PRINCETON CLUB OF CHICAGO
2008 ANNUAL REPORT
PRESENTED AT THE MARCH 12, 2008 ANNUAL DINNER
Good evening and welcome to the Princeton Club of Chicago 2008 Annual Dinner. We have an incredible turnout tonight with 230 Princeton alums, parents, and guests in attendance. I hope you are enjoying this “Evening in Space” at the beautiful Adler Planetarium. I am personally thrilled that we are hosting our Annual Dinner here, marking another wonderful year for our Princeton-Chicago community.
Our Annual Dinner is a special evening to say THANK YOU to the many people who have made this past year a success. I especially want to thank our Club’s Vice President Carl Yudell '75; the organizers of tonight’s dinner, Mike Laidlaw '94 and Ryan Ruskin '90, and our friends here at the Adler who have made this evening possible: Charles Katzenmeyer, Karen Van Lente, Rosemary Reed, Lindsay Bartolone '99, and the rest of the staff at the Adler Planetarium.
This year has been a wonderful year filled with many events and activities. Our Chicago Princeton community is one of the largest and most active in the world, thanks to our 2800+ alumni and parents, our 437 Club members, and a strong core of dedicated Club leaders. We are also grateful to Alumni Services, the local organization that handles most of our administrative needs, to other local alumni organizations who have partnered with us on events, and to the staff and faculty at the University who have helped us throughout the year.
I encourage you to read through the annual report when you have a chance. Ranging from a fascinating lecture on the history of Maps at the Field Museum, to a group outing to see Jersey Boys and meet Frankie Valli played by Jarrod Spector ’03, to celebrating the Lunar New Year over dim sum in Chinatown, to building skyscrapers at the Chicago Children’s Museum, to finding ourselves at Second City stuck “Between Barack and a Hard Place,” there are simply too many highlights to highlight! The spectrum of activities is truly inspiring, not purely because of the volume and variety, but primarily because so many in our Chicago family volunteer their time and talent to maintain and enhance a strong Princeton spirit – embodied in our events and in our service to the Chicago community.
Speaking of the Chicago community, I’d like to acknowledge and recognize two very special guests this evening from Roosevelt High School, Principal Dr. Alejandra Alvarez and Vice Principal Brenda Brown. Since 1990, our Princeton in Chicago Schools (PICS) volunteers have partnered with Roosevelt faculty to tutor, judge history and science fairs, and help the school make progress toward their goals such as increasing the percentage of seniors (currently between 36-38%) who apply to college. We have made additional efforts to invigorate our work with Roosevelt this year and will continue to do so in the upcoming year. There are a number of leadership opportunities within PICS, so I hope a number of you will be inspired to get involved. A huge thank you to PICS Chair Nick Gorga ’99, Raj Hatharamani ’07, Oren Pollock *51, Bruce Rosenberg ’69, and the rest of our Princeton in Chicago Schools volunteers for their on-going work with the students at Roosevelt High School.
Applying to college is something most of us can still remember. This year 21,000 candidates applied to admission to Princeton, another new record! In the Chicago area, there were 647 applicants, up from 584 last year, and 330 just four years ago – a 96% increase over that period. We were able to interview 99% of these students by the deadline, which was this past Sunday. This really was a