The Connect initiative has once again exceeded its goals. After surpassing its original target of $4 million and 60 percent participation last summer, volunteers set their sights on $5 million and 65 percent participation. The dollar total now stands at more than $5 million, and volunteers are working hard to make sure the initiative reaches -- or exceeds -- its participation goal by June 30 when the Aspire campaign ends.
“Connect has been even more successful than we’d hoped,” said Co-Chair Dennis Brownlee ’74. “This initiative was intended to help black alumni feel more closely connected to the University, and encourage them to make their voices heard as Princeton plans for the future. It is very rewarding to see that we have opened a channel of communication for many alumni as we have expanded support for Princeton.”
The effort led by Brownlee and his co-chair, Brent Henry ’69, has provided support for many campaign priorities including the Center for African American Studies and the Princeton University Preparatory Program. Other gifts made via Connect assisted the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, the Community-Based Learning Initiative, and men’s basketball,athletics.
“Connect represents an innovative way to look at giving for many people,” said Advisory Committee Member Marguerite Vera ’79, “some of whom may have felt marginalized as undergraduates. As individuals we may not have millions to give, but when the black alumni give as a group, we have a sense of belonging to the University and the University belonging to us; we leave a legacy; we can make a significant mark on the institution that has meant so much in our lives.”
Connect is part of the Aspire campaign, which encourages all Princetonians to help sustain and strengthen the University by providing the resources needed to support its highest priorities -- Annual Giving, Engineering and a Sustainable Society, Exploration of the Arts, New Frontiers in Neuroscience, Citizenship and the World, and the Princeton Experience.