’66-’16 Grandparent Class Mentoring Opportunity

When the Class of 1966 celebrates its 50th Reunion in 2016, the Class of 2016 will graduate. Per recent Princeton tradition, ’66 is therefore the "Grandparent Class” of ’16. One of our Class goals is to establish and implement a special relationship with ’16 and to set a new Princeton University standard with a "Grandchild” class. Walter Bliss ’66 has been our leader in this effort.

Click here for recent Grandparent events.

Although the profiles of ’66 and ’16 are very different, both classes are part of the long Princeton University tradition of commitment to excellence: As to the profile of our Grandchild Class:

  • The 1,360 members were selected from 26,664 applicants [the 806 members of ’66 were selected from a then record 3,928 applicants];
  • The male-to-female ratio is 51%/49% [ours was 100%/0%];
  • They come from 48 states and 57 foreign countries;
  • 60% are receiving financial aid, with no loans [vs. 39% for ’66 with some form of financial assistance, primarily loans];
  • 11.3% are sons/daughters of alumni [vs. 17.5% for ’66];
  • 42.1% are minorities;
  • 11.3% are international students;
  • 11.5% are first-generation college;
  • 57.3% are from public schools, 42.2% from private schools and 0.5% home-schooled [vs. 56% public and 44% private for ’66]; and
  • 16% are varsity athletic prospects, with several members of the class already having had an impact on Ivy League, national and international sports.

Two freshmen are past winners in their local communities of the Class of 1966 sponsored Princeton Prize in Race Relations, and several members of ’16 are recipients of scholarships endowed by our class or individual classmates.

To date, ’66 has hosted several events to foster this relationship, including: 1) a pizza party at Campus Club [now a University facility] over intersession attended by approximately 170 freshmen; 2) a team of five in a local oyster-eating contest; 3) a "Meet the Mayor” luncheon and tour of downtown Princeton for 10 ’16ers; 4) an "Evening of Journalism/Writing” for 20 ’16ers at the home of Sarah and Lanny Jones ’66, featuring presentations by Lanny, Jim Merritt ’66 and Griff Witte ’00 k66; and 5) a "Meet the Superintendent” of Princeton Public Schools for 10 freshmen. [For write-ups and photos about these events, please check our Overall Class Website at www.tiger66.org or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/Princeton66]. In addition, four of the five members of the Class of 2016 Council joined ’66 at our annual class dinner at the Nassau Club on Alumni Day. More events are being planned for the next three years, to include professional networking activities, career panels and social activities. So far all of these activities have occurred on campus or in the town of Princeton.

Starting this summer, however, our two classes are focusing on mentoring opportunities to connect ’66ers with members of the Class of 2016 in their hometowns or wherever they may be working or living. The ’16 Council will send an email to the entire class with a form asking for students to sign up if they are interested in meeting with members of the Class of 1966. Your Class of 1966 leadership hereby requests any and all of our classmates who are interested in meeting with members of our grandchild class to please respond to this email.

Specifically, in areas where many ’66ers live and where there will likely be a significant number of ’16ers working summer jobs (such as New York City and Washington, D.C.), the Class of 1966 is considering hosting events in which grandparents could meet grandkids, and grandkids could meet each other. [Please remember that our grandchildren are not yet 21 years of age and so these must be non-alcoholic events.] In locations where there are few ’66ers and ’16ers, the connections are more likely to be one-on-one relationships/meetings or perhaps attending regional Princeton Alumni Association or Princeton Club sponsored events. This summer the ’66-’16 connections will be initiated by ’66ers. As an example of other types of possible ’66-’16 connections, Turk Thacher, in his capacity as President of the non-profit Baker Industries, has provided a summer internship to a member of the Class of 2016.

We are at the stages of our careers and lives where we are able to provide insights and mentoring opportunities that may be of great value to the members of our grandchild class. And for those of us who have been involved so far in the ’66-’16 relationship, we can attest that the connection can be just as rewarding, if not more so, for the grandparents. It keeps us involved with Princeton University today and, within reason, helps to keep us young.

Please contact class president Charles Plohn (cplohn@aol.com) to sign up now and participate.


Charles Plohn, Ron Landeck, Henry Von Kohorn, David Kinard, Jim Parmentier