State of the Princeton Class of 1966
Spring of 2017
It’s almost been a year since the present "Administration” took the reins, so I want to give you an update as to what has happened over the last 11 months. This is a little like the State of the Union address but without getting involved in today’s political mess. Just pretend I’m a very mini George Washington.
Your Officers met "legally” for the first time during our 50th Reunion. We had met earlier in 2016 at Alumni Day to map out a strategy for the next five years. Our Mission Statement is: Further Develop and Enhance the Sense of Community Among the Class of 1966. The author of this statement, our Thomas Jefferson, was John Hart, who most of you know as a superb technical mind. Now you also know him as a statesman scribe.
To address this Mission, we divided our tasks into three groups, each group led by a Class Vice President. The Groups were Reunions under John Edie, Communications under Jon Holman, and Participation under Bill Leahy, known by many of you as Roller.
So here’s what’s been going on….
Reunions. John Edie has been working feverishly with Nelson Hendler on our next Mini-Reunion in Cambridge, MD, October 13-15. All details at this link.
Our 51st Reunion is right around the corner, June 1-4. In addition to University Reunions activities, there will be a class dinner on Friday night (June 2nd), and Pam and Gary Mount will once again open their home (and their new wine tasting room!) for a Saturday dinner and festivities, which will start after the P-Rade and include a Tigerlilies concert at 5:40 p.m. If you plan to attend any of the above, please email Turk Thacher at email@example.com. Read about the Mount’s Terhune Orchards here.
But Edes has done so much more. He has lathered up Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, and the Southeast to have on-going ’66 lunches that have been so successful in the DC area. Things may be beginning to boil in LA. The sky’s the limit wherever there are ‘66ers!
Staś and his wife, Julia Jitkoff, have hosted a Spring Mini-Reunion, ’66 at the Races, for the past seven years. It’s held at their horse farm in Reisterstown, MD. It’s in April and coincides with the Grand National Steeplechase which is right next door. This year’s event was awesome---the venue, the food, even the Races in the rain. About 30 Classmates and significant others visited and had a ball.
Communications. You can’t believe what Jon Holman has done. He writes ALL the Class communications---all letters and all emails. He even sends out the birthday cards. This used to be a boring, perfunctory task. Not for Jon. He digs up information on every Classmate and writes them a personal note, over 600 since Reunions. (Let’s hope none of you has been on the police blotter recently.) Read the above Mission Statement again. This is so on-strategy.
Secretary Glenn Goltz, who writes our ’66 column for the PAW, is in constant communication with Classmates. Lots of Classmates, some of whom didn’t even graduate with us but with later classes. Read his column carefully. It’s informative, inclusive, and kind. Also on-strategy. (His notes are on the Class Web Site. FYI)
And Jim Parmentier….he has been working tirelessly for us. His ’66 Support Committee (Jim, Tim Smith, Ruth Krosin, Larry Petrowski, Susan Davis, Pam Wetzel, and Gib Hentschke) continues its work to maintain communications with our Class widows, while at the same time expanding the network of friends calling Classmates who are experiencing some loss, disability, or disruption in their personal lives. This new effort, which we have named the Kreidmann Project (get it? How many times have many of us heard "Kreidmann, here”---an OK phone call at 9:00am; not so much at 4:30am) tries to reach out to Classmates coping with surgical recovery, extended illness, depression, divorce, or loss of a family member…in short all those situations that cause stress in our lives. Reread the Mission Statement…again. Jim and his Committee are all over it.
Now may be the time for all of us to thank Norm Tabler, Assistant Secretary, our death announcement and Memorials writer, and two Classmates who actually execute our communication---the technical gurus, John Hart and Leighton Chen. Let me give you a recent, if uncomfortable, example. Our Classmate, Don McCabe, even though he was very sick, made it to the 50th but died soon thereafter. Jim Parmentier was well aware of Don’s illness; he kept in touch with Don’s close friends. When Don died, Jim notified Norm, John, and Leighton. Within two days, Norm had written a very nice piece on Don’s passing and John and Leighton had an email, with photos, out to the Class. A couple of our friends in the Alumni Office are astounded at how competent our Class is in using email---way ahead of any other class and even more efficient than the University. Kudos: Norm, John, and Leighton.
Participation. Jim Merritt, Alumni Day Chair, did a marvelous job in running our Alumni Day Dinner in February. We had over 100 Classmates, significant others, undergraduates, and friends in attendance. We’ve held this dinner, featuring a speaker who is either a classmate or has strong '66 connections, for over 20 years. T. R. Reid, our speaker this year, discussed his latest book, A Fine Mess, which has received wide publicity in the last few months. Some have said Alumni Day beats Reunions for being able to really spend some time with Classmates. If you haven’t attended the Dinner, give it a try next February. During the Alumni Day Dinner, we awarded Jody Kretzmann the first ’66 Locomotive Award. It is presented to that Classmate who has done extraordinary work in their chosen field of endeavor.
Jody's work in the areas of Education and Community Service is so extensive it would take several emails to review. I suggest you Google John Kretzmann. It's a humbling experience. He is the embodiment of this Award---'66 in the Nation's Service. The Award originated in the mind of our VP of Participation, Roller Leahy. The Award itself was constructed by Staś Maliszewski in his shop. The front plate recognizes the recipient, Jody, and the plate on the other side has the original Locomotive Cheer.
Bill Lutz has jumped in with both feet extracting money from us with a smile. Bill has a wonderful tone going about his job. He’s dedicated but very personal. He, like Jon Holman, has taken to writing personal letters to Classmates regarding AG. He’s doing a great job in increasing participation in AG in this off year.
Looking forward toward our 55th , Staś, John, and Leighton will crank up FLIX ’66 which was fun for all and so instrumental in increasing participation in our 50th.
I’d be remiss in not mentioning Stitz (Dave Stitzer) and Dennis (Davis). While they don’t fall neatly into any of the above three categories, please know that they have "paid attention” to our finances over these past several years and that has held us in good stead. Our best pal in the Alumni Office will not disclose how we’re doing financially compared to other Classes, but she says we are "doing very well.”
In conclusion, a number of your Classmates are having fun and doing extraordinary, on-strategy things for us. Check in with any of us when you feel like it, especially if you’d like to help. The outlook for next year and the next four years is "more of the same.” If you’re wondering what I, as president, am doing, the answer is not much; your Classmates are getting it done so very well.
Semper Fi, Kit…on behalf of John, Jon, Roller, Glenn, Norm, Stitz, and Dennis