University contributions to Princeton town: 2018 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. 6, 2019.

Contributions to Princeton: 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 2018 the University’s voluntary contribution to the municipality was $3.22 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 $9.1 million in taxes in 2018 (not including sewer payments). The $9.1 million includes about $5.9 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 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, 9 units of affordable housing on Leigh Avenue, and contributed $50,000 toward the Habitat for Humanity project on Lytle Street.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services

The University provides significant support for police, fire and emergency services in the community. The University Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a staff of 112 including sworn officers, non-sworn security officers, fire marshals supervisory, dispatch and administrative staff. DPS operates 24 hours per day/365 days per year, and works in close collaboration with the municipal police department. In 2018 the Princeton Police Department needed to respond to campus only four times. University officers were called upon 62 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. Additionally, the Princeton Bike Share program features 21 bike stations with 125 bikes located both on campus and in the community.

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.

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 230 Princeton athletic events last year, 181 were free to members of the public. Campus athletic facilities are regularly used by the community’s youth sports programs and non-profit recreation programs in the area.

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)

  • In 2018 Princeton University made a voluntary payment of $3.22 million to the Municipality of Princeton.  
    • Since 2014, the University has contributed more than $17.3 million to the municipality per the seven-year contribution agreement. The annual voluntary contribution escalates by 4% annually.
  • 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)
    • $500,000 toward the purchase of fire-fighting apparatus (contribution completed)
    • Donation of the University-owned Franklin Street Lot for municipal use (contribution completed)
    • $90,000 toward a new FreeB vehicle ;(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)
    • $250,000 toward the construction of a new storage facility for municipal Department of Public Works equipment

Taxes Paid (calendar year basis)

  • In 2018, Princeton University paid $9.1 million in property taxes to Princeton (not including sewer payments); Princeton University is the largest taxpayer in Princeton
  • Of the $9.1 million property tax payment to Princeton, $4.3 million went to the Princeton Public Schools
  • Of the $9.1 million property tax payment, about $5.9 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

  • Habitat for Humanity for construction for a duplex on Lytle Street
  • Princeton Community Housing’s 50thAnniversary capital campaign
  • 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
  • Arts Council of Princeton ‘Parklet’ project
  • Hinds Plaza 
  • Princeton Community Pool reconstruction
  • Princeton Recreation Department Skate Park
  • Princeton Recreation Department “Splash and Dash”
  • 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
  • Watershed Institute
  • 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
  • Witherspoon Jackson Historical and Cultural Society Heritage Tour 
  • Princeton Nursery School

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 Princeton Public Library, Fund 101, Princeton Education Foundation, Princeton Nursery School, Mercer County Community College Jim and Fannie Floyd Scholarship Fund, Arts Council of Princeton, Watershed Institute, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Adult School, Princeton Unity Walk, Princeton Child Development Institute, and Princeton Senior Resource Center
  • The University hosts the annual Corner House summer leadership program on campus

Affordable Housing

  • Provided $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity to support construction of new affordable housing on Lytle Street.
  • 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. 
  • The DPS Executive Director and Director of Operations meet monthly with the PPD Chief; these meetings were temporarily placed on hold the second half of 2018 but will resume in 2019.
  • The number of calls from DPS requesting PPD assistance has been:
    • 2013 - 7 calls
    • 2014 -1 call
    • 2015 -4 calls
    • 2016 - 12 calls
    • 2017 - 4 calls
    • 2018 - 4 calls
  • 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
    • 2018 - 62 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)
    • In February 2018, PPD officers were invited to attend DPS’s diversity training conducted by the University’s LGBT-QIA office.
    • In July 2018, DPS participated in joint simunitions training with PPD at 300 Witherspoon Street. DPS firearm instructor’s assisted PPD firearms staff with the active shooter based training.
    • In August 2018, DPS hosted live active shooter training with the Mercer County Rapid Response Team at the Princeton Stadium. This was a joint collaboration between the County’s 15 law enforcement agencies including PPD and DPS.
  • In October 2018 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)
  • The University hosted a Mercer County Rapid Response Partnership drill at the Princeton Stadium which allowed for the response of numerous Mercer County agencies to a simulated active threat and shooter event.
  • Princeton Fire Department (PFD)
    • PFD Associate Member Program: University staff serve as PFD volunteers during weekday work hours for which they are paid by the University
      • Associate Member Program Response Totals for 2018
        • Fire calls – 201, total call hours 711
        • Training events – 10, total training hours 351
        • Live burn training – 2, total live burn training hours 130
        • Member meetings – 2, total meeting hours 26
      • Average call length – 35 minutes
      • Average crew size – 4
      • Program currently has 33 employees which includes 1 student. Recruitment is ongoing to encourage program participation.
      • The program was started in April 2009.
      • 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.
      • Training:
        • In November 2018, the PFD was provided with a walk-through of the new Lewis Center for the Arts.
        • In December 2018, the PFD was provided with a walk-through of the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building.
      • In October 2018 the University’s Fire Marshal and Portable Fire Extinguisher trainer unit assisted at the PFD Open House.
      • 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)
    • 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 hires PFARS as the primary EMS provider for stand-by requests at University events located within the municipality of Princeton.
      • The University provides support, as needed, for the PFARS radio system which is housed at Fine Hall.
      • University students continue to make up a substantial part of the volunteer membership at PFARS.
        • Student members are regularly recognized by PFARS as active “top” responder volunteers.
  • Communication Systems
    • Mercer County’s countywide public safety communications systems continue to be supported at Fine Hall
      • An IP network connection is provided as a backup communications path in the event of a failure of the County microwave links.
      • 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 two rooftop microwave antennae. The University provides secure 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 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
  • 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 emergency 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 and to alert the Princeton Fire Department of a call.
    • The University maintains a repeater 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.
    • Under a multi-year agreement with PFARS, a radio repeater is installed in a secure room and connected to an antenna located on Fine Hall for PFARS use as their tactical/special-operations channel. The University provides secure space and power at no charge.
    • A new antenna and feedline has been installed for use by PPD on their new radio system. Rack space has also been made available for installation of the required equipment. The University is providing this additional secure space and power at no charge.
  • 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 maintains the fiber-optics based distributed antenna system throughout the Andlinger Center, Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building, and Louis A. Simpson International Building, and the Lewis Arts Complex 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • This reduces visual impact of/need for monopoles in town and improves service to the community.
    • In 2018 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 January and December 2018 more than 3,517 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 and worked on Princeton’s Climate Action Plan.
  • The Princeton Bike Share program had moderate growth as both a first-and-last mile transportation option and an alternative transportation option for the community.
    • As of December 2018 there were 3,137 active program members and an average of 673 weekly rides since March 2016 (95,779 total rides). 
    • The program has expanded to 21 stations and 125 bikes across campus and the Princeton community as of February 2019.  
  • University staff participated with GMTMA in Car Free Day in Princeton in September.
  • University staff participated with GMTMA in Bike to Work day in Princeton in May.
  • University staff continue to participate in all Princeton efforts surrounding parking, transportation, alternate transportation and street scape.

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 Stars 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.
  • Graduate Molecular Biology Outreach program on and off-campus events for children and adults 
  • Princeton Open Labs Science Café - Graduate students give “Ted-like” talks to high school students about their scientific research.
  • Cotsen Children’s Library and Program for Teacher Preparation “Time Travel 101” programs available to local elementary schools for children up to age 12 
  • 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.

Community Auditing Program

  • 45% of the roughly 700 program participants each semester are from Princeton
  • The program includes special courses and lectures designed especially for auditors 


  • In 2018 a Careers @ Princeton Workshops was held in coordination with the Princeton Public Library.
    • 14 participants attended the workshop in July

Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking

  • 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.
  • Keller Center hosted 15 events open to the public (over 1,000 attendees) on entrepreneurship, design and innovation in 2018, including hosting a conversation with Lech Walesa, which was extremely well-attended by the local Polish-American communities. 
  • TheGreen Plan-ItTiger Challenge team completed its project with the Municipality and Sustainable Princeton in May, 2018. The team helped design a slow-rollout “inchworm” communications strategy for the town’s Climate Action Pan, which will increase engagement and follow-through on identified proposals. 
  • The SWIFTTiger Challenge team is working with the Mayor’s office as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge. The team is helping design ways to increase participation and decrease contamination in the town’s curbside organics composting program. Additionally, Keller Center Faculty provided counsel on the proposal which won $100k from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
  • A new Tiger Challenge team began work with Princeton Public Library in October to help design a community-health approach to adolescent wellbeing in the Municipality. Additionally, Keller Center Faculty led two workshops with community leaders to surface potential points of collaboration.
  • The Joseph Henry Groupin EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) presented a table at Communiversity on the history and applications of Electromagnetism, among other points of connection in the town to youth education and outreach. 

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.
    • Music Meditation series is free and open to all.
    • Eight season subscriptions to the “Concert Classics” series provided annually at no charge to the Princeton Senior Resource Center 

Community Events on Campus

  • Communiversity (on campus and in town)
  • Community and Staff Day (fall football game); free tickets offered to local residents; approximately 11,000 attended in 2018
  • Princeton Campus Farmers’ Market in spring (five weeks, prior to opening of market on Hinds Plaza)
  • Princeton Adult School holds spring and fall lecture 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 230 regular season home games, of which 181 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 48 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
  • Carnegie Lake opens 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 27 – September 2, 2018)
  • Provide scholarships to Princeton youth to attend Princeton University Summer Sports Camps in collaboration with Corner House; 4 participants in summer 2018
  • Campus athletic facilities used by Princeton High School Hockey (boys and girls) and Track, Princeton High School Boy’s Lacrosse ,Princeton Youth Hockey Association, Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, Princeton Masters Swimming, Princeton Recreation Department Squash, Princeton Junior Squash, Princeton Wrestling Club, Tigerz Fencing, Cub Club Tennis, Princeton Futbol Club, Princeton Field Hockey Club, and Princeton Girl’s Lacrosse Club.
  • Princeton student-athletes undertake numerous volunteer efforts through the Princeton Varsity Club and as teams:
    • Participation in Community and Staff Day youth sports clinic, National Girls and Women in Sports Day youth clinic, Princeton School Gardens Project (Riverside, Community Park, Littlebrook 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

  • Campus Dining supports the Garden State on Your Plate Program in the Princeton School District. Chefs visited all four elementary schools during November, 2018 to hold interactive learning sessions.
  • Campus Dining expanded its food donation program with Bentley Community Services to divert prepared food to food insecure families in the greater Princeton area. 
  • Campus Dining held a hand-on educational program at UNow Nursery School that connected food and cooking with common core curriculum standards—teaching a cooking lesson paired with a math lesson.
  • Campus Dining expanded its work with the Senior Resource Center at Spruce Circle. During the winter, Campus Dining donated 100 cartons of water for blizzard bags distributed to seniors who were home during the winter season. On January 31, Campus Dining hosted a meet and greet and served cupcakes, cookies, fruit and cheese to residents. After Reunions, hundreds of marigolds from the weekend were donated to the Center. During the Center’s Health Fair on October 9, Campus Dining distributed healthy snacks to approximately 200 seniors at the Suzanne Paterson Building.
  • Campus Dining participates in the farmer’s market in Firestone Plaza, offering the Princeton community tastings together with health, wellness, and sustainability education.

Service and Civic Engagement

  • 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, Cornerstone Community Kitchen, 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
  • Faculty and staff donated 164 backpacks filled with school supplies as part of the annual Princeton Human Services annual Backpack Drive
  • Through the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) faculty members and students link service and academic learning, by providing in-depth research and studies for, or engaging in services with, community organizations as part of a Princeton course. ProCES was formerly known as the Community-Based Leaning Initiative (CBLI).
    • In the past year ProCES courses included work with the Princeton Nursery School, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Arts Council of Princeton, the University NOW Nursery School, Einstein’s Alley, One Table Café at Trinity Church, Princeton School Gardens Cooperative, the Historical Society of Princeton, and Princeton Young Achievers.
    • The program also provides summer research interns to local organizations, including the Princeton Human Services Commission and the Princeton Blairstown Center.
  • 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 2018 Community Action local community organizations with whom the first-year students engaged in service tasks: 
      • The Sierra Club –cleaned up along canal and towpath
      • Send Hunger Packing Princeton – sorted food donations
      • Farminary – built a hoop house, fixed garden fence, mowing and trimming
      • Farmers Against Hunger – harvesting, composting, weeding
      • Princeton YMCA – put together bookcases in basement and organized books, decorated bulletin boards
      • Princeton YWCA – sorted materials and organized back to school fair supplies and activities, cleaning.
      • HiTOPS – organized materials, sorted donations
      • Princeton Nursery School – The school was closed when CA group was there.  Group spent time organizing materials in storage space, painting woodwork in classrooms and planting spring bulbs outside.
    • Community House After School Academy (middle school); Community House After School Enrichment, Gen1 and SAT Prep (high school) provide weekly after school programming focused on academic support and social-emotional literacy
    • Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD), leadership development and college prep (high school)
    • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mercer County matches Princeton University volunteers with a little sibling from the Princeton Community. (elementary and middle school)
    • Community House Big Sibs matches first year Princeton University students with a little sib in second grade and they participate in twice monthly group mentoring sessions that focus on literacy and social-emotional development for 4 years. (elementary school)
    • Community House Nursery School Project partners with Princeton Nursery School to send volunteers on a weekly basis to work with nursery school youth (nursery school). (This is also a Breakout Local project.);
    • 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 & middle school)
    • Community House STEAM summer camp (middle and high school)
    • Community House Princeton hosts family programming throughout the year such as family dinners and parent workshops that support 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)
    • Community House Generation Speak, building meaningful relationships (youth residents living in facilities of Princeton Community Housing
    • Community House HIPS: Health Education In Princeton Schools sends volunteers into Littlebrook Elementary school to run interactive Health information sessions. 
    • Community House Academic Success Today matches volunteers with students from the Princeton District for academic tutoring and mentorship through Corner House.
    • SVC Best Buddies hosts monthly on campus events (typically Friday evenings) at which community members with intellectual disabilities and Princeton students participate in activities like dance workshops, craft making and baking, and attending Princeton athletic events. Princeton students can also opt to pair in a one-on-one friendship with a community member “buddy”.
    • SVC CONTACT Princeton provides student volunteers who answer phone calls for a local crisis hotline and the national suicide hotline. 
    • SVC Creative Minds pairs student volunteers in a one-on-one relationship with elderly residents at the Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center. Volunteers and residents bond while working on creative year-long projects that explore the resident's interests and engage different forms of media (including books, movies, and soundtracks.
    • SVC Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP)provides free kidney health screenings and health education, supervised by a nephrologist at Princeton Hypertension-Nephrology Associates.  
    • SVC Meals on Wheels has volunteers deliver hot and cold meals to seniors in the area. Volunteers also visit seniors once a week for one hour to chat and do activities with the seniors such as knitting, coloring, or anything that both the student and the senior are interested in doing. 
    • SVC Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center student volunteers commit to one weekly three-hour shift in one of the units such as the emergency room, pediatrics or neurology. Volunteers primarily work in roles that involve interacting with patients and helping the nursing staff. Duties may include: checking in with patients, translating for patients, transporting patients in wheelchairs, greeting families and visitors, organizing and stripping charts, delivering medications and lab samples, restocking rooms, answering phone calls, and more.
    • SVC Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad provides students who volunteer as Emergency Medical Technicians working with other squad volunteers or paid staff to respond to 911 emergency medical calls in the community.
    • SVC Princeton Music Outreach brings together student musicians with local nursing homes, assisted living homes, and hospice communities. The musicians perform in on-site concerts during various holidays.
    • SVC Special Olympics (Skating, Swimming, Rowing) help make these sports accessible and fun for athletes of all abilities. Volunteers work one-on-one with the athletes to build basic skills to more advanced maneuvers. 
    • SVC TigerTAILS works with a local no-kill animal shelter, SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals. Student volunteers help the shelter maintain a clean and comfortable environment for the animals with the goal of attracting potential owners and placing each and every animal into a loving home.
  • Civic participation by students volunteering their time and/or perspectives with local organizations include:
    • Princeton Student Fire Fighters recruits and connects volunteers to train and be part of the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department
    • American Red Cross Blood Drive on campus twice a year.
    • Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission