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 to the Princeton mayor and council on Dec. 10, 2015. 

Voluntary Payments (calendar year basis)

  • $2.475 million in 2013 to Princeton
  • $2.75 million in 2014 to Princeton
  • $2.86 million in 2015 per 2014 contribution agreement; contribution escalates by 4% annually over seven-year term of agreement
  • Seven-year contribution agreement signed in 2014 includes the following pledges to major community initiatives:
    • $500,000 toward construction of a new Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad facility on municipal land
    • $250,000 toward the expansion of the Witherspoon Fire Station (in addition to $300,000 already committed to this project under a prior agreement)
    • $500,000 toward the purchase of fire-fighting apparatus
    • $250,000 toward the construction of a new storage facility for municipal Department of Public Works equipment
    • Donation of the University-owned Franklin Street Lot for municipal use
    • $90,000 toward new FreeB vehicle 

Taxes Paid (calendar year basis)

  • 2015: $7.9 million property tax payment to Princeton (this does not include sewer payments)
    • Of the $7.9 million, $2.8 million is for graduate student housing that could have been taken off the tax rolls for the past year
    • Of this $2.8 million, $625,000 goes directly to the municipality for municipal taxes, municipal open space taxes and Princeton Library taxes

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

  • Moody’s 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

Contributions to important community organizations/initiatives

  • 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
  • Morven Museum and Garden Endowment Campaign
  • Garden State on Your Plate program in Princeton Public Schools

Affordable housing

  • Constructed 9 units on Leigh Avenue (occupied)
  • Constructed 16 units as part of phase one of Merwick-Stanworth project (occupied)
    • 40 additional units are being constructed as part of phase two for occupancy in 2016
  • Contributions to Princeton Community Housing for Shirley Court and Harriett Bryan House
  • Donation of land for Karin Court


Joint training/meetings:

  • Any in-service training held on campus and sponsored by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been, and will continue to be, offered to the Princeton Police Department (PPD)
    • February 2, 2015: DPS Sponsored Crisis Intervention Training at 701 Carnegie Center. Thirteen PPD officers attended.
    • March 3, 2015: DPS Sponsored Traffic Incident Management Training at 701 Carnegie Center. Twenty one PPD officers attended
    • August 17, 2015: DPS Sponsored Bulletproof Leadership Training at 701 Carnegie Center. Nine PPD officers attended
    • October 6, 2015: DPS Sponsored Bulletproof Leadership Training at 701 Carnegie Center. Ten PPD officers attended
  • Both DPS and PPD Command Staff meet monthly on a rotating basis between Princeton Police headquarters and Princeton Public Safety headquarters. These meetings are used to review issues and plan for upcoming town or Princeton University events.
  • Executive Director Paul Ominsky, Director of Operations Stef Karp and Chief Nick Sutter meet monthly.

Tours of campus buildings:

  • Between January 2015 and April 24 of 2015, PPD officers were given tours of campus buildings to improve emergency response and promote regular interaction between the PPD officers and the campus community.
    • 4 sessions conducted (Several additional sessions were planned but cancelled due to heavy snow or incidents in town that would not allow participation)
    • Engineering complex was toured; tour included 7 buildings
    • Sports complex was toured; tour included 3 building

As a result of the DPS/PPD operating agreement signed in 2013, call volume for PPD response to campus-related incidents has been 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):
    • 2013-total of 7calls
    • 2014 - 1 Domestic Violence call that PPD responded to and assisted DPS
    • 2015 (to date)- total of 4 calls: 1 unattended death on campus, 1 bomb threat on campus, two sexual contact incidents co- investigated with PPD
  • 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, traffic accidents, assistance with serving subpoenas, use of Spanish-speaking DPS officer for interview purposes, transportation from PPD to campus for students).
    • 2013-total of 135 calls
    • 2014-total of 64 calls
    • 2015 (to date)-total of 72 calls
  • Upon request, DPS provides assistance to PPD for staffing of large community events (i.e. Princeton Half Marathon)

Emergency Services

  • University staff participates on Princeton’s Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC)
  • University provided salt and sand to Princeton Department of Public Works to replenish municipal supply during shortage in winter 2015.

Princeton Fire Department

  • $250,000 pledged toward the expansion of the Witherspoon Fire Station (in addition to $300,000 already committed to this project under a prior agreement)
  • $500,000 pledged toward the purchase of fire-fighting apparatus.
  • DPS leadership has regular meetings with Fire Department leadership to discuss collaboration, operations, response and emergency management.
  • Fire Department Associate Member Program: University staff serve as Princeton Fire Department volunteers during weekday work hours
    • Program currently has 32 university employees participating
    • For fiscal year July 2014 to June 2015, associate members responded to 200 calls totaling 877 hours
    • For fiscal year July 2014 to June 2015, associate members participated in 525 hours of training during regular work hours
    • For fiscal year July 2014 to June 2015, associate coordinators spent 124 hours administering the program
    • Firefighter One Class being considered for Fall 2016
  • In January 2015 the University hosted a continuing education program for firefighters and fire inspectors, featuring water-based fire protection systems, inspection, and testing; attended by 125 fire inspectors from the Princeton area. Similar training is scheduled for January 7, 2016
  • In March 2015 the University hosted a continuing education/lecture program featuring a nationally known fire-training professional; attended by 140 firefighters from the Princeton region. Similar training planned for winter 2016
  • In December of 2014, the Princeton University Art Museum and Jadwin Gym were provided for a preplanning drill
  • In March 2015, the former Wawa building was provided for roof operations and search and rescue training
  • In September of 2015, Lakeside Graduate Apartments was provided for a preplanning drill
  • In October of 2015, the University’s Associate Fire Marshal and the University’s Portable Fire Extinguisher trainer unit assisted at the Princeton Fire Department Open House
  • In November of 2015, University Elevator Shop personnel hosted an elevator entrapment training exercise at Frick Chemistry
  • The automatic gate control at the Nassau Street campus entrance was reconfigured to allow fire apparatus to enter campus without the need for firefighters to manually open the gate
  • Provided “Knox KeySecure” units so that all Princeton Fire Department apparatus are able to securely carry Knox Box Master Keys
  • Engine 6 from Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory has responded to Princeton for fire calls 57 times in 2015 (to date)


  • $500,000 pledged toward construction of a new Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad facility on municipal land
  • $35,000 annual contribution to Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to support squad operations
  • DPS leadership has regular meetings with PFARS leadership to discuss collaboration, operations, response and emergency management
  • The University, through DPS, provides a parking space with accessible power for an ambulance next to 200 Elm Drive
  • Of 109 volunteer members, 20 are university students and 4 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
  • The University has provided radio equipment that is installed in all PFARS apparatus, as well as portable radios for use on the University encrypted radio system. This radio equipment was upgraded by the University to allow PFARS operation on the new countywide radio system, providing this key communications capability without the need to purchase additional apparatus or portable radios
  • The University is assisting PFARS with technical advice and guidance associated with a major upgrade of their internal communications system. This will include providing a dedicated data link at Fine Hall and support to the Princeton Police Department Communications Center for dispatch of PFARS resources
  • Frick Chemistry was provided as a location for a confined space rescue drill

Communication Systems

  • Mercer County’s countywide public safety communications systems continue to be supported at Fine Hall
    • A full radio receiver site for Mercer County’s countywide public safety communications system is installed to provide mobile and portable public safety radios with the ability to be clearly heard on this system when operating throughout the Princeton area. A multi-year agreement with Mercer County continues to be in place to support this into the future.
    • Receivers for Mercer County Central Dispatch to be able to monitor all on-scene ground communications during fire incidents in the Princeton area continue to be supported
    • A microwave link site to connect not only this site, but two (2) additional sites into the new communications network, continues to be supported. This support includes electronics infrastructure installed in a secured room, as well as rooftop antennae
  • Equipment and antenna support for Princeton Police, PFARS and Princeton Fire Department at Fine Hall:
    • A radio repeater is installed in a secured room and connected to an antenna located on Fine Tower to alert PFARS ambulance and rescue department pagers of a call. This same repeater is used for operations associated with PFARS calls. (We do not maintain this radio equipment or the antenna; we just provide secure space and power.) A multi-year agreement with the Town of Princeton is in place to support this into the future
    • Mercer County Central Dispatch uses this same repeater to
    • alert the Princeton Fire Department pagers of a call
  • PFARS has a dedicated repeater and antenna at Fine Tower that is used as their tactical/special-operations channel. A multi-year agreement with PFARS is in place to support this into the future
  • Princeton Police Department has been provided with three (3) encrypted talkgroups on the University radio system for use in tactical/special- operations throughout Princeton (not on campus)
  • Princeton Police Department has access to our encrypted campus Public Safety radio communications system for interoperability with all their cars and portable radios
  • Dedicated radio link equipment and antenna are installed at the Princeton EOC for use during an emergency, as well as daily use by Princeton Police for interoperability with University Public Safety
  • The University maintains a second base radio for fire department response and operations on the Mercer County Public Safety Communications System at the Princeton Fire Department sub-station at 306 Alexander Road

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 Programs; including the Graduate Molecular Biology Outreach Program “Science on Thursdays”
  • Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), a college prep program for economically disadvantaged students, is open to Princeton High School students
  • Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM) holds special events open to the community including a Holiday Science Lecture, Material Science Nano Days and State of Material Science Lecture
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) hosts Science on Saturday lectures in the winter months, the New Jersey Regional Science Bowl and the Young Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program for middle and high school students
  • Cotsen Children’s Library presents “Cotsen in the Classroom” programs in local elementary schools and literary programs for children ages 3 to 17 on campus and in local venues
  • 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
    • Firestone exhibits and Cotsen Children’s Library available for free

Community Auditing Program

  • 40% of the roughly 750 program participants each semester are from Princeton
  • The program includes special courses and lectures designed especially for auditors

Cultural Offerings on Campus

  • Princeton University Art Museum
    • Free and open to the public
    • Provides a wide variety of free educational and family programming, including Art for Families workshop programs and a summer outdoor movie series
  • Theaters
    • McCarter and Berlind theaters are owned and financially supported by the University
    • Theater Intime provides academic year programming open to area residents in Hamilton Murray Theater
    • Princeton Summer Theater series in Hamilton Murray Theater open to area residents
    • 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
    • Summer Carillon Concerts at the Graduate College
  • Chapel
    • Weekly “After Noon” organ concerts
    • Special performances sponsored by the Chapel Music program
  • Princeton University Concerts
    • Hosts annual music series featuring classical music performed by professional musicians in Richardson Auditorium. Also presents a family concert series and special events.


  • Princeton University opened the Princeton Entrepreneurial Hub at 34 Chambers Street in 2015
  • Space intended to be a location for the exchange of ideas; a place where creative and talented entrepreneurs from the University and the community can come together to learn from one another, establish connections, and make contributions to the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem


  • Community members participate in Chapel services on a regular basis and 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); free tickets to local residents offered, nearly 15,000 attended in 2015
  • 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
  • Princeton Symphony Orchestra BRAVO concert in Richardson Auditorium
  • Princeton Recreation Department Dillon Basketball League in Dillon Gymnasium
  • Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Einstein Lecture


  • Free or low price access to collegiate athletic events on campus.
    • In the past year there were 258 regular season games, of which 205 were free and required no tickets
  • Dillon League Saturday morning youth basketball program has existed for 45 years with nearly 300 participants each year
  • Carnegie Lake open to the public for recreational ice skating in collaboration with Princeton Recreation Department
  • Dillon Gym access provided to YMCA fitness members during their annual YMCA facility shutdown week (August 2015)
  • Provide scholarships to Princeton youth to attend Princeton University Summer Sports Camps in collaboration with Corner House; 8 participants in summer 2015
  • 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
  • Princeton student-athletes undertake numerous volunteer efforts through the Princeton Varsity Club and as teams:
    • Participation in Communiversity, Community and Staff Day, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Princeton School Gardens Project, Harriett Bryan House
  • Volunteer with Princeton-based organizations including: Princeton YMCA, Princeton Public Schools (elementary, middle, and high schools), Princeton Youth Hockey

Community Resources

  • Garden Theater
    • Owned by the University, operated by separate non-profit organization, Renew Theaters, which was selected partially because of their commitment to community engagement; 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
    • The Historical Society will be relocating operations from Bainbridge House to Updike Farm by the end of 2015
  • 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, at no cost to municipality, 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 Education Foundation, 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, Princeton Adult School, Princeton Unity Walk,
  • Princeton Child Development Institute
  • Host Corner House summer leadership program on campus
  • Provide temporary storage for Princeton Public Library collection during renovation of library second floor

Cell Towers

  • There are 8 wireless carrier cell towers on University buildings
    • Reduces visual impact of/need for monopoles in town and improves service to the community

Maintenance of approximately 9 miles of roads in Princeton used by the public

  • Annual cost to the university is approximately $500,000; more than $200,000 of additional expense in 2015 to make repairs to Faculty Road

Collaboration on regional planning issues

  • Contributed land to make construction of new left hand turn lane at Harrison Street/Route One possible
  • Provided 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 multi-year financial subsidy for NJ Transit 655 bus connecting Princeton to the new hospital
  • Added stop at Palmer Square to the Tiger Transit Forrestal/PPPL line for access to the hospital when NJ Transit 655 service was discontinued in September 2015
  • Princeton Station is a multi-modal transportation hub providing for mass transit connectivity in Princeton
    • Bike rental program at Princeton Station has provided opportunity to partner with community; University commitment to expand bike rental program part of successful 2015 grant application by Municipality of Princeton for bike share program that will expand to include campus and town
  • Provide GIS mapping data to Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee for the community bike map project
  • Work collaboratively with the community on expansion and improvement of bike and pedestrian paths and on the Princeton Bike Master Plan project

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:
    • Corner House, Dillon Youth Basketball League, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton Healthcare System, Princeton Regional Schools (elementary, middle school, high school), Princeton Nursery School, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton Young Achievers, Princeton YMCA, SAVE Animal Shelter, YWCA Princeton
  • The Community Service Interclub Council (CSICC), a collaborative initiative of the eating clubs, coordinates volunteer activities undertaken by the clubs with numerous local organizations; in 2015 the eating clubs worked in partnership to present “TruckFest” and “Princetoween,” events that raised funds to support TASK, Send Hunger Packing, and Meals on Wheels
  • Through the Community Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) faculty and students provide in-depth research and studies for community organizations through specially developed Princeton courses and internships. In the past year CBLI courses included work with the Crisis Ministry, Princeton Future, the Human Services Commission, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Centurion Ministries, and Sustainable Princeton. Students in Physics 104 demonstrated principles of electricity and magnetism at many local schools and organizations, including the Princeton Nursery School. In addition CBLI supported a summer intern working with Sustainable Princeton
  • The Pace Center for Civic Engagement undertakes a wide-variety of programming in the local community including:
    • Tutoring, mentoring, academic enrichment, social-emotional support for school-aged youth
      • Community House After School Academy (middle school);
      • Community House After School Scholars, Gen1 and SAT Prep (high school)
      • One-on-one at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church (elementary
      • and middle school)
      • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mercer County (elementary and middle school)
      • Big Sibs and Nursery School Project, literacy and social-
      • emotional support (nursery and elementary)
      • Effective dialogue and conflict resolution through Community House small group sessions (middle and high school)
      • Health education through HIPS (Health Education in Princeton
      • Schools) (elementary)
      • PEEK (Princeton Engineering Education for Kids)(elementary)
      • Community House STEAM summer camp (middle and high school)
      • Princeton Young Achievers (elementary)
      • Community House Princeton family dinner series to support social-emotional wellness and academic success (youth and their families)
  • Cognitive rehabilitation using different media with residents of Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center through Creative Minds project
  • Crisis referral and suicide intervention hotline for callers in Princeton and beyond through campus-based site for CONTACT of Mercer County
  • Princeton Senior Resource Center – Senior Center Geek Squad
  • SAVE Animal Shelter