PTS Alumni/ae Association—Alive and Well!
“I didn’t know Princeton Seminary had an alumni/ae association.” That’s a comment I have occasionally heard during my 14 years serving here at the Seminary. My response when I first arrived was, “It does, and there are more than 10,000 members.” Each year we add well over 200 new members, so now there are more than 12,000 members. Maintaining correct addresses itself is a significant task: we average more than 1,200 unknown addresses at any given time.
In the days and weeks following Tuesday, September 11, I vividly saw how global the alumni/ae association is when alumni/ae sent emails from all over the world to ask about friends in New York and Washington, and to voice concern for the world. Lance Woodruff’s article “Remembering Connections through War and Peace” in the summer/fall 2001 issue of inSpire is further testimony to the boast that former President James I. McCord used to make that Princeton Seminary could hold an alumni/ae gathering in any major city in the world.
What binds people together as an association of alumni/ae of Princeton Seminary is a combination of affections: for the place; for specific people like classmates, faculty, and staff; for a specific time in life; and sometimes for the remembrance of a specific adversity.
An alumni/ae executive council is first mentioned in historical records of the Seminary in 1896, 81 years after the first class graduated in 1815. In 1986 my predecessor, Dan Thomas, guided the development of a design for a representative structure for the alumni/ae association. Before that time, an alumni/ae executive council had existed as a self-perpetuating group of alumni/ae who primarily lived in close proximity to the campus. In 1986 that group was transformed into an elected body from twelve regions established across the country, with an international representative selected at large. Since 1986 more the 60 alumni/ae have been elected to serve on the Alumni/ae Association Executive Council (AAEC). I am grateful to all of them for the broad range of gifts they brought as representatives of graduates around the world.
The work of the AAEC has varied during these last 15 years, both carrying concerns from the Seminary out to alumni/ae and bringing concerns from alumni/ae back to the Seminary. The development of a childcare center grew out of the advocacy of alumni/ae through the AAEC. When the Seminary sent out an appeal for support of the Miller Chapel Restoration Project and Scheide Hall, alumni/ae generously gave $1,559,000.
The AAEC hopes to have a more extensive alumni/ae web site in the near future with regular features for and by alumni/ae ministering in a variety of fields and settings. If you have concerns you would like heard here at the Seminary, I urge you to contact one of the members of the AAEC. They are listed on the alumni/ae web page at http://www.ptsem.edu/ bond/aaec.htm .
The Alumni/ae Association is here to serve you. In fact, it is you (and 12,000 others who studied at your alma mater), so we more than welcome your participation.
© Copyright 2001 Princeton Theological Seminary