University contributions to Princeton town: 2017 summary

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 Feb. 21, 2018.

Contributions Overview

Voluntary Contributions to Princeton Municipality
For decades, Princeton University has made voluntary contributions to the municipality of Princeton. The most recent agreement, adopted in 2014, covers a seven-year period and provides that the University will make annual, unrestricted cash contributions totaling nearly $22 million.  Under the terms of this agreement, in 2017 the University’s voluntary contribution to the municipality was $3.09 million.  In the 2014 agreement the University also agreed to make cash contributions of $1.9 million to be used for specific agreed-upon purposes, and to donate land on Franklin Avenue valued at approximately $1 million.    

Voluntary Tax Payments for Properties that Could Be Exempt
The University is the largest property taxpayer in the municipality, paying $9.2 million in taxes in 2017 (not including sewer payments).  The $9.2 million includes about $5.8 million in voluntary tax payments for properties that are eligible for exemption from property taxes.  For decades, the University has followed a practice of leaving many properties that are eligible for exemption, including graduate student housing, faculty housing, campus roads, and some athletic facilities, on the municipal tax rolls, and voluntarily paying taxes on these properties.  

Contributions to Important Community Organizations/Initiatives
Apart from its contributions to the municipality, Princeton University remains committed to supporting initiatives that enrich the quality of life in Princeton.  Over the years, the University has made cash and in-kind contributions to an array of local projects and non-profit organizations, ranging from helping fund the construction and endowment of the Princeton Public Library and making contributions to support the renovation of such community resources as the Princeton Community Pool and the YMCA/YWCA.  Also, the University makes substantial in-kind and financial contributions to the Princeton Public Schools (this is in addition to voluntarily paying taxes on exemption-eligible graduate student and faculty housing so that the school district receives tax revenue from all University properties that could add students to the public schools).

The University has a long history of support for affordable housing. Most recently, the University created 56 units of affordable housing in the reconstruction of Merwick Stanworth, and 9 units of affordable housing on Leigh Avenue. 

Police, Fire and Emergency Services
The University provides significant support for police, fire and emergency services in the community.  The University has 73 sworn and non-sworn officers in the Department of Public Safety with more than 35 additional supervisory, dispatch and administrative staff; Public Safety operates 24 hours per day/365 days per year, and works in close collaboration with the municipal police department.  In 2017 the Princeton Police Department needed to respond to campus only four times. University officers were called upon 60 times last year to provide support for the Princeton Police Department.

The University has supported the Fire Department with annual financial contributions and major capital gifts as well as by allowing its employees to serve as volunteers with the department during their paid work hours.  University employees spend more than 1,200 hours a year responding to calls and attending training.  In 2017 the University contributed $500,000 toward the purchase of new fire apparatus for the Princeton Fire Department.

Over many years the University has supported the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS) through annual contributions, and in-kind services such as housing and telecommunications support.  Recently the University contributed $500,000 toward the construction of a new PFARS headquarters.

The University collaborates regularly with the municipality and Mercer County to support communications systems, including allowing cell equipment to be installed on its buildings, reducing the need for monopoles in town. 

Private Roads and Shuttle System Maintained by the University and Used by the Public
The University owns approximately 5 miles of private roads in the municipality of Princeton, such as Faculty Road and College Road, which are ordinarily open to the public.  In addition to paying taxes on these roads, the University maintains them at its own cost, including providing snow removal.  The University also operates the Tiger Transit bus system which is free and open to the public.  It provides more than 500,000 passenger rides per year. 

Education and Outreach
As an educational institution, Princeton University runs numerous programs that welcome community members or are aimed primarily at residents of the area.  Students at local high schools, including Princeton High School, can take coursework at the University; many different University initiatives provide tutoring to public school students; and the University runs a preparatory program for economically disadvantaged students in the area.  Almost half of the participants in the Community Auditing Program are Princeton residents, participating in University classes for a modest fee, and thousands more attend hundreds of free public lectures offered each year at the University.  The Cotsen Children’s Library is open to the public at no cost, and conducts literacy programs in local elementary schools and venues.

The University Art Museum, Richardson Auditorium and McCarter Theater, and the Lewis Center for the Arts provide a wide variety of arts programming.   In addition, the University Chapel, the Music Department and various concert series offer musical performances year-round.

Athletic events are another opportunity for community members to connect with the University – of the 280 Princeton athletic events last year, 199 were free to members of the public. Campus athletic facilities are regularly used by the community’s youth sports programs, by non-profit recreation programs in the area, and, for certain facilities, by the public.  

Volunteer Activity and Civic Engagement
Princeton’s mission of teaching and research has an emphasis on service, and students volunteer with more than a dozen local community organizations.  Some of this activity begins before they even take their first class at Princeton, through Community Action.  The University has a long history of working with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters and numerous other organizations that seek to meet the needs of local residents and create a fully inclusive and supportive community.

Contributions to Princeton Municipality in Detail

Voluntary Payments (calendar year basis)

  • Consistent with the 2014 voluntary contribution agreement with the Municipality of Princeton, the University’s contribution escalates by 4% annually over a seven-year term
    • $2.475 million in 2013 to Princeton
    • $2.75 million in 2014 to Princeton 
    • $2.86 million in 2015 to Princeton
    • $2.97 million in 2016 to Princeton
    • $3.09 million in 2017 to Princeton
  • The seven-year 2014 contribution agreement 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 (contribution completed)
    • $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 (contribution completed)
    • $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 (contribution completed)
    • $90,000 toward a new FreeB vehicle (contribution completed)

Taxes Paid (calendar year basis)

  • In 2017, Princeton University paid $9.2 million in property taxes to Princeton (not including sewer payments); Princeton University is the largest taxpayer in Princeton
  • Of the $9.2 million property tax payment to Princeton, $4.4 million went to the Princeton Public Schools
  • Of the $9.2 million property tax payment, about $5.8 million was paid on property that is eligible for exemption under state law

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

In rating the municipality, 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
  • Princeton Education Foundation
  • 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
  • Construction of new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro
  • Founding sponsor of Send Hunger Packing
  • Brainfuse program at Princeton Public Library
  • Princeton Symphony Orchestra BRAVO concerts
  • Sustainable Princeton Energy Smart Homes Campaign 
  • Sustainable Princeton Sustainable Living Guide
  • Stony Brook Millstone Watershed
  • Spirit of Princeton
  • Corner House Summer Youth Outreach Programming
  • Morven Museum and Garden Endowment Campaign
  • Garden State on Your Plate program in Princeton Public Schools
  • YWCA Princeton
  • Princeton Family YMCA
  • United Way of Greater Mercer County
  • Princeton Human Services Commission Annual Backpack Drive
  • Princeton Arts Council Martin Luther King Day programs
  • Cornerstone Community Kitchen

Community Resources

  • Garden Theater
    • The theater is owned by the University and operated by a separate non-profit organization, Renew Theaters, which was selected partially due to their commitment to community engagement.
    • The University upgraded at a cost of approximately $400,000 sound systems and installation of digital projection system.
  • Labyrinth Books
    • The University helped to bring in, and maintain, an independent bookstore in Princeton.
  • Nassau East
    • The University owns and manages properties around 185 Nassau Street which house a variety of local businesses.
  • Princeton Station
    • The University maintains the Princeton Station complex that is served by the NJTransit Princeton to Princeton Junction “Dinky” rail line.
  • The Garden Theater, Labyrinth Books, Princeton Station and the commercial and residential properties at Nassau East are all tax-paying properties.
  • Until transfer of ownership to the municipality in December, 2017 the University provided off-site parking, at no cost to the municipality, on the University-owned Franklin Avenue lot for municipal employees and Community Park Pool staff.
    • Franklin Avenue lot was also provided as a location for the Princeton Public Library contractors to park during their second floor renovation project.
  • The University provided, at no cost, temporary storage for Princeton Public Library collections during the Library’s second floor renovation project.
    • Through coordination of Princeton Public Library staff and Firestone Library staff, books in storage were still made available to library patrons upon request.
  • The University provides 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, American Boychoir School, and Princeton Senior Resource Center
  • The University hosts the annual Corner House summer leadership program on campus.

Affordable Housing

  • 9 units of publicly available affordable housing were constructed on Leigh Avenue.
  • 56 units of publicly available affordable housing were constructed as part of the Merwick Stanworth complex.
  • Contract with Princeton Community Housing for management of affordable units at Merwick Stanworth and on Leigh Avenue.
  • Made contributions to Princeton Community Housing for Elm Court, Shirley Court and Harriett Bryan House.
  • Donation of land for Karin Court; location of 16 units of affordable housing available to the public through the Princeton Housing Authority.
  • Provided funding to help create affordable housing at Griggs Farm.


  • Both Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Princeton Police Department (PPD) command staff meet monthly.  These meetings are opportunities to review issues and plan for upcoming town and/or University events. In addition, the DPS Executive Director and Director of Operations meet monthly with the PPD Chief. 
  • Call volume for PPD response to campus-related incidents has been minimal due to DPS/PPD operating agreement signed in 2013
  • Request for police assistance for specific crimes/serious incidents:
    • 2013 - 7 calls
    • 2014 - 1 domestic violence call that PPD responded to and assisted  DPS
    • 2015 - 4 calls: 1 unattended death on campus, 1 bomb threat on campus, 2 sexual contact incidents co-investigated with PPD
    • 2016  – 12 calls: 2 disorderly conduct incidents, 2 domestic violence incidents, 1 duress alarm, 1 report of harassment, 4 robberies, 1 sexual assault, 1 theft
    • 2017 – 4 calls: 1 robbery, 1 weapons violation (unfounded), 1 theft, 1 invasion of privacy
  • In contrast, the number of calls from PPD requesting DPS assistance has been:
    • 2013 - 135 calls
    • 2014 - 64 calls
    • 2015 - 87 calls
    • 2016 - 69 calls
    • 2017 – 60 calls
      • These numbers include requests by the municipality for DPS to assist in a case or investigation (i.e. assistance in locating a missing individual, traffic control, traffic accidents, serving subpoenas, use of Spanish-speaking DPS officer for interview purposes, transportation from PPD to campus for students). 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 result from a call into DPS jurisdiction. 
  • PPD is invited to participate at no charge in all in-service training held on campus and sponsored by the Department of Public Safety(DPS)
    • January 2017 diversity training presented by Cook Ross.  PPD Officers were invited to attend.
    • In April 2017, DPS participated in the live Mercer County Rapid Response Team active shooter drill held at Robbinsville High School.  This was a joint collaboration between 15 of Mercer County’s law enforcement agencies, including PPD and DPS.  In addition to having DPS Command Team members present at the drill, our Infrastructure Operations Manager was also an active participant in unifying communications for all mutual aid responders.  He was assigned to the command post and worked closely with MCPO communications experts.
    • In the summer of 2017 DPS purchased a portable “shoot house” with the intention of conducting joint firearms training with both PPD and the West Windsor Police Department. Between September 25 and the 29, 2017, DPS conducted rifle familiarization training in the new shoot house and PPD Firearms Instructors came to observe the exercises so they would be familiar with it during our joint simunitions training.
    • DPS and PPD are planning an active shooter table top exercise in February 2018 to coordinate our joint response.  We then are planning to hold a live active shooter drill on Princeton’s campus using our shoot house. 
  • In October 2017 DPS collaborated with PPD and the Greater Mercer TMA to raise awareness of pedestrian safety during the Street Smart campaign.
  • Upon request, DPS provides assistance to PPD for staffing of large community events (i.e. Princeton Half Marathon, Communiversity)

Emergency Services

  • University staff participate on Princeton’s Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC)
  • Princeton Fire Department (PFD)
    • The University provides an annual unrestricted contribution of $20,000 to the PFD.
    • PFD Associate Member Program: University staff serve as PFD volunteers during weekday work hours for which they are paid by the University
      • Program currently has 38 (2 employees are currently completing training requirements) university employees participating
      • For fiscal year July 2016 to June 2017, associate members responded to 208 calls totaling 796 hours
      • For fiscal year July 2016 to June 2017, associate members participated in 530 hours of training during regular work hours
      • 12 members completed motor vehicle extrication training
    • DPS leadership has regular meetings with PFD leadership to discuss collaboration, operations, response and emergency management.
    • Engine 66 from the Princeton University’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory responds regularly to the Municipality of Princeton for fire calls as mutual aid to the PFD. 
      • Mobile radio equipment has been installed in Engine 66 for interoperability with Princeton Fire Department when responding to the town.
    • Training:
      • In July 2017, the University (DPS & EHS) invited PFD and all four shifts of the Trenton Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Task Force to tour and review areas of campus that have potential for incidents involving Hazardous Materials.
      • In August 2017, the PFD was provided with a walk-through of the new Childcare facility.
      • In August 2017, the West Parking Garage was made available to the PFD for a standpipe operations drill.
    • In October 2017 the University’s Fire Marshal and Portable Fire Extinguisher trainer unit assisted at the PFD Open House.
    • In December 2017, the University provided Tiger Transit to assist with transporting evacuees from the Griggs Farm fire.
    • The University provides a parking space at 200 Elm for a fire department vehicle used by Princeton University student members to respond to assignments.
  • Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS)
    • The University provides an annual unrestricted $35,000 contribution to PFARS.
    • DPS leadership has regular meetings with PFARS leadership to discuss collaboration, operations, response and emergency management.
    • The University provides a parking space with accessible power on campus for a PFARS ambulance
    • The University and PFARS developed and implemented an agreement regarding University compensation to PFARS for stand-by requests at University events.
    • The University (UHS) was positioned to provide physicals for University students that were applying to PFARS for membership, but PFARS decided not to use UHS.
    • Of the 90 volunteer members of PFARS, 24 are University students (3 are senior members, 8 are at “provider” rank, and 13 are in training).
      • Student members are regularly recognized by PFARS as active “top” responder volunteers.
    • The University provides free campus housing for up to 6 students each summer so they can actively volunteer with PFARS during the summer months.

Communication Systems

  • Mercer County’s countywide public safety communications systems continue to be supported at Fine Hall
    • A full multi-channel radio receiver site for Mercer County’s countywide public safety communications system is installed under a multi-year agreement to provide mobile and portable public safety radios with the ability to be heard clearly on this system when operating throughout the Princeton area. The University provides secured space and power at no charge
    • Receivers enabling Mercer County Central Dispatch to monitor all on-scene ground communications channels during fire incidents in the Princeton area continue to be supported. The University provides secure space and power at no charge.
    • A microwave link site to connect not only this site but also two additional sites into the new communications network continues to be supported; this includes electronics infrastructure installed in a secured room, as well as rooftop antennae. The University provides secure space and power at no charge
    • An IP network connection is provided as a backup communications path in the event of a failure of the County microwave links.
  • Equipment and antenna support for PPD, PFARS and PFD is located at Fine Hall on the University campus.
    • Under a multi-year agreement with the Municipality of Princeton, a radio repeater is installed in a secure room and connected to an antenna located on Fine Hall to alert PFARS pagers of a call.  This same repeater is used for operations associated with PFARS calls. The University provides secure space and power at no charge.
    • Mercer County Central Dispatch uses this same repeater to alert PFARS pagers of a call requiring heavy recue resources.
    • Under a multi-year agreement, PFARS has a dedicated repeater and antenna at Fine Hall that is used as their tactical/special-operations channel.
  • PPD has been provided with three encrypted talkgroups on the University radio system for use in tactical/special-operations throughout Princeton (on and off-campus). Additionally, PPD has access to the encrypted DPS 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 for daily use by PPD for interoperability with DPS.
  • The University maintains two base radios for fire department alerting response and operations on the Mercer County Public Safety Communications System at 306 Alexander Street where a PFD vehicle is housed for response by PFD Associate Program members.
  • A dedicated talkgroup is maintained on the University radio system to support the PFD Associate Member Program.
    • Members who are responding to dispatches advise the team leader they are enroute to 306 Alexander Street. Due to poor coverage of the County dispatch channel in this area, this talkgroup also serves as a secondary means of alerting program members of a call requiring their response.
  • The University provides programming services for the pagers used by the PFD Associate Program members
  • The University has installed a fiber-optics based distributed antenna system throughout the Andlinger Center to support radio communications for the PFD.  This includes the capability for simultaneous communication on both an operations channel as well as a firefighter-in-distress channel.
    • An extension of this system has also been installed at 20 Washington Road and throughout the new Lewis Center for the Arts complex.
  • The University purchased and installed two radio repeaters and associated antennae in support of the above in-building distributed antenna system.  These repeaters receive the signals via fiber optics from antennas inside the buildings and retransmit them to insure that the incident commander outside can hear all radio transmissions originating from inside.
  • University technical resources assisted in the FCC license modification process needed to continue high power authorization for a frequency used for PFARS emergency dispatch.
  • A repeater was installed on Fine Hall to retransmit Mercer County fire dispatches throughout the area to ensure pagers used by the PFD associate member program would reliably receive alerts for calls.
  • University technical resources assisted PPD with identification of the source of interference impacting officer communications.  Additional support was provided in the design of a reliable police communications system and participation in vendor discussions regarding those needs and solution options.

Cell Towers

  • There are 8 wireless carrier cell towers on University buildings (Graduate College, New South, Holder Hall, Fine Hall).
    • This reduces visual impact of/need for monopoles in town and improves service to the community.
    • In 2017 several of these towers were upgraded to provide state of the art cellular technology in the community and on campus.

Maintenance of approximately 5 miles of roads in Princeton used by the public

  • Annual cost to the university is approximately $530,000.

Collaboration on local and regional planning issues

  • In 2017 provided $250,000 to Mercer County to support planning for the replacement of the Alexander Street bridge over the Stony Brook and adjacent culvert bridge.
  • In 2016 Princeton University provided nearly $60,000 to fund the Nassau Street Streetscape project.
  • Contributed land to make possible the construction of additional left hand turn lane at Harrison Street/Route One.
  • Provided half of the funding for the Alexander Street/University Place Traffic and Transportation Task Force.
  • Contributed $500,000 to the community’s Transportation Trust Fund.
    • Projects funded to-date include Princeton Community Bike Map, Enhanced Bus Shelters, Transit Opportunities Study, “Go Princeton” integrated mode choice communications plan.


  • Tiger Transit is “free and open to the public” and provides more than 500,000 passenger rides each year.
  • The University established and continues to maintain a stop at Palmer Square on the Tiger Transit Forrestal/PPPL line to provide community access to the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro after NJ Transit 655 service was discontinued in September 2015.
    • Between September 2016 and December 2017 more than 2,896 passengers used the Tiger Transit Forrestal-PPPL line stop at Palmer Square for access to/from Princeton Station or Princeton Hospital.
  • University Director of Transportation and Parking serves on the municipal public transportation committee.
  • The Princeton Bike Share program has grown exponentially as both a first-and-last mile transportation option and an alternative transportation option for the community.
    • As of December 2017 there were 1,945 active program members and an average of 524 weekly rides since March 2016 (48,660 total rides).
    • The program has expanded to 20 stations and 130 bikes across campus and the Princeton community as of December 2017. 
  • University staff participated in the Princeton Parking Study process.  
  • University staff participated in the Princeton Bike Master Plan process.

Resource Recovery Program (formerly known as Surplus Equipment Program)

  • Access provided for area non-profit organizations to the University Resource Recovery Program.  Items provided free of charge to area non-profits for their organizational use.

Education Outreach

  • Princeton High School (PHS) students who have exhausted coursework at 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.
  • Princeton Open Labs Science Café  - Graduate students give “Ted-like” talks to high school students about their scientific research.
  • 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 are available for free.
  • Through the Community Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) faculty and students provide in-depth research and studies for community organizations as part of a Princeton course. 
    • In the past year CBLI courses included work with the Princeton Human Services Commission, Princeton High School, Princeton Future, the Princeton Nursery School, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the YWCA. 
    • The program also provides summer research interns to local organizations, including the Princeton Senior Resource Center and Arm in Arm (formerly the Crisis Ministry).

Community Auditing Program

  • 43% of the roughly 760 program participants each semester are from Princeton
  • The program includes special courses and lectures designed especially for auditors


  • In 2017 four Careers @ Princeton Workshops were held in coordination with the Princeton Public Library.
    • A total of 80 participants attended the workshops in July, October and November.
  • A training session providing information about the University’s job application process for representatives from community organizations was held in February 2017.


  • The University’s Entrepreneurial Hub (eHub) is located at 34 Chambers Street
    • The space provides 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.
  • The University Center for Information Technology (CITP) worked with the Princeton Public Library to develop methods of measuring library usage that are easily deployed, inexpensive, and respect privacy of the patrons. This CITP student led project provides detailed information about patron usage patterns that the Library can use in its decision making process about funding for renovations and other necessary changes.
  • The OneRoof  Tiger Challenge student team worked with municipal affordable housing staff and local organizations to identify opportunities to make the affordable housing application process in Princeton more streamlined and user-friendly.
  • The StressLess Tiger Challenge team is working with the Princeton Public Schools to develop interventions to mitigate harmful academic stress and improve the mental health of K-12 students.
  • The Green Plan-It Tiger Challenge team is working with the Municipality and Sustainable Princeton on their Climate Action Plan to design an engagement process that will increase awareness, participation and buy-in from the greater community.

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 and operated by a separate, independent non-profit.
    • 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
    • Veterans Day Observance Program
    • Monthly Jazz Vespers services
  • 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.

Community Events on Campus

  • Communiversity (on campus and in town)
  • Community and Staff Day (fall football game); free tickets offered to local residents; approximately 8,000 attended in 2017
  • Princeton Campus Farmers’ Market in spring (five weeks, prior to opening of market on Hinds Plaza)
  • 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 people
  • Community invited free of charge to Reunions fireworks
  • Princeton Public Schools’ John Witherspoon Middle School graduation hosted in Richardson Auditorium
  • Princeton High School Winter Concert hosted in Princeton University Chapel
  • Two Municipality of Princeton election polling districts hosted on campus
  • Princeton Symphony Orchestra BRAVO concert in Richardson Auditorium
  • Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Einstein Lecture


  • 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


  • Tickets to athletic events on campus are free or low-cost
    • In the past year, there were 280 regular season home games, of which 199 were free and required no tickets.
  • In cooperation with Princeton Recreation Department, the University hosts the Dillon Basketball League Saturday morning youth basketball program which has been held on campus with participation by Princeton students as coaches for 46 years with nearly 300 youth participants from the community each year.
    • Clinics for Dillon League participants hosted by Princeton University Men’s and Women’s Varsity Basketball Teams
  • In partnership with the Special Olympics of NJ, Campus Recreation had 4 Princeton residents participate in the Unified Sports program at Princeton University. The program brings together people of all abilities and provides the opportunity to achieve and become teammates and friends, on and off the playing fields
  • Carnegie Lake open to the public for recreational ice skating in collaboration with Princeton Recreation Department
  • Dillon Gym access provided to YMCA fitness members at no charge during the annual YMCA facility shutdown week  (August 23 – September 3, 2017)
  • Provide scholarships to Princeton youth to attend Princeton University Summer Sports Camps in collaboration with Corner House; 7 participants in summer 2017
  • 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 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 youth sports clinic, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Princeton School Gardens Project (Riverside, Community Park, and John Witherspoon), Harriett Bryan House
    • Reading with the Tigers Program with all four Princeton elementary schools (Community Park, Littlebrook, Johnson Park and Riverside)
    • Additional volunteer efforts with Princeton-based organizations including: Princeton YMCA, Princeton Public Schools (elementary, middle, and high schools), Princeton Youth Hockey and U-NOW Nursery School

Campus Dining

  • Provides support for the Garden State on Your Plate Program in the Princeton School District.
    • In 2017 the Campus Dining team visited each of the four Princeton elementary schools to discuss fresh vegetables, coordinate tastings, and provide culinary technique instruction.
  • In 2017 launched, in coordination with students from the Greening Dining initiative, a partnership with Bentley Community Services to divert prepared food to food-insecure families in the greater Princeton area.
  • Each year Campus Dining donates hundreds of marigolds from Reunions to the Princeton Senior Center at Spruce Circle.
  • Campus Dining leadership serve as a mentors to the Tiger Challenge team working to help develop a Climate Action Plan team.

Volunteer Support

  • Students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents throughout the academic year, summers and during the University’s annual Month of Service in January, with many non-profit organizations focused on the Princeton community including:
    • Arm in Arm, Corner House, Dillon Youth Basketball League, HomeFront, 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 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 2017 the eating clubs worked in partnership to present “TruckFest” and “Trick or Feed,” events that raised funds to support TASK, Send Hunger Packing, and Meals on Wheels
  • The Pace Center for Civic Engagement undertakes a wide variety of programming in the local community including: 
  • First-year students’ small group orientation (through Community Action) to service and learning with the local community. Below is a list of the 2017 Community Action service and learning groups that took place in the Princeton community:
  • Education Princeton: Mentoring Youth partnered with Community House, Princeton Nursery School
  • Education Princeton: Empowering Youth partnered with the YWCA, YMCA, HiTops
  • Community Development Princeton: Supporting Migrant Groups partners with the Princeton Municipality and YWCA
  • Community Development Princeton: Empowerment partnered with YWCA Princeton
  • Sustainability Princeton: Eco-Farming partnered with Farminary, Sierra Club, Farmers Against Hunger
  • Arts Princeton: Creative Change partnered with Lewis Center for the Arts, McCarter Theatre, Send Hunger Packing
  • Human Services Princeton: Community Health partnered with Womanspace
  • Human Services Princeton: Empowering Seniors partnered with Princeton Senior Resource Center, Brandywine Living
  • Community Health Princeton: Spreading Wellness partnered with Send Hunger Packing, Princeton Municipality 
  • Tutoring, mentoring, academic enrichment, social-emotional support for school-aged youth including:
  • Community House After School Academy (middle school); Community House After School Enrichment, Gen1 and SAT Prep (high school)
  • Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD), leadership development and college prep (high 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 school)
  • Crossings Community House project: Effective dialogue and conflict resolution through small group sessions (middle and high school)
  • Health education through HIPS (Health Education in Princeton Schools) (elementary school)
  • PEEK (Princeton Engineering Education for Kids) (elementary)
  • Community House STEAM summer camp (middle and high school)
  • Community House Princeton supported 7 family dinners to support social-emotional wellness and academic success (youth and their families)
  • Community House college tours for high school aged youth
  • Community Link, mentorship (youth participants in the Latinos en Progreso afterschool program)
  • Generation Speak, building meaningful relationships (youth residents living in facilities of Princeton Community Housing) 
  • Creative Minds volunteers contribute to the cognitive rehabilitation of the residents of Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center using different media to interact.
  • Volunteers at CONTACT of Mercer County answer calls for this local crisis hotline and the national suicide hotline
  • Tiger Tails sends volunteers to SAVE the local animal shelter.
  • Special Olympics has two separate projects: one for swimmers and one for skaters.  Both projects utilize University facilities.  DeNunzio Pool and Baker Rink.  Many if not all athletes and their families come from the Princeton community.
  • HIPS: Health Education In Princeton Schools sends volunteers into Littlebrook Elementary school to run interactive Health information sessions.
  • Princeton Student Fire Fighters recruits and connects volunteers to train and be part of the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mercer County recruits and sends volunteers to BB&BS of Mercer County where they are screened and matched with a “little” from the Princeton community
  • Meals On Wheels sends volunteers out to deliver meals to non-ambulatory and senior citizens in the Princeton Community.  They also started a pilot companion program where some volunteers go out just to check in on seniors regarding health and well-being issues
  • Academic Success Today matches volunteers with students from the Princeton District for academic tutoring and mentorship through Corner House
  • University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro recruits and refers volunteers for the Medical Center
  • An American Red Cross Blood Drive takes place each semester on campus. There is also at least on platelet drive on campus annually
  • Civic participation of students who offered their perspectives and/or services on events and committees: 
    • Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission
    • Latin American Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) drive to provide Mercer County Community ID cards to Latino immigrant community