The Princeton Class of 1978 can now accept online donations. By clicking below, you will be able to make a gift to help the Foundation support deserving Princeton students in their community service projects around the world.
Class of 1978 Foundation
Through the Class of 1978 Foundation, our class continues to help new generations of Princeton University students explore commitment to public service through community service projects in the United States and overseas.In its last 17 years of giving, the Foundation has awarded nearly $230,000 in grants to help underwrite the summer volunteer work of 107 Princeton students.
Each spring, the Foundation solicits proposals from Princeton undergraduate and graduate students. Applications are carefully reviewed and ranked by board members who award five to eight grants of up to $3,500 annually. The number of grants varies depending upon the quality of proposals and the available resources.
The Foundation will begin accepting applications for 2015 grants in mid-February when we have fully entered the Princeton University Student Activities Funding Engine "SAFE" application system. The deadline for submissions will be APRIL 1, 2015.
Please note that this year, continuing the Class of 1978's 35th reunion service commitment, the Class of 1978 Foundation will encourages volunteer work in support of YouthBuild (https://youthbuild.org). For details about the organization and volunteer opportunities, please click here.
Since its inception, the Foundation has stayed true to its mission of supporting students' direct involvement in hands-on community service. Projects are as unique as the grant applicants themselves and the organizations they serve. Foundation recipients have helped build homes in the slums of Belfast and reintroduced biology courses to gutted high schools in conflict torn Eastern Europe. They have helped build a library in Ghana and worked on grassroots economic development, eco-tourism and sustainable agricultural projects in Peru, Honduras, and Belize. They have volunteered with community health initiatives in Cuba and worked with organizations serving urban Aborigines in Australia. Closer to home, Foundation-funded volunteers have helped teach younger students academic and test-taking skills they'll need for college; have briefed immigrants on their legal rights and protections, and have pioneered therapies and programs for hearing impaired elementary students.
"Ultimately, this experience reaffirmed my passion and desire to give back to communities and to other individuals, and to dedicate myself to public service and to making a difference in people's lives," wrote Dana A. Satir '01, who spent the summer of 2000 teaching in a special program for disadvantaged middle school students in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information about the Class of 1978 Foundation or to make a donation, please contact:
David Abromowitz '78
President, Class of 1978 Foundation
History of the Class of 1978 Foundation
Princeton trustee Liz Duffy '88 was among one of the first groups of Princeton students to receive a grant from the Class of 1978 Foundation. That stipend---a few hundred dollars at the time---helped cover Liz's living expenses during the muggy summer she spent in Trenton, New Jersey, after her junior year, volunteering with the "Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies" program.
"That summer I learned that I could use the skills that I developed at Princeton to make a difference in the world --- and have a lot of fun in the process," said Liz, the former executive director of the Ball Foundation, a Chicago area organization focused on career development and educational achievement issues, now head of the Lawrenceville School. "Thanks to the Class of 1978 for launching me on what has been an immensely rewarding career path entirely in the non-profit sector."
Most recently, Teresa Méndez , our 1999 alumna, related that after seven years as a journalist, she is now working on a masters degree in clinicial social work at Smith College School for Social Work,"...returning to the type of public service work that my class of 1978 Foundation grant supported when I was a junior at Princeton University."
Liz and Teresa are among the dozens of Class of 1978 Foundation grant recipients who have been able to explore ways to contribute their talents, energies and resources "in the Nation's Service, and in the Service of all Nations."
About six years after we parted ways in 1978, several classmates began looking ahead to develop ways our class could continue to share the fruits of our education and knowledge to benefit others and to encourage others to do the same. Through our classmates' foresight and generosity --- and the numerous classmates who have subsequently contributed to the Foundation or served on its 15-member board --- our class has sustained a program that has helped new generations explore commitment to public service through a truly stunning array of community service projects in the United States and overseas. Research may be an essential element of a summer's work --- such as the work Amy Anderson '01 did for a non-profit group developing software to help people with profound speech disabilities. But the benefits go far beyond the student's academic enrichment. Not only do these students forgo summer jobs and needed income, but they often serve in areas and in projects --- whether here or in developing countries --- where they experience first-hand the hardships of the people and communities they seek to serve. Grant recipients have also worked in soup kitchens and halfway houses and in job placement and homeless programs. Their work charts the course of profound global issues, as seen in the increase in applicants seeking to work with HIV/AIDS prevention and service projects in Africa, Asia, and South America. Their efforts attest to the intractability of these and other problems --- as year after year applicants return to programs that address the lack of access to economic and educational resources and opportunities that so many of us have been fortunate enough to take for granted.
Listed below are the Class of 1978 Foundation awards made in the past seventeen years:
Summer 2014: The Foundation received 31 applications for funding totaling requests of over $90,000, and from those we awarded eight grants totaling $20,031:
Summer 2013: The Foundation received 23 applications for funding totaling requests of over $74,000, and from those we awarded 5 grants totaling $16,100:
Summer 2012: Seven grants were awarded, totaling, $21,550:
Summer 2011: Eight grants were awarded, totaling, $20,518:
Summer 2010: Five grants were awarded, totaling, $13,450:
- Nushelle de Silva, $3,000, helping with a project to resettle Sri Lankan war refugees back into their villages and develop sustainable infrastructure and economies;
- Sojung Yi, $3,000, internship in Johannesburg, SA, with organization teaching mothers on HIV/AIDS prevention and developing community wide curriculum in this area;
- Kok Hou Chia, $2,000, working for Fadhili Helpers, a community-based HIV/AIDS relief organization in Nairobi;
- Henry Rounds, $3,000, installing solar panels for a clinic in Sierra Leone to power modern lab equipment necessary to improve maternal/pre-natal care;
Albert Liao, $2,450, working with Unite for Sight, in Ghana, assisting local optometrists by coordinating the distribution of glasses; educating villagers about proper eye care and how to access the healthcare that is available to them.
Summer 2009: Seven grants were awarded in 2009, totaling $13,450:
Summer 2008: Six grants were awarded in 2008, totaling $16,000:
- Carl Owens, $3,500 grant: Carl provided intensive writing and reading support for first generation college-bound students at a leadership academy in South Africa
- Laura Kergosian, $2,500 grant: Laura assisted in Manna Project International projects to develop a community health clinic and at a hospital that provides medical care to Quito's poorest residents.
- Alissa Escarce, $3,500 grant: Alissa worked with the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, based in Zacatecas Mexico, to improve conditions of mexican migrant workers through legal advocacy and education;
- Francis Grehan, $3,500 grant: Francis developed a competitive rowing camp for disadvantaged "first people" children in rural British Columbia.
- Whitney Chapman, $1,000 grant: Whitney worked for a Headstart program in rural British Columbia.
Mariko Nakayama, $2,000 grant: Mariko helped establish a children's library in Costa Rica, with literature from around the world to broaden children's exposure to the world and other opportunities.
Summer 2007: Five grants were awarded in 2007, totaling $14,000:
Summer 2006: Five grants were awarded in 2006, totaling $11,400. You can read more about the 2006 projects by clicking on each grant recipient's name:
Summer 2005: Six grants were awarded in 2005, totaling $12,200:
Summer 2004: Five grants of $2,000 each were awarded in 2004:
Summer 2003: Six awards were given in 2003, totaling $9,000.
Summer 2002: Four awards were given in 2002, totaling $8,000.
- Matthew Goldberg '04, $2,000 grant: Working with community health workers on street theater projects in Brazil
- Vanessa Snowden '04, $2,000 grant: Internship with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Puno, Peru working for a local community development organization
- Kerry K. Song '04, $2,000 grant: Internship with Global Service Corporation in Tanzania working on HIV/AIDs prevention education
Arthur R. Williams '04, $2,000 grant: Working with Pedro Kouri Health Institute in Havana, Cuba on community health issues
Summer 2001: Seven awards were given in 2001, totaling $9,000.
Summer 2000: Six Awards were given, totaling $10,800. There were 16 applications that year.
- Bria Coates '03, $2,000 grant: Working with the Sisters of St. Joseph and Australians for Aboriginal Reconciliation (Australia)
- Brooke Jack 02, $1,000 grant: Environmental Education at Selva Verde Eco-Lodge
- Helen Beckler Marrow '00, $2,000-grant: Belize Summer Project (group application --- Latin America)
- Jennifer Morton '02, $2,400 grant: Summerbridge Internship teaching middle school students (San Francisco, California)
- Dana A, Satir '01, $1,400 grant: Summerbridge Internship teaching middle school students (Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Benjamin J. West '01, $2,000 grant: Summerbridge Internship teaching writing to middle school children (Germantown, Pennsylvania)
- Summer 1999: Six awards were given in 1999, totaling $10,780. There were 31 applications that year.
- Teresa M. Méndez '00, $2,000 grant: Working with College Kids in San Francisco, CA, an organization that helps children from low-income communities get into college
- Russell W. Homan '02, $780 grant: Teaching a SAT preparatory course at Granbury High School, Granbury, Texas
- Jen Cannistra '01, $ 1,000 grant: Internship with Summerbridge in San Francisco, CA teaching math classes ("Beyond Algebra') to middle school children
- ChaRandle Jordan '99, $3,000 grant: Developing and teaching a "Summer Scholars Program" offering instruction in mathematics and writing to rising 10th grade students, Meridian High School, Meridian, Mississippi
- Laura B. Eichhorn '02, $2,000 grant: Developing a lab science course for deaf high school students attending the Mississippi School for the Deaf, Jackson, Mississippi
Jane Liu '01, $2,000 grant: Internship with the Lao Family Community Development Program (San Francisco, CA)
Summer 1998: At our 20th Reunion we distributed grants to six recipients, totaling $13,300.
The Foundation expresses its deep appreciation to the following board members who stepped down at our 35th Class reunion after completing their maximum 15 year (three term) tenure: Karen Ali, Lori Lander, Brian Stephenson, and Paul Sleven, and to Estelle Berger, Kay Foran and Jill Silverman who have also left the Foundation Board after long years of service.
Class of 1978 Foundation Officers and Board
David M. Abromowitz, President
Cliff Johnson, Vice President
Clayton Platt, Treasurer
Holly Hexter, Secretary
Valerie Noel Garcia
Jesse Milan, Jr.
Sarah Finnie Robinson
Gwen Feder (ex officio)