attained this goal through contributions from almost
80 percent of the undergraduate alumni body, along with very significant
participation by graduate alumni, parents and friends. As exceptional
as these participation rates are, what is perhaps more striking
is the fact that this demonstration of support continues year after
year. It is a sign of the remarkable devotion to Princeton and tangible
continuing commitment to the University's mission of education,
scholarship and service.
I was frequently reminded
of this commitment as my wife, Vivian, and I traveled throughout
the country and abroad during the Campaign. I was impressed again
and again by a common theme that emerged during these meetings and
that you also expressed in your correspondence to me about the Campaign.
Many of you remarked on how fortunate or proud you felt to give
to Princeton. Others told me that they felt it was a privilege to
contribute. As one alumnus phrased it, "I am...enthusiastic
about providing Princeton with the resources to continue the never
ending pursuit of providing educational opportunities for our future
As these words suggest,
Princeton alumni, parents and friends assume important responsibility
for the successful achievement of the University's mission.
The level of support
testifies to your belief in the social value of higher education
and to your confidence in Princeton's ability to advance understanding
and learning. In response to this outpouring of generosity and support
we pledge that the University will continue its commitment to the
highest possible standards of education, research and service.
With the assistance of
your gifts, the University is building on strengths in all areas
to meet the opportunities of the new century. For example, Princeton
has strengthened its renowned undergraduate teaching program through
new initiatives to hone pedagogical skills offered by the McGraw
Center for Teaching and Learning, through improved laboratory and
classroom facilities such as McDonnell (physics) and Wallace (social
sciences) Halls, and through visiting distinguished teachers. Your
support is enabling faculty exploration of new fields of study.
Chief among these is the work that will allow us to understand better
the building blocks of life through the new Lewis/Sigler genomics
institute, housed in the new Icahn laboratory. In other areas, the
Campaign has given us the resources to deepen our commitment to
a field, such as finance through programs sponsored by the Bendheim
Center for Finance, or to bring exceptional younger scholars to
campus as the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts will make possible.
The University was able
to broaden significantly its undergraduate financial aid policies
to make Princeton more accessible to middle and lower-income families;
to extend its need-blind admission policy to include international
students; and to keep tuition increases to their lowest rates in
more than 30 years. Campaign gifts also will have a positive lasting
impact on daily campus life. The dining possibilities, performance
and film spaces, study and computer facilities that the Frist Campus
Center offers bring a new dimension to campus life for all members
of the University community.
For me, the benefits
of the Campaign have a personal dimension also. The trips to regional
Alumni Associations and the Campaign symposia and celebrations held
on campus offered many opportunities to meet alumni and friends.
Vivian and I are particularly grateful to all who welcomed us to
their towns and often to their homes. You made our visits especially
productive and informative as well as personally rewarding. It was
a pleasure to meet so many of you in person.
I want to extend particular
thanks to the Campaign's national co-chairs, Trustee Emeritus John
J. F. Sherrerd '52, and Trustees Dennis J. Keller '63 and Janet
Morrison Clarke '75, whose leadership contributed so significantly
to the stunning success of the Campaign. More than 50,000 alumni,
parents and friends contributed to the Campaign over its five-year
span. As a tribute to the generosity of these alumni and friends,
we are inscribing the names of all those who contributed on banners
that will hang in the new Frist Campus Center. I will be able to
celebrate the spectacular success of the Campaign with some of you
in person over the course of the year as I visit 15 regional alumni
associations throughout the country, and in Hong Kong and Japan,
and as we dedicate various new campus facilities this fall. On those
occasions, as now, the message from me will be a heartfelt "thank