Annual Giving campaign raises $44.6 million

The 2008-09 Annual Giving campaign raised $44,597,633 -- the third highest total in Princeton's history -- with 57.7 percent of undergraduate alumni participating. The results are notable for their strength and breadth across all of Princeton's constituencies: undergraduate alumni, graduate alumni, parents and friends.

"This is a challenging time for Princeton and the country, so I am especially grateful to our alumni, parents and friends for their hard work and generosity in making this year's Annual Giving campaign such a success," said President Shirley M. Tilghman. "These unrestricted funds are critical to upholding Princeton's commitment to meeting the full financial need of students, preserving our stellar faculty, and sustaining and enriching a wide array of opportunities for learning and discovery."

Leading the classes in dollar amount raised was the class of 1984, which raised $5,848,484, with 64.6 percent participation, in celebration of its 25th Reunion. The 50th Reunion class of 1959 finished with $3,715,021, its highest total ever, with 75.4 percent participation.

The class of 1979's 30th Reunion campaign brought in a total of $3,493,759. Four other major Reunion classes raised more than $1 million: 1974 with $2,514,282; 1969 with $2,076,564; 1964 with $1,591,373; and 1989 with $1,019,668.

For the fifth consecutive year, graduate alumni raised more than $1 million, with $1,709,539. Princeton parents gave more than $2 million for the third time in four years, contributing $2,288,338 to the total.

The class of 1958 contributed $812,257, the highest total among non-major Reunion classes. In addition to the class of 1958, eight other non-major Reunion classes set new records for their reunions.

The 2008-09 Annual Giving campaign drew the largest number of donors ever in one month, with 9,016 givers in June. The 75th Reunion class of 1934 posted the highest participation, reaching 100 percent from its 16 members. The class includes William K. Selden, who is one of three alumni to record their 69th consecutive years of participation, having made gifts in the first year of Annual Giving and every year since then. The class of 1942 attained 84.8 percent participation, and 12 other classes recorded percentages of 70 percent or higher.

Among the youngest classes, the class of 2008 recorded the highest participation with 75.2 percent, a new record for a class in its first alumni year. The class of 2007 ranked second with 73.7 percent, setting a new record for a second Reunion. As a group, the youngest five classes averaged 70.3 percent, matching the results of the youngest five classes in the prior year's campaign. The class of 2009 achieved a pledge rate of 90.7 percent, with 1,014 of its members pledging to support Annual Giving for the next four years.

"I have been continually impressed by the volunteers who give their time and energy so generously in order to bring about each year's results," said Rajiv Vinnakota '93 of Washington, D.C., who is completing his term as chair of Annual Giving. "This achievement demonstrates not only the incredibly hard work our volunteers put into this campaign, but also the loyalty of the many Princetonians who put such a high priority on supporting the University's continuing excellence."

In addition to the notable performance of Annual Giving, Princeton continues to make progress in its five-year comprehensive campaign, Aspire: A Plan for Princeton. In May the Aspire campaign surpassed the $1 billion mark toward the overall $1.75 billion goal. All gifts to Annual Giving are part of the Aspire campaign.