Email - 7/17/2017

July 17, 2017

I am incredibly proud of our mighty class and our great classmates.

After a monumental book, and then a reunion that exceeded all expectations with more than 350 registered classmates, we have set an all-time Princeton Annual Giving record for any class at any reunion—$11,006,767—and a participation rate of 81.2% (543 classmates), which exceeded our very high aspirational goal!

The inspiration for our Annual Giving record began five years ago during a 45th Reunion conversation between Dubby Wynne and the late Jack Laporte. It ended when about three dozen classmates donated in the last few days, about 15 classmates increased their gifts to get us to $10,000,000, and then, in the final hours, seven very generous classmates were so inspired by the class that they decided we must set the record. The last $6767 was given in memory of Jack. This jaw-dropping performance will accrue dividends for Princeton for many years in the future as other classes strive to emulate the Mighty Class of 1967.

Kudos for their enormous efforts of our tireless AG chairs Dick Fiss and Bob Popkin and their 67 for ’67 group and to our dedicated Special Gift chairs John Claster and Dubby Wynne and their Special Gifts Committee. The 50th has generated a profound and lasting sense of inclusiveness that will be shared by our class for years to come. The most touching part of this great outpouring is that no less than 543 classmates share in it and feel an important part of it. The depth of feeling for Princeton, for the class and for one another is very special.

Thank you for your kind comments, emails and notes expressing the great time you had at our 50th Reunion. Many reflected on the "mellowness” of our classmates, the thoughtful events, and the enjoyable discussions with old and new friends. These experiences were facilitated by the behind-the-scenes work of a diverse group of classmates over several years. The purpose of this letter is to recognize them and to provide you with requested links to various aspects of our reunion.

Our Reunion Co-Chairs. I must start with our amazing reunion co-chairs, Tom Amato and Bob Mayer. Their leadership of a group of volunteers, their attention to detail, their hard work for five years, and their abiding sensitivity gave us a great reunion. They made it look easy, but I can assure you that it was not. On behalf of the class, thanks to Tom and Bob.

By the way, the video that our crack professional video crew struggled to project at the Friday dinner has been retrieved and is available [here], with additional footage from the 50th. Note the prescient words of Robert Goheen at the end. Thanks to Bob Mayer and his son Ian for creating a great video.

And, by popular demand, Tom has arranged to make the class wine available for purchase—with those custom labels—[here].

Our 50th Reunion Book. John Klein and editors Ken Logan, Tom Gross, Jim Kempf and John Alexander created a monumental book, on time and on budget, that helped inspire more than half our surviving classmates to attend the reunion and more than 80% of our classmates to participate in our record-setting Annual Giving success. The book was sent, free of charge, to each classmate as a result of the generous patronage of classmates Bob Booth, John Claster, Tom Gross, David Hoster, Ken Logan, John Klein, Steve Oxman, myself, Steve Ranney, Peter Turchi, and Dubby Wynne.

Our Reunion Committee. Galen Aoki was singularly responsible for maintaining the central communication link to you: Galen was not only talented but also incredibly responsive and diplomatic as the inevitable questions and issues arose. Peter Holzer oversaw registration and finance and was critical to producing a reunion that ran in the black and, through his insight, provided a vehicle for financial assistance that allowed a number of classmates and widows to attend. Thanks to all classmates who donated to this much needed fund.

The creativity of Tim Tulenko was put to use in overseeing the ’67 wardrobe and theme and producing the popular optional supplements to the ’67 wardrobe—how about those orange railroad pants? Thanks to Tom Tulenko for overseeing the theme, organizing the P-rade and striving to herd our wandering classmates as we strolled through the campus.

Pepper Pettit and Bob Lem were responsible for our reunion headquarters. Pepper led a terrific student crew, and Bob headed our broad housing effort. Laura and Ted Todd oversaw food and beverages from our informal dinner on Thursday through a wonderful brunch at the boathouse on Sunday. The ability of legendary Lanny Springs to find the best bands was once again demonstrated by the fact that the word got around, and we once again hosted many younger classes by the late show on Saturday night.

Allen Adler facilitated our access to his much-loved Art Museum for the memorable cocktail party on Friday evening. Rev. Frank Strasburger arranged for the warm and powerful class memorial service at the Chapel on Saturday morning. As each deceased classmate’s photo was shown, a friend spoke his name. Frank’s moving homily can be read [here], the selection from This Side of Paradise that I read can be seen [here], and Andie Laporte’s reading from the book of Micah is [here]. We were able to obtain an audio recording of the entire service, which is available [here] and [here]. There were few dry eyes in the congregation as the service concluded with Old Nassau, the last verse of which ends with "Till then with joy our songs we’ll sing, / And while a breath we draw, / We’ll all unite to shout and sing: / Long life to Old Nassau.”

Honors. We made three new honorary classmates at the Friday dinner: Mollie Marcoux Samaan ‘91, worthy successor of Gary Walters as Director of Athletics; Sue Pierson, the Director of Residential Dining, who has been a great friend of the class for many reunions; and Mibs Southerland Mara, the Senor Associate Director for Class Affairs and Reunions.

Two extraordinary recognitions were also announced at the dinner. Dr. Marty Eichelberger was surprised by the Board of Princeton Internships in Civic Service—an organization that we as a class have annually supported. (You will be impressed by this paper co-written by our recent intern Christina Rice ’17 [link].) The Board announced that the medical internships Marty championed will henceforth be named the "Martin Eichelberger ’67 Medical Internships.”

Walt Kozumbo then described an event earlier that day at which Hayward Gipson was honored by the University and the class with a plaque and display in Jadwin that recognized his achievements as the first African-American student at Princeton to earn a varsity letter in football [link]. Gip’s remarks, and the standing ovation he received from the class, were heartfelt [link].

After the class photo on Saturday morning, Gary Walters awarded Sam Isaly an honorary varsity letter on behalf of the class and the Department of Athletics, and Sam was truly inspiring [link].

Forums. The breadth of our classmates’ expertise and accomplishments is evidenced by the forums in which we participated.

We conducted a number of well-attended class-only forums. Thanks to Dr. Collin Weber for organizing the Medical Insights & Realities for our Lives forum with Drs. Bob Booth, John Baker, Marty Eichelberger, Bob Beart, Ron Grossman, Phil Burstein and Bill Chambers. Architects Rob Brown and Pepper Pettit discussed Climate Change and Urbanism; much to his dismay, University of Michigan Dean Doug Kelbaugh was unable to join the panel, but with a good excuse—he could not fly from England because he suffered a punctured lung in a bicycle accident earlier in the week. By popular demand, their materials are available [here] and [here]. The class also conducted a forum for poets and writers moderated by Bob Mayer with featured special guest Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club: The Power of Word: How Do We Use It?

In addition, classmates participated in University-wide forums, including Larry Lucchino in Beyond the Scoreboard: The Business of Sports; Frank Strasburger in The Developing Landscape of Africa; Tom Tulenko in The Princeton Junction and Back Railroad 1865-1967 – Before the Dinky; and Professor Alan Blinder in Divided We Stand: Dysfunction in DC.

Class Officers. I especially want to thank my colleagues and your class officers: Treasurer Bob Lem, Secretaries Lanny Springs and Peter Safir, Vice Presidents Galen Aoki, John Claster, Bob Grant, Bob Popkin, and Frank Strasburger, and Executive Committee members Allen Adler, Jim Edmondson, and Bill Paternotte. I will continue my term as President for the next five years; Ken Logan and Tom Gross will replace Lanny and join Peter as Class Tri-Secretaries; Jim Kempf will become our Class Memorialist; and the following classmates will join our current Vice Presidents—Tom Amato, Dick Fiss, John Klein, Dave Martin, and Bob Mayer.

Many thanks to our mighty class and our fantastic classmates for a wonderful book, a great reunion, and a spectacular Annual Giving performance! Have an enjoyable summer.

Dick Prentke