Biography and History

Though informal fundraising groups acting under the auspices of the Graduate Council had used the name since the 1920s, the Princeton University Fund as it came to be known was officially assembled in 1940 to provide a permanent organization dedicated to annual giving and other fundraising efforts. Prior to this time University alumni had been subjected to appeals from a number of diverse fundraising bodies, each with a different mission and target. While the newly created Princeton University Fund did not purport to replace these organizations, it did offer a more organized mission and annual giving program, and was generally more successful in its efforts as a result. The fund was headed by a board made up of three trustees, three graduate council members, three faculty, one undergraduate, one non-princetonian, and the president and financial vice-president of the University as ex officio members (who took an active part in most board meetings). The board oversaw the activities of several sub-committees, the most important of which were Annual Giving, Bequests, and Special Gifts. One notable program overseen by the Princeton University Fund was the Class Memorial Insurance Fund, in which alumni would purchase small life insurance policies and then name their respective class fund as a primary beneficiary. After the Office of Development was created by the University in 1956 the Princeton University Fund continued to operate, however by 1967 the bulk of its responsibilities had been taken over, and by the end of the decade it had been completely absorbed into that office.

Source: From the finding aid for AC201

  • Princeton University Fund Records. 1877-1972 (inclusive), 1938-1956 (bulk).

    Call Number: AC201

    Though informal fundraising groups acting under the auspices of the Graduate Council had used the name since the 1920s, the Princeton University Fund as it came to be known was officially assembled in 1940 to provide a permanent organization dedicated to annual giving and other fundraising efforts. Consists of detailed committee minutes and correspondence of the Princeton University Fund. Also included in the collection are annual fundraising reports, promotional materials and clippings, and organizational charts.