It is not unusual for co-class agents to confer, discuss their Annual Giving goals, and plan strategy. Cameron Barrett and Rahsaan Harris, however, have raised the bar for a class agency cooperative enterprise and just plain togetherness: they were tent mates on a recent mountaineering expedition to the 19,341-foot peak of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Andy Cowherd embarked on his first volunteer assignment for Princeton in 1970: he was elected president of the freshman class, later known as the Great Class of 1974. He was returned to the presidency in 1999 and has held that office ever since. While he has taken brief vacations from class officership, he has never taken a vacation from service to the University.
Catarina Schwab “loved every minute of my time at Princeton. No matter what the University might ask of me, the answer would be ‘Yes!’” A member of the Annual Giving Committee, and former special gifts solicitor for her class, she is ’96’s reunion chair. “Annual Giving is what allows Princeton to be Princeton, and to remain a top institution,” she says.
Colleen Shanahan remembers the excitement of Princeton’s 250th Anniversary in 1996, which featured an address by Toni Morrison, Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emerita. “Princeton is, as Professor Morrison said, ‘a place of private memory’ and ‘a place of collective public memory—which is to say history—which has helped shape the nation’s life.’”
Steffen and Susan Parratt have been members of the Parents Committee since their daughter Kirsten ’13 was a freshman. “Like all Princeton parents,” says Steffen, “education is very important to us. We believe in supporting our children’s schools, as best we can, in any way we can.”
Marilyn Lawrence entered Princeton planning to study biology but wound up majoring in comparative literature. “One of the things I love about Princeton,” she says, “is how strong the University is in so many areas…." She also believes strongly in the value of Princeton’s financial aid program. As a member of the Annual Giving Committee and a special gifts solicitor, she hopes to help the University “continue to offer grants, not loans, to provide the best education possible to the broadest group possible.”
“I feel a special obligation to give back to the University, in whatever ways I can,” says Bob McCartney, who benefited from financial aid as an undergraduate. He has found quite a few ways. A life member of the Alumni Council, he is a former head of that group, and has served on many of its committees; he is also a member of his regional schools committee.
Ask Chris Olofson why he volunteers for Annual Giving, and he hardly knows where to start. “It’s the best way to invest in the future of just about everything in our society,” he says. He admires “Princeton’s commitment to excellence in everything it endeavors to do,” and firmly believes that graduation “doesn’t end your connection with the University, it just opens a new chapter.”
After four years at Princeton, Celina Sanchez “knew Princeton would always be a part of my life.” She chose to volunteer for Annual Giving because, “It is so vital to the functioning of the University.” She has been an AG volunteer since graduation, when she was a member of the Senior Class Committee, and is currently ’03’s participation chair.