University contributions to Princeton town

Summary of the many ways in which Princeton University currently contributes to and engages with the Princeton community. Submitted in a memo by President Christopher L. Eisgruber to the Princeton Mayor and Council on Nov. 26, 2013. 

Voluntary Payments (calendar year basis)

  • $500,000 to Princeton Township and $1.18 million to Princeton Borough in 2011
  • $1.5 million to Princeton Borough and $775,000 to Princeton Township in 2012
  • $2.475 million in 2013 to Princeton
    • Ten years ago, in 2003, the total contribution was $200,000

Taxes Paid (calendar year basis)

  • 2013: $8.35 million property tax payment to Princeton (this does not include sewer payments)
    • Of the $8.35 million, $2.98 million is for housing that could be taken off the tax rolls
    • Of this $2.98 million, $659,000 goes directly to the municipality for municipal taxes, municipal open space taxes or Princeton Library taxes.

The town’s Aaa bond rating is partially based on the “stabilizing presence of Princeton University”

  • The recent Moody’s report cites “the stabilizing presence of Princeton University” and notes that “Princeton University (7,912 students) contributes to the municipality’s strong local economy.” Its Aaa rating reduces the town’s borrowing costs below the costs of many other municipalities.


  • Provided aerial mapping necessary for preparation of consolidated Princeton tax map at no charge. The value to the town was $270,000.

Contributions to important community organizations/initiatives/causes

  • Princeton Public Library, construction and endowment
  • Princeton Public Schools, including renovation of the high school auditorium/library
  • Technology for the new JW Middle School Media Center
  • Princeton Charter School
  • Arts Council of Princeton building renovation/expansion
  • Hinds Plaza
  • Princeton Community Pool reconstruction
  • Princeton Recreation skate park
  • Battle Monument renewal and lighting project
  • Support for new Princeton hospital
  • Founding sponsor of Send Hunger Packing
  • Brainfuse program at Princeton Public Library
  • Sustainable Princeton Energy Smart Homes Campaign

Affordable housing

  • Constructed 9 units on Leigh Avenue (occupied)
  • 52 units being constructed in the Merwick-Stanworth project
  • Contributions to Princeton Community Housing for Shirley Court and Harriett Bryan House
  • Donation of land for Karin Court


  • Joint training
    • Any in-service training held on campus and sponsored by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been, and will be, offered to the Princeton Police Department (PPD)
      • On three days in October, 2013, DPS sponsored diversity training and PPD sent 22 police officers, 2 civilian employees and 2 dispatchers to be trained.
      • DPS has invited PPD to participate in domestic violence training in November, 2013 and LGBT training in January, 2014.
  • Because of DPS, PPD call volume for campus-related incidents is minimal
    • Request for police assistance for specific crimes/serious incidents (violence, domestic violence, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults, homicide, unattended deaths, fires, bomb threats, incidents involving a firearm, report of person with firearm)
      • 2012-total of 10 calls (1 Township, 9 Borough)
      • 2013 (to date)-total of 7 calls
    • Police co-operation reports are filed when there is an interaction of any kind between municipality and public safety that is not investigated by DPS or does not fall into DPS jurisdiction. This includes requests by municipality for DPS to assist in a case or investigation (i.e. assistance in locating missing individual, assistance with traffic control, assistance with serving subpoenas, use of Spanish-speaking DPS officer for interview purposes, transportation from PPD to campus for students)
      • 2012-total of 95 calls (72 Township, 23 Borough)
      • 2013 (to date)-total of 121 calls

Emergency Services

  • Fire Department Associate Member Program: university staff serve as Princeton Fire Department volunteers during weekday work hours
    • Program currently has 41 university employees participating
    • Thus far in 2013 they have responded to 170 calls totaling 826 hours
    • Members have participated in 924 hours of training during regular work hours
    • In addition, 10 employees attended Firefighter 2 training – 800 hours of training during regular work hours – and 11 employees attended Firefighter 1 training: 1760 hours of training during regular work hours
    • In March 2013 the university hosted a continuing education/lecture program featuring a nationally known fire training professional attended by 195 firefighters from the Princeton region. Similar training planned for winter 2014.
  • Financial support for the municipality’s Director of Emergency Services position
  • University staff participation as part of Princeton’s Municipal Emergency/Disaster Preparation Task Force
  • Superstorm Sandy
    • Campus warming center open for one week in Friend Center, hot meals to 150+ emergency responders, operated TigerTransit from Princeton Junction to Princeton from Thursday to Monday while Dinky was out of service and NJT was not running buses, provided emergency polling location for 7 districts for November, 2012 election: 3,300 voters
  • Tower for Mercer County’s new countywide public safety communications systems to be constructed on Fine Hall
  • Equipment for Princeton Police, PFARS and Princeton Fire Department on roof of Fine Hall
    • PFARS has a radio repeater atop Fine Tower to alert their ambulance and rescue department pagers of a call. This same repeater is used for operations associated with their calls. (We do not maintain this radio or the antenna; we just provide secure space and power.)
    • Princeton Fire uses this same repeater to alert the fire department pagers of a call.
    • PFARS has a second repeater atop Fine Tower that is used as their tactical/ special-operations channel.
    • Princeton Police have been provided with three encrypted talkgroups on our campus radio system for use in tactical/special-operations throughout Princeton (not on campus)
    • Princeton Police have access to our encrypted campus Public Safety radio communications system for interoperability with all their cars and portables
    • We have installed and maintain a base radio for fire department response and operations at the Princeton Fire Department sub-station at 306 Alexander Road
    • We maintain 6 portable radios for use with the Princeton Fire Department truck located at the 306 Alexander Road sub-station
    • Of 81 volunteer members, 25 are university students and 5 are university staff
    • Students are some of the most active/”top responder” volunteers in the EMT corps
    • We provide free campus housing for up to 6 students each summer so they can actively volunteer with PFARS during the summer months

Education Outreach

  • PHS students who have exhausted the coursework in the high school can take classes at the University; coordinated by PHS guidance department
  • Tutoring for Princeton Public Schools students through Community House After School Academy and GenOne programs
  • PUPP (college prep program for economically disadvantaged students) open to Princeton High School students
  • Many lectures and other intellectual and cultural offerings on campus are open to the public and almost always free of charge
  • Access to Firestone Library is available for a fee

Community Auditing Program

  • 30% of the roughly 700 program participants each semester are from Princeton
  • 50% of the class seats available each semester are taken by Princeton residents due to first day registration preference given to Princeton residents
  • The program includes special courses and lectures designed especially for auditors

Cultural Offerings

  • Princeton University Art Museum
    • Free and open to the public
    • Provides a wide variety of free educational and family programming
  • Theaters
    • McCarter and Berlind theaters are owned and financially supported by the University
    • Theater Intime provides summer programming for area residents as well as academic-year offerings
    • Additional theater, dance and visual arts programming available at other locations on campus, including 185 Nassau Street
  • Musical Performance
    • Performances at Richardson Auditorium and Taplin Auditorium
  • Chapel
    • Weekly “After Noon” organ concerts
    • Special performances sponsored by the Chapel Music program


  • Community members participate in Chapel services on a regular basis and on special occasions
  • Community members also participate in services by religious groups associated with the university through chaplaincy programs and the Center for Jewish Life
  • Special religious services take place in Richardson Auditorium

Community Events on Campus

  • Communiversity (on campus and in town)
  • Community and Staff Day (fall football game); typical attendance: 750
  • White Dinner organized with Corner House and Sustainable Gardens Project; this year attracted 520 participants
  • Princeton Adult School holds spring lecture series, fall lecture series, and “Last Chance” film series on campus
  • University hosts the annual Community Works Program attended by 500
  • Spirit of Princeton July 4th Fireworks
  • Community invited free of charge to Reunions fireworks
  • John Witherspoon graduation hosted in Richardson Auditorium
  • Two Princeton election polling districts hosted on campus


  • Free or low price access to collegiate athletic events on campus.
    • In the past year there were 232 regular season games, of which 179 were free and required no tickets
  • Dillon League Saturday morning youth basketball program has existed for 43 years with nearly 300 participants each year
  • Carnegie Lake open to the public for recreational ice skating via collaboration with Princeton Recreation Department
  • Dillon Gym access provided to YMCA fitness members during renovation of YMCA facilities summer 2013 and during their annual YMCA facility shutdown week
  • Provide scholarships to Princeton youth to attend Princeton University Summer Sports Camps in collaboration with Corner House; 7 participants in summer 2013
  • Campus athletic facilities used by Princeton High School hockey (boys and girls) and track, Princeton Youth Hockey Association, Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, Princeton masters swimming, Princeton Recreation Department squash and youth wrestling programs, and Princeton junior squash

Community Resources

  • Garden Theater
    • Owned by the University; recent upgrade at cost of approximately $400,000 to sound systems and installation of digital projection system
  • Historical Society
    • Lease Nassau Street building for $1 a year
  • Labyrinth Books
    • Helped bring an independent bookstore to Princeton
  • Nassau East
    • Own and manage properties along the south side of Nassau Street just west of 185 Nassau Street which include a variety of local business
  • Provide off-site parking on the University-owned Franklin Avenue parking lot for municipal employees and Community Park Pool staff.
  • Provide space for local non-profit organizations’ fundraising events. Recent organizations hosted on campus include Fund 101, Princeton Nursery School, Mercer County Community College Jim and Fannie Floyd Scholarship Fund, Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Public Library, Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, Princeton Symphony Orchestra
  • Host Corner House summer leadership program on campus

Cell Towers

  • There are 8 wireless carrier cell towers on university buildings; a 9th is currently in the Planning Board approvals process
    • Reduces visual impact of/need for monopoles in town and improves service to the community

Maintenance of 8.5 miles of roads in Princeton used by the public

  • Annual cost to the university is approximately $550,000

Collaboration on regional planning issues

  • Route One turn lane prohibition; engaged outside consultants to assess proposals for Route One improvements
  • Contributed land to make construction of new left hand turn lane at Harrison Street/Route One possible
  • Provide half of the funding for the Alexander Street/University Place Traffic and Transportation Task Force
  • Contributed $500,000 to community’s Transportation Trust Fund


  • Tiger Transit is “free and open to the public”
  • Provided subsidies for Princeton FreeB and for NJ Transit 655 bus connecting Princeton to the new hospital; provided back-up vehicle to Princeton for FreeB service
  • TigerPaWW provides free transportation between Princeton Station and Princeton Junction Station during construction of the new Princeton Station
  • New Princeton Station will be a multi-modal transportation hub that will provide opportunity to improve mass transit connectivity in Princeton
  • Bike share pilot program planned as part of the new Princeton Station
  • Work with the community on expansion and improvement of bike and pedestrian paths
  • Investigating option to extend access to campus “WeCar” car-share program to the community

Surplus Equipment Program

  • Access provided for area non-profit organizations to the University surplus equipment program. Items given free of charge to area non-profits for their organizational use.

Volunteer Support

  • Students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents with many Princeton non-profit organizations including:
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Corner House, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton Senior Resource Center, SAVE Animal Shelter, Princeton Young Achievers, Princeton Regional Schools, and Princeton Nursery School
  • Through the Community Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) faculty and students provide in-depth research and studies for community organizations through specially developed Princeton courses. In the past year CBLI courses included work with the Eden Institute, Crisis Ministry, Community Without Walls, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sustainable Princeton and Coalition for Peace Action