Kevin Callaghan '83

Friday April 19, 2024  

Kevin Callaghan '83 Fund

Kevin Callaghan ' 83

We are excited to announce a very special gift to Outdoor Action from Kevin Callaghan ’83. This generous gift establishes the Kevin Callaghan ’83 Fund an endowed fund to provide financial support each year to allow needy students to participate in the Frosh Trip Program.

Kevin did not begin his involvement with the outdoors until after Princeton. The summer after graduation was his first hiking trip with two Class of ’83 friends to the Swiss Alps. The physical aspect of hiking, the camaraderie, and the beauty of the mountains was a totally new experience for Kevin and he "got the bug" as so many of us have. Two years later an Outward Bound course in North Carolina cemented his commitment to the outdoors and outdoor education. As soon as he returned from Outward Bound he "stopped at EMS and bought everything under the sun—pack, tent, sleeping bag, stove, Thermarest" on his way out of town to start graduate school at Stanford. While at Stanford Kevin backpacked and hiked extensively in the Sierras, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks. He has hiked or climbed with many ’83’ers: Brian McDonald, Page Thompson, Jeff and Cynthia Penney, Bill Hallett, Kris Bower Schulte, and Nan Gillespie O’Connell, all "providing some of my fondest memories."

On talking about his gift he said, "I wish I had been able to take advantage of all that OA has to offer while I was a student. Getting introduced to the outdoors while I was in college would have been wonderful. In particular, I wish I had gone on the Frosh Trip--on the margin, it wasn’t readily affordable and I didn’t feel I had the right level of experience." Many students on financial aid find it hard to participate in the Frosh Trip because of the cost of the program and the need to purchase equipment combined with the loss of a week of summer job earnings. Kevin’s gift will help make this wonderful opportunity available for many students who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate. Here is what one Frosh Trip participant had to say about this year’s Frosh Trip.

The Kevin Callaghan ’83 Fund will complement the Zander Scott ’92 Fund and significantly expand our ability to aid incoming students. Each year the interest from the Callaghan endowment fund will support more than twenty-five incoming frosh. Kevin’s gift is the largest individual gift Outdoor Action has received. We all extend our appreciation to Kevin for his generous gift to future generations of Frosh Trip participants.

Here is what one student had to say about here experience on the trip and the importance of the financial aid.

I am very happy that I've been given a chance to express my gratitude for all you've done for me. The OA trip was my first experience in US and I fully took advantage of it. There I learned many new things, I met many wonderful people and I admired the beautiful sceneries of US landscapes. My friends (and here I mean all my colleagues from L45) introduced me to a new country and a new lifestyle. I will always remember this trip as one of the best I've ever had.
Thank you for making it possible!

Liubomir Chiriac ’10
Chisinau, Moldova

Taking the OA trip was the second wonderful decision I have made about my college life (the first was deciding to go to Princeton). As an international student never been to the US before, my OA group gave me a warmest welcome. Not only I learned the basic skill of backpacking, camping, and canoeing, I also made my first group of college friend, and enjoyed an unforgettable trip. Many thanks to Kevin Callaghan, whose fund provided me an extraordinary experience in Princeton and in my life.

Cleo An Yi   ’10
Beijing, China

I cannot thank you enough for your generosity in funding my (and I'm sure many others’) trip. You made possible my first ever camping trip. I have always loved the outdoors but never had the opportunity to actually go on a camping trip. I had an amazing time that week at the Blairstown Center. I experienced a multitude of new things from cooking outside, setting up a tarp to doing a high ropes course. One of the many highlights of the trip was our first hike, which began with an intense one mile climb up a mountain face that was basically all jagged rocks. This climb seriously tested my physical limits and at times I began to doubt if I could make it. But when I did reach the summit, the view that met me was breath-taking and seemed to erase all the fatigue from my body. As I looked behind me, I felt an incredible rush of accomplishment of what I had just done. Thank you for making that moment possible.

Idil Kore ’10
Nashville, TN

I really had a good time with VA71, and, taking into account that I am from Romania, and those were basically my first 7 days in the US, the trip was surely a way of discovering the country and the people for me. All my 9 trip colleagues offered me very distinctive characters but overall, I really was able to discover their common values and beliefs, way of life and means of living and thus attribute these to a more general American sense of living.
On the “outdoor” part of the experience, I thoroughly enjoyed hiking and camping and the most, the woods. I always felt relaxed the middle of the nature, so it should be to no surprise that I really enjoyed every bit of the nature.
It was a very pleasant way to introduce myself to America and for America to be introduced to myself.

Marius Pachitariu ’10
Lasi, Romania


For additional information, please contact the Outdoor Action Office (609) 258-5621.