President Tilghman on campaign video transcript

Nov. 10, 2007 6 a.m.

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman comments on the comprehensive fundraising campaign University leaders officially launched on Friday, Nov. 9, to raise $1.75 billion over the next five years.

Tilghman on realizing campaign aspirations:

If I think ahead 10 years to a time when this campaign has been successful and we've been able to achieve all of the things that we have outlined on the table of needs, I see a Princeton that is going to be very recognizable and yet different.

And when I say recognizable, I want to emphasize the degree to which this campaign is about sustaining and reinforcing things that are very much a part of who we are as a university, whether it is the commitment to financial aid, whether it is the commitment to being a close residential community, whether it is a commitment to having a student-faculty ratio that allows our very unique brand of education, the close work that happens between faculty and students, year in and year out, the ability to sustain our Freshman Seminar program, for every single freshman who arrives at Princeton, the ability to have every senior writing a senior thesis in close collaboration with a member of the faculty. These are some of the things that I think will look very similar in 10 years to where we are today. But they will have been strengthened, they will have been reinforced.

On the other hand, I think we will also look different. I think the arts will be much more visible on the Princeton campus, not simply in the sense of physical structures, which we hope to build over on Alexander Road, but it will be visible everywhere you go, whether it is works of art being displayed, singing groups that can be heard out of windows, or plays that are going on in the black boxes in the residential colleges. I think when you walk on the Princeton campus in 10 years, you will see the arts in a way that you don't see them today.

I also think you will see commitment to students engaging much more intensively in international initiatives. I think there will be more of our students who will graduate having spent some time outside the University, and I think that that will have a tremendously positive effect on the nature of the conversations that happen on campus, whether they are happening in classrooms or on the towpath in long walks up and down during a spring day.

I think you will also see that the University has become nationally and internationally recognized as a place where engineering is really beginning to break through the serious technological challenges that we know the country is facing whether it is in energy and the environment or whether it is going to be in information technology and the impact it has on the public domain.

And lastly, I think we are going to be graduating students who have begun to reveal the mysteries of the human brain, and where we have students excited by the field and going off to become the leaders of the future in this field.

I think all of those things are going to look different at Princeton in another 10 years time.

Tilghman on how the University will get there:

This campaign will only succeed if we can marshal the enormous power of the Princeton volunteer army. We are renowned for our alumni loyalty, we are renowned for the dedication and the generosity of Princeton alumni over generation after generation after generation. And to succeed over the next five years we are going to need the new generation of Princetonians to fill the very large shoes that have been left by their predecessors in that great alumni army. So it is going to be classmate talking to classmate. It is going to be parent talking to parent. It is going to be Princeton friend talking to Princeton friend. It is going to be Princeton students talking about their experiences with alumni, with parents, with friends. It's going to take more than a village. It's going to take a metropolis. But I think we're up for it, and I think we're gong to succeed.

©2007 The Trustees of Princeton University

Evelyn Tu - production and editing
Denise Applewhite - production
Office of Communications

Lance Herrington - technical support
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