PU Alumni Take Time Out from Reunions Revelry to Support Local Nonprofits

Written by
Donald Gilpin, Town Topics
May 24, 2023

Princeton University Reunions, which will get underway later this week, call to mind images of colorful, high-spirited gatherings — eating, drinking, dancing, and marching in the  P-rade.

Less conspicuous perhaps, but an increasingly significant component of the reunions experience for many Princeton alumni are community service projects, and this year returning alumni will be partnering with five local nonprofits on an unprecedented scale.

The projects will take place at the Rise Thrift Store in Hightstown from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25; at the Princeton YMCA on Thursday from 1:30 to 4 p.m. with the Princeton Kindness Food Project; and on Friday at the Lewis Center for the Arts, 122 Alexander Street on the Princeton University campus, where hundreds of returning alumni and guests are expected to be working with Womanspace, HomeWorks, and Kids Against Hunger.

Returning for his 40th reunion, Gene Chollett, a 1983 Princeton University graduate, is one of the leaders in planning these community service projects for his class, six other classes, and graduate school alumni.

“When we gather at our reunion, I think it’s a wonderful thing to have community service be a part of that gathering,” said Chollett, emphasizing the University motto of “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” “To incorporate a community service project within our reunion gatherings is very consistent with what we do 365 days out of the year across the world as alumni.”

He continued, “We haven’t done this on the scale we’re doing it this year, and doing it together provides a tremendous experience for alumni and guests at reunions. People love to do service projects — and why not? We’re making a big community service project a part of the reunions DNA for the classes from their first reunion to their 50th.”

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