A Note from the President & Executive Director – Winter 2018

Princeton University in the winter

As a board member and volunteer in the Princeton area for the past several years, I had always looked forward to January and the opportunity to interview applicants for the Project 55 Fellowship. This year, I had the privilege of conducting the interviews as a staff member and it gave me a deeper appreciation not only for the countless hours the staff and our volunteer alumni interviewers spend reviewing applications materials and asking thought-provoking questions, but also for the potential impact of this, our flagship program, to transform the applicants and our partner organizations. As I marked the nine-month anniversary of assuming the Executive Director role, I told every applicant I interviewed that it is (still) one of my favorite parts of the job. This year we invited about 120 Princeton University seniors to interview for over 70 placements with many longstanding partner organizations as well as several new exciting opportunities. Students took time from their busy Reading Period and exam schedules to trek in the cold and snow to our office at 12 Stockton Street. Our staff is joined by AlumniCorps volunteers as we assess which placement might best fit each candidate’s skills, passions, career goals, and specific interests. The energy of these young people is palpable and contagious, not only in our interview rooms but throughout the office. In the midst of tumultuous domestic and international news, the earnest determination of these students gives us a sense of hope for the future.

One applicant I met with is a Dreamer who has already had a profound impact on her communities. Incredibly smart, caring, and capable, she is passionate about college access and is already an accomplished poet and artist. Another demonstrated great empathy and sensitivity while reflecting on the impacts of the Swim Team scandal last year and lit up when describing his thesis research. He met with successful asylum seekers to the US who are here because of persecutions for gender identity. We met a young woman determined to be a pediatrician who remained resilient and positive despite losing her mother to breast cancer while our applicant was a Princeton undergraduate. I spoke at length with another applicant about arts as cultural narrative, storytelling, and personal expression.  This brilliant senior from a family of educators believes strongly in the ability of theater to develop empathy. As I listened to the students share their passions and future plans, I was reminded of why we do what we do and why we seek to mobilize these soon-to-be-Princeton graduates for the public good.

AumniCorps ED Kef Kasdin ’85 (center, in blue with sunglasses) and other members of Rachel’s Network near the current Mexico-US border wall, November 2017.

I thrive on the personal interactions with our community and January was just the icing on the cake of a busy fall making connections in our network. In keeping with our Bold Idea Initiative’s focus on immigration issues, in November I traveled to the Mexico-US border with Rachel’s Network. As the Board Chair of Rachel’s Network, I liaised with grassroots leaders working for fairer outcomes for immigrant populations and safer, healthier environments for border communities. You can learn more about the trip on Rachel’s Network blog, here: https://rachelsnetwork.org/borderlandstrip.

In October I traveled to the Bay Area with our Director of Programs and Strategy, Caryn Tomljanovich. We met with current and prospective partner organizations, and the Area Committee hosted a get together with volunteers and Fellows in Oakland, CA at NewSchools Venture Fund.

As February approaches and our Fellowship candidates interview with the partner organizations to which we will have referred them, we switch focus to our Emerging Leaders program, which concludes with Closing Celebrations in New York City (February 13) and Washington, DC (February 15).  It’s amazing how time has flown since we selected these 32 high potential young managers last spring and kicked off the program in June.  The Closing Day and Celebration allows for reflection on and sharing of their experiences with each other, supervisors, family, and the broader AlumniCorps community, which welcomes them to continued learning, impact, and transformation. The Program builds capacity for these dedicated and self-aware leaders, both in themselves and for the nonprofits they are preparing to run.

Each opportunity to engage with our program participants and committed volunteers brings a renewed sense of purpose and energy to the work that we do at 12 Stockton. If you are reading this Shared Effort newsletter/ blog, then you are considered a part of the great ‘fishnet’ that is the AlumniCorps family. Here’s to another year of mobilizing people, organizations, and networks for the public good.

Development Update January 2018

The Endowment and our Keystone Society

Did you know that Princeton AlumniCorps has an endowment? Our endowment fund is professionally managed by TIAA, and had a market value of $1,470,584 on December 31, 2017. Each year, a portion (up to 4% maximum) of the fund is drawn on to support our current programs, with the balance reinvested to build for the organization’s future financial needs.

The endowment is funded by our supporters’ gifts of cash and appreciated securities, gifts from retirement accounts, and through important Keystone Society bequests of similar gifts and pledged life insurance.

A few of our Keystone members at the Keystone Breakfast in February 2017.

The Keystone Society is comprised of our most generous and forward-thinking donors, members who have committed to ensuring the stability and long-term health of Princeton AlumniCorps. They understand the power of a planned gift. They know that the assets they leave to AlumniCorps will continue to grow, mobilizing people, organizations, and networks for the public good for generations to come. In 2017, we welcomed Lewis Miller ’49, Judith Hole Suratt s’55, and J. Rogers Woolston ’55 as our new Society members. Thank you for your pledge of support! New members will be inducted this February at our Leadership Circle Breakfast.


J. Rogers Woolston ’55 was inducted into the Keystone Society at the February 2017 breakfast.

Leadership Circle Breakfast 2018

Each year Keystone Society members are honored with a small gathering featuring noted speakers. This year we are expanding the scope of the event by hosting a Leadership Circle Breakfast for all those who have demonstrated their commitment by giving significant time, talent, and treasure to AlumniCorps. Past guest speakers have included Nobel Prize-winner Professor Angus Deaton, noted first-amendment authority, Professor Margaret ‘Peggy’ Russell ’79, and last year we heard from well-known writer, documentarian, and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff ’83.

Leadership Circle Breakfast 2018 Speaker, Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06

Our 2018 speaker is new AlumniCorps board member Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06Dan-el is Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University. He is currently finishing his latest book entitled Divine institutions: religion and state formation in middle republican Rome. His 2015 memoir Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to Ivy League received an Alex Award from the American Library Association.

For more information on how you can ensure your legacy with AlumniCorps, please visit the Keystone website.

Thank you to our 2017 donors!

Thank you to the following donors who made gifts between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017! Our fiscal year ends June 30, so if you don’t see your name on this list, start 2018 by making your annual donation now.

Bob Adelstein ’55
Caroline M. Adkins s’55
Blessing Agunwamba ’10
Jessica Aisenbrey ’05
Moriah Akers ’14
Karen Ali ’78, in memory of Ruth Ali, my mother
Thomas D. Allison, Jr. ’66
Ari G. Altman ’97
Helen H. Amick ’87
Robert M. Amick ’55 & Carol R. J. Amick
Vincent P. Anderson ’65
Nicholas Apostolakis ’55
Jacob P. Arechiga ’05
Denise B. Aronzon ’99
Malena Attar
Marie-Jouvelle Aubourg
Joseph H. Bacheller III ’55
Kristen Bancroft ’89
Christina Barba ’02
Hollis Barber ’11
Sarah Barbrow ’05
Lew Barker ’55
Jayne W. Barnard s’55
Lauren W. Barnett ’92
Daniela Bartalini ’15
Bishop George Bashore ’55 and Carolyn Bashore
Jesse Bassett
John T. Beaty Jr. ’66
Ry Beck
Lisa Bennett ’05
Paul Berger
Estelle Berger ’78
Ann D. Berkowitz k’55, in honor of Harry Berkowitz ’55
Marjorie M. Bhavnani s’55, in memory of Ashok M. Bhavnani ’55
David W. Bianchi ’55
Melissa Bissell p’17
Linda Boachie-Ansah ’02
Michael Boisvert ’84
Justin S. Borntraeger ’02
Justin S. Borntraeger ’02
Thomas D. Boyatt ’55
Christopher Boyd ’87 k’55
Stephen M. Boyd ’55
Markley H. Boyer ’55 & Barbara Millen Boyer
Owen Boyle
John D. Bredehoeft ’55
Kate Bryan
Judith and William Burks ’55
Elizabeth W. Cain
Dale Caldwell ’82
Katherine S. Canning ’97
Edie Canter ’80
Adrianna Carlesimo
Lydia Carlis
Noelle Carne
Sharon Carver ’82, k’55
Heather F. Cassidy ’00
John W. Castle ’55
Veneka Chagwedera ’09
Steb Chandor ’55
Christine D. Chang ’04 and Sid Gupta
Victoria Y. Chang *07
J. William Charrier ’69 & Anne Charrier h’69
Haoqian Chen ’08 s’08
Lisly J. Chéry ’03
Cynthia M. Chin ’93
Suzanne Chipkin
Emily Chiswick-Patterson ’05
Edwin M. Clayton ’55
Jasmine Clerisme ’02
Caroline Coburn
Charles W. Coker Jr. ’55
Laura Collins ’99
Harold Colton-Max ’91
Anna Condella ’12
Stanley Cook
Cristina Ritchie Cooper ’96
Lizanne Cox and David Gibson p’14
Frank T. Crews Jr. ’55
Rory Riggs and Margaret M. Crotty ’94
Jennifer Daniels ’93
D. K. Davidson ’55
Pyper Davis ’87
Jennifer Davis ’13, s’14
Laurence C. Day ’55
Noemi de la Puente *86, s*89
Vajira Gunawardana and Ruwini de Silva p’14
Donna J. Dean h’55
Rebecca Deaton ’91
Lindley DeGarmo ’77, p’17 in honor of Ellie DeGarmo ’17
Samantha DeKoven ’94
David Dieck ’78
Kerry E. Dinneen ’77 and Sam Sutphin
James J. DiOrio ’73
Eric Dobosh ’16
Sally Dorman
Cynthia Drakeman
John A. Gutman ’83 & Elizabeth A. Duffy ’88
William Dutton ’76
Laura Elbogen ’07
Ryan Elliott ’14
James S. Farrin ’58
Ramie Fathy ’16
Lindsay L. Warner Ferrer ’01
Kathryn Fiorella ’06
Stephanie Blackburn Freeth ’97 and Tim Freeth ’95
Julian Forde
Trevor E. Forde ’74
David Fort ’10 and Michelle Fort’10
Claire Fowler and Michael Lapp p’15
Marie Francois ’03
Maria Fregoso
Winifred S. Freund s’55, p’83, p’87
Richard A. Frye ’55
Jing Fu ’11
Andrew Garland ’01 & Anne Gordon ’01
David & Deborah Garr p’06
Austin H. George ’55
Lisa Swedensborg Getson ’93 & Jeremy M. Getson ’94
Leslie S. Gewin ’97
Roger Gilbert Jr. ’55 & Marion M. Gilbert
Wilmot G. Gilland ’55
Lelabari A. I. Giwa-Ojuri ’14
Phillip E. Gladfelter ’55
Sarah Gladstone ’93
Steven L. Glauberman ’73
Jason Gold ’81
Anne Goldstein ’79
Lorraine Goodman ’83
A. R. Gordon ’55
Richard Gorelick
Celine Gounder ’97
Amb. (r.) Thomas Graham, Jr. ’55
Julianne Grasso ’10
Ms. Sarah Green
Alix M. Greenwald ’10
James A. Gregoire ’69 & Jane K. Gregoire
Dunrie A. Greiling ’92
Lewis B. Gustafson ’55
George C. S. Hackl ’55 & Ann W. Hackl
Gilmor S. Hamill IV ’55
C. R. “Bud” Harper ’55
Timothy Harr ’72
John R. Hastings ’55
Clark C. Havighurst ’55
Peter P. Hawryluk ’55 & Ann M. Hawryluk
Donald C. Hellmann ’55
Carol H. Henn s’55
Darlington P. Hicks ’94
Herbert B. Hilty ’55
Albert P. Hinckley Jr. ’55
Judith Hole Suratt s’55 in honor of Samuel T. Suratt ’55
Holly Holzer Bass ’92
Peter D. Horne ’55
Stephen A. Houser ’91
John R. Howell ’55 & Dorothy C. Howell p’91, p’93
Rita Alles s’55
Kirsten O. Hull ’99
Leonard H. Inker ’55
Jessica Jardine ’10
Jasmine A. Jeffers ’11
Peter Jefferys ’55
James C. Jehle ’55
Hilary W. Joel ’85
Jessica D. Johnson ’98
John G. Johnson ’72
Allen S. Johnson ’55
Timothy B. Johnson ’73, p’12
Landon Y. Jones, Jr. ’66 & Sarah B. Jones
William A. Jordan Jr. ’95
Thomas S. Jordan ’55 in memory of  Charles Bray ’55
Brandon Joseph ’12
Kelsey Kane-Ritsch ’16
Emile Karafiol and Virginia Robinson
C. J. Karalakulasingam ’98
Kef Kasdin ’85 & Jeremy Kasdin ’85
Stanley N. Katz h’21, h’80
Daniel S. Kaufman ’92
Herbert J. Kaufmann ’55 and Nancy E. Kaufmann
Benet J. Kearney ’05
Sharon Keld ’80
Dennis Keller ’63
Eunice Kim ’05
Yoni Kirsch ’16
Richard Kitto ’69 and Christine Kitto
H. Felix Kloman ’55
Katie E. Ko ’09
George Kovatch ’55
Marty Krasney ’67
Jaimie Krause
Greg Kuhns ’55 & Joan Kuhns
Debra Kushma ’80, s’79, p’13, k’55 and Michael Kushma ’79, s’80, p’13
Anne G. LaLonde ’90
Shoshana M. Landow ’91
William F. Landrigan ’76 in honor of Tom Magnus ’77
Rose Lapp ’15
Carla Laroche ’06
Evan K. Larson ’13
William J. Lawlor ’56 & Blair S. Lawlor
William R. Leahy Jr. ’66 & Christine M. Leahy
Julie A. G. Leary ’12
Elliott D. Lee ’74
Myron S. Lee ’55
Seth Lesser ’83
Stephanie B. Levey ’97, k’55
Mikaela Levons ’04 and Jaquan Levons ’03
Aiala Levy ’07
Connie Lewin ’05
Karen Li ’05
Stuart and Gwen Lichtman ’76, p’07
Yuhwen Ling
Ethel E. Lipsitz s’55
Charity Lisko ’01
David Lloyd
Elizabeth Hackl Lurie ’85, s’85, k’55
John H. Lurz, III ’03
Kathryn Lusk
James D. Lynn ’55
Eric Macey ’73
Robert F. Magnus ’55 and Claire S. Magnus p’77
Thomas B. Magnus ’77, k’55
Dana Malman Warren ’03
Anne Z. Malone
Charles F. Mapes ’55 & Doris K. Mapes
Thomas Markham ’55
Karenna Martin ’15
Ed Mason ’55
Richard H. May ’55
Melissa F. Mazin ’91 & Craig Mazin ’92
Dana S. Mazo ’01
Stacy B. McAuliffe ’98 in memory of John Fish ’55
Robert C. McClanahan Jr. ’55
Kate McCleery ’75 & Robert Martinez ’75, p’11
Peggy McGinnis Colucci
James Cooke McGough ’55
Ann E. McGowan ’92
Arthur McKee ’90 & Nancy E. McKee
Steve ’55 and Kay McNamara
Edward R. McNicholas ’91
Cheryl McQueen ’77
J. W. McRoberts ’55
Hella and Scott McVay Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation
Wendy McWeeny ’92
George Meier ’55 and Nan Meier
David Mejias ’98
Joseph Mendrala
Ellison S. Ward ’04
Ricardo A. Mestres Jr. ’55
Dominic F. Michel ’70
Robert & Susan Michelotti
Lori Mihalich-Levin ’01
Peter T. Milano ’55 & Christine M. Milano
Oral O. Miller ’55
Lewis Miller ’49, p’77
Willis Mills ’55
Courtney Monk ’01
Helen J. Moran ’94
Paula J. Morency ’77 & Paul Dengel ’76
Kevin H. Moriarty ’99
Roland Morris ’55
Roger V. Moseley ’55
Frank F. Mountcastle Jr. ’55
Olympia Moy ’05
Amy Muehlbauer ’05
Sandra Mukasa ’12
Michael T. Mullaly ’04
Mary P. Murley ’76, s’72 and Robert Murley ’72, s’76, p’07, p’10
Antoinette Seaberry ’05
Sonal Nadiadhara
Gary B. Nash ’55
John R. Nealon ’77
Paul Nehring ’10
Rebecca Neill ’16
Rebecca L. Nemec ’05
Richard Nenno ’72 & Mary Ella Nenno p’08
Christopher Nenno ’08
Samuel P. Newbold ’02
Rosemary Nidiry ’91
Erin E. Ebbel Niemasik ’06
Michael Noveck ’08
Andrew C. Nurkin
Richard F. Ober, Jr. ’65 and Carol M. Ober h’65
Kate Reid ’04
Amy Olivero ’13
Robin D. Olsen ’00
Charlene Huang Olson ’88
Anna Maria Ortiz ’95
Benjamin Oseroff ’11
J. Rollin Otto Jr. ’55
Juana Pacheco ’90
Samuel Page ’10
Janet S. Paul s’55
A. Glenn Paul ’79
Arlene S. Pedovitch ’80, p’11
John T. Perkins ’55
Tom Perlmutter ’85 and Trish Perlmutter ’85, p’15, p’17
Elizabeth Perriello Rice ’90, s’89 and Kenneth Rice ’89, s’90
Helena Phillibert ’03
Howard Piggee, III ’96
James C. Pitney, Jr. ’71
Alan A. Platt ’65
Charles J. Plohn Jr. ’66 & Dorothy Plohn
Francis J. Pogan ’55
Andrew Protain ’08
William E. Pugh ’96 & Molly Pugh ’98
Kathy Qu ’13
Anthony C. E. Quainton ’55
Jospeh V. Quarles III ’55
Richard Quay ’71
Stephanie L. Ramos ’00
Mr. Clinton Stuart Raynor ’55
Julie M. Raynor-Gross ’75
Scott E. Regenbogen ’97
Kevin Reich ’00
Thomas R. Reid III ’66
Kathleen Reilly Streicher
Kathryn Reimann ’79
Marisa Remez ’16
Jonathan F. Remley ’95
Bill Richardson Jr. ’73
Antonio Riera, III ’00
Lois O. Robbins s’55, p’83, p’85, p’91, gp’10, k’28
Juli Robbins ’83, k’55, p’10 & Daniel Greenwald ’81, p’10
Alysa Rollock ’81
John P. Roos ’55
Margarita Rosa ’74
Jeffrey H. Rosalsky ’85 and Gail Shuttleworth ’86
Jessica Rosenbaum ’92
Bruce D. Rosenberg ’69
Carol Rosenfeld ’05
Marsha Rosenthal ’76 & Michael Buchman
Michael Rosskamm ’02
Robert J. Ruben ’55
William D. Ruckelshaus ’55, p’83, p ’87 and Jill Ruckelshaus
Cameron Ruffa ’16
Margaret Russell ’79
Nili Safavi ’01
Judy Safian k’55 and Brian Demers, in honor of Chet Safian ’55
Jennifer P. Safian s’55
William J. Salman ’55, in memory of Michael D. Robbins ’55 and Harry W. Berkowitz ’55
Michael Salmanson ’82
Eloise C. Salmon ’07
Barry Savits ’55
Edward L. Sawyer, Jr. ’55
Walter W. Schanbacher ’73
James M. Seabrook ’55
Robert Sellery ’60
William C. Shafer ’55
Jeff Sharp ’80 & Liz Sharp
Arti Sheth Thorne ’08 & Jack Thorne
Caroline Shifke ’12
Robert M. Shoemaker ’55
Jim Sidford ’55
Robert B. Silverman ’55
Misha B. Simmonds ’97
Paul G. Sittenfeld ’69
Yael C. Sivi
Warner V. Slack ’55 & Carolyn P. Slack
Benjamin Slaughter
Kristofer L. Smith ’98
Lucia Smith ’04
Kristen N. Smith ’03
Schuyler L. Softy ’11
Ann and Otto Spaeth ’55
Whitney Spalding ’07
Douglas Sprankling ’10
Jeffrey Sprowles ’69
Sitraka Andriamanantenasoa ’11
Anne W. Stahel s’55
Sue Anne Steffey Morrow h’83, h’88, h’03
Sarah Stein ’97 & Michael Cohn
Rachel Steinberg
Stuart Steingold ’66
Lauren Stillwell Patterson
Richard P. Strickler ’55
David J. Strozzi ’99
Sue Suh ’96 and Chad Livingston
Patrick A. Sullivan ’02
Tina Sung ’71
Rachel Sverdlove ’11
Elizabeth Lees Taggart ’78
Avion Tai ’10
Patrick Yao Tang ’07
Scott F. Taylor ’75 & Courtney F. Taylor
Jeanne Teutonico
Katie M. Thaeder ’09
Richard E. Thompson ’55
Rebecca Thorsness
M. Jay Trees ’66
Emilee Tu ’16
Ajay Tungare ’12
Reina Utsunomiya
Robert Uvanovic
Anna M. Varghese ’01
Kristin L. Vassallo ’97
Jennifer Vettel ’86, k’55
Marcos Vigil and Ana Vazquez
Carrie & John Vomacka ’02
Maya Wahrman ’16
Richard O. Walker III ’73 & Deborah Walker
Richard C. Walker ’55
Mrs. Susan Walker
Lindsay M. Wall ’02 & Jeremy Wall ’02
Travis Walls
Elizabeth Warter
Christopher P. Watts ’99
R. Kenly Webster ’55
Camille Logan Weekes ’95
Dana L. Weinstein ’12
Charlotte Weiskittel ’06
Henry Wendt III ’55
John R. West ’55
Deborah K. Weyl ’06
Rebecca Garr Whitaker ’06
Timothy and Angela White p’13
James R. Wiant ’55
Robert H. Wier ’55
Nelson H. Wild ’55
John S. Wilson ’55
Julie R. Wingerter ’92 & Seth Lieberman
Robert Wolk ’91
Richard C. Woodbridge ’65
Madeleine Woodle ’13
Arthur P. Woolley ’55
Rogers Woolston ’55
Shelia Ann Wright
Artilie Wright ’06
Amy Yang and Qi-Huang Zheng p’15
Julie Yeh
Blaine Young ’55
Suzanne Yudell and Carl R. Yudell ’75
Lydia Zaininger ’83
Sunny Zhang ’16
Sean Zielenbach, Jr., Ph.D. ’90
Anonymous (3 donors)
Note: Several donors made multiple gifts


American Express Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
BlackRock, Inc.
Collaborative Coaching
Edward S. Moore Family Foundation
Facebook, Inc.
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Giving Assistant
Google, Inc.
Harris Finch Foundation
Irving and Sara Selis Foundation, Inc.
Jockers Family Foundation
McCarter & English, LLP
MCJ Amelior Foundation
Moskowitz Foundation
The GE Foundation
The James E. and Diane W. Burke Foundation
The Nassau Club
The Rockefeller Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Tungare Manohar Family Foundation

Emerging Leaders Alumni Lunch and Learns

Emerging Leaders alumni from the 2015-16 NYC cohort at an informal gathering last year. Left to right: Caroline Coburn, Yiannis Avramides, David Nelson, Margie Cadet, Benjamin Delikat, and Jess Jardine.

This Fall, Emerging Leaders facilitators Yael Sivi (New York City) and Hilary Joel ’85 (Washington, DC) invited Emerging Leaders alumni in NYC and DC to attend brown bag lunch and learn sessions. The facilitators used these opportunities to host two-hour peer coaching labs. They circulated a leadership article in advance and used the reading as a starting point for discussion.

In New York City, participants read a First Round Review article entitled “The Most Dangerous Leadership Traps — and the 15-Minute Daily Practice That Will Save You” which outlines the work of Chris Holmberg, an executive coach and founder of Middle Path Consulting. The article contained nuggets from Holmberg such as:

Leaders who have never failed are fragile… They see the world divided between winners and losers, and they desperately want to avoid falling into that latter category, so they never try new things. When a manager empathizes with failure, they don’t point fingers or chastise anyone. Instead, they say, ‘I get it. Let’s talk about why this happened.’ 

The article offered an opportunity for lunch attendees to do some peer coaching. Yael reports that everyone had an impactful time. The Emerging Leaders alumni who attended are already looking forward to the next professional development session. One participant said, “I’m appreciative of you all for creating a safe and supportive space. It was well worth the two hours.” Another attendee echoed this sentiment: “Emerging Leaders was incredibly valuable for all of us, and to have the opportunity to re-immerse in the experience, even if only for a couple of hours, was excellent. I do think this is a wonderful way to sustain the growth and learnings of Emerging Leaders. Thank you for arranging this!”

Stay tuned for more information about future lunches!

Profile from our Network: Jim Gregoire ’69

Jane & Jim Gregoire at Princeton Reunions

Jim Gregoire ’69 has been an avid, long-time supporter of Princeton AlumniCorps, sitting on our board from 1996 to 2008. In 2006 he attained the distinction of being the first non-’55er AlumniCorps Board President. During his tenure on the board the finance committee managed AlumniCorps’ endowment, helping to ensure the stability and long-term health of the organization. Jim is also committed to Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS), where he’s a current board member and past board chair. However, in addition to mobilizing Princetonians for the public good, Jim has another passion: hiking. He walked the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail over the course of 11 years. “When my wife Jane and I got together, I was finishing the Trail, but I told her I wanted to do something bigger and more grand. I said, ‘I think I want to walk across the country!’ ” Fortunately for Jim, Jane said yes both to marrying him and to his hiking aspirations. Jane has been a true partner in Jim’s endeavors. She keeps their network of friends and family abreast of his adventures via blog posts which she writes based on their daily conversations (jim-fall2017.blogspot.com). She also meets Jim at different points on the hike route to give moral support and provide transportation. On his trek across the U.S., Jim would fly or drive to his starting point, then complete a portion of the hike over the course of several weeks. True to his declaration to Jane, Jim walked across the country, from Portland, ME to Washington State. That feat took 300+ days over the course of eight years and was completed in 14 segments. More recently, in October Jim completed his third major milestone: He walked 2,490 miles over 156 days from Key West, FL to Lubec, ME. He started this hike in 2014, hiking from the southernmost point of the East Coast to the easternmost part of the country on the Canadian border.

Why hiking? After reluctantly abandoning long-distance running in the late 1990s due to worn-out knees, Jim took up long-distance hiking because “every day on a trail is an adventure. Anything can happen, from skies opening up and soaking me, to wildlife like otters frolicking by.” Some sections of a given route are risky, forcing him to hyper-vigilantly watch each oncoming car and truck. It’s all worth the risk to him: “I see parts of the country I’m not familiar with. I got to walk across over 70 bridges in the Florida Keys, an area now devastated by this September’s Hurricane Irma.

Jim in Lubec, ME in October 2017, at the end of his third major milestone hike.

Perspective on humanity: Jim has gotten insights into human nature while on his hikes.

“I met people who were so generous. I’d wander into a town late in the afternoon, and I’d go into the local bar & grill and order a beer. I’d start talking to the bartender and soon everyone would engage and give me advice about where to put up my tent. Not a single person has done me ill. You get such a different perspective on people when you’re talking one on one about the basic necessities of life. One couple in upstate New York even allowed me to stay in their little cabin for three days to rest my blisters. They’d pick me up and bring me to their house so I could take a break from carrying my backpack.”

Appreciating nature: Jim saw pieces of America that aren’t easily accessible by car. “I did the Lewis and Clark trail, and I could just see the history. I finished the trip along the Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border, which is where Lewis and Clark terminated their exploration of the Louisiana Territory.”

Jim says he has been blessed with extraordinary good fortune on his hikes, “I was never sick, and I was never depressed [conditions that can hamper a long-distance hiker]. I never had a problem with animals, despite tenting out most nights. My closest call was crossing Glacier National Park in Montana. I saw a bush wiggling and I knew it was hiding a grizzly bear. After I deliberately made a noise, the bear came out of the bushes and stood on his hind legs, 10 feet tall!” Luckily for Jim, the bear eventually moved enough off the trail so Jim could continue his hike unharmed.

After Jim got to the Canadian border in Downeast Maine, Jane posted on Facebook: “I am blown away by my husband’s dogged determination when he sets a goal.” Jim’s determination blows us away too. We are honored that he chooses to expend some of it on Princeton AlumniCorps!

The Princeton AlumniCorps Bold Idea

Back row (right to left): Bob Kettle (Connecticut Appleseed), Stephanie Beaugh (Louisiana Appleseed), Dee Flaherty (Appleseed Network), Annette LoVoi (Appleseed Network), Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06 (Princeton University, Princeton AlumniCorps), Debra Erenberg (Consultant), Kef Kasdin ’85 (Princeton AlumniCorps), Renee Steinhagen *81 (New Jersey Appleseed), Caryn Tomljanovich (Princeton AlumniCorps), David Tipson ’96 (New York Appleseed), Christy Kane (Louisiana Appleseed).
Front row (right to left): Adriana Abizadeh (Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund), Rocío Villalobos (Texas Appleseed), John Heilner ’63 (Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund), Sahand Keshavarz Rahbar ’17 (Princeton AlumniCorps), Shaina Ward, Maru Cortazar (Mexico Appleseed), Malcolm Rich (Chicago Appleseed).

On October 16 and 17, Princeton AlumniCorps hosted a convening at Princeton University enabling dialogue and promoting action on immigration and refugee issues.  The meeting, a launch of AlumniCorps’ new Bold Idea initiative, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, brought together nonprofit and public interest organizations, practitioners, academics, policymakers, and funders.

The agenda included presentations on the current federal landscape of immigration policy and the local impact of these policies on vulnerable communities and the direct service organizations that work with them. The convening also provided opportunities for the 29 participants to engage with one another and brainstorm potential avenues of collaboration. The discussions culminated in a series of immediate project priorities for further engagement, with the aim of consolidating the budding partnerships between the different attendees while expanding the circle of participation as the initiative moves forward.

As President and Executive Director of AlumniCorps Kef Kasdin noted, “This meeting and our Bold Idea represent the heart of what Princeton AlumniCorps is all about: mobilizing people, organizations, and networks for the public good. We are grateful that the Hewlett Foundation has catalyzed this effort through their generous support.”

Emerging from the most recent AlumniCorps strategic plan, the Bold Idea endeavors to leverage the resources, strengths, and experiences of AlumniCorps’ considerable network of 600 partner organizations, 200+ volunteers, and 2,000 program alumni to make a palpable impact on an issue of public interest. The Bold Idea concept was inspired partly by previous endeavors undertaken by AlumniCorps in its early years, like the Tuberculosis Initiative (1997-2002). This first iteration of the Bold Idea, with a focus on immigration, is a two-year pilot that will extend into 2019. AlumniCorps will use the network-building insights gleaned from this pilot to select a new Bold Idea topic every three years.

To bolster the collective impact of this initial pilot project, AlumniCorps has partnered with Appleseed, a network of public interest legal centers throughout the United States and Mexico with a successful track record of developing bi-partisan solutions to persistent and challenging social issues. “Our commitment to network building and collaboration strongly aligns with the mission of AlumniCorps” said Deirdre Flaherty, President of Appleseed, “We are excited to harness the power of our combined networks on this key and timely issue.”