Biography and History

The Treasurer of Princeton University is charged with the coordination and execution of the receipt, disbursement, custody, and safeguarding of the financial assets and resources of the University. In discharging these responsibilities the Treasurer works closely with the Provost, the Priorities Committee, the Office of the Controller, department heads, and other principal academic and administrative officers of the University.

The Office of the Treasurer is among the oldest at Princeton; it was created in 1748, a year after the first President to the College was appointed. During the 18th and most of the 19th century, the position was held part-time, usually by a trustee or member of the faculty and the first full-time treasurer was not appointed until 1885. In the early days of the position, duties primarily consisted of tracking the college's accounts and income/expenses. Most of the early treasurers held the office for relatively short periods of time which resulted in great inconsistencies in record keeping, however starting in the late 1790's, the treasurer's office appeared to take on a greater level of importance within the University administration. Around this time annual reports and a more systematic kind of financial management began to take place.

The expansion of the college into a full-fledged University necessitated even greater oversight of the institution's finances, and the position was summarily expanded into a full-fledged administrative office with a support staff. Throughout the 20th century the Treasurer proved to be one of the central figures in the ongoing development of the University.

The expansion of the college into a full-fledged University necessitated even greater oversight of the institution's finances, and the position was summarily expanded into a full-fledged administrative office with a support staff. Throughout the 20th century the Treasurer proved to be one of the central figures in the ongoing development of the University.

Treasurer of the College of New Jersey

Andrew Johnston (1748-1750)

Jonathan Sergeant (1750-1777)

ames Caldwell (1777-1779)

William Churchill Houston (1779-1783)

Samuel Stanhope Smith (1783-1786)

Thomas Wiggins (1786-1787)

John Beatty (1787-1788, 1788)

Richard Stockton (1788)

Isaac Snowden (1788-1791)

John Harrison (1791-1795)

Walter Minto (1795-1796)

Enos Kelsey (1796-1810)

Samuel Bayard (1810-1828)

James Sproat Green (1828)

George Stafford Woodhull (1828-1829)

John Van Doren (1829-1839)

John Vredenburgh Talmage (1839-1845)

Charles Smith Olden (1845-1869)

Lyman Sanford Atwater (1869-1870)

William Wirt Harris (1870-1885)

Edwin Curtis Osborn (1885-1896)

Treasurers of Princeton University

Edwin Curtis Osborn (1896-1901)

Henry Green Duffield (1901-1930)

George G. Wintringer (1930-1941, acting to 1933)

George A. Brakely (1941-1953)

Ricardo A. Mestres (1953-1972)

Carl W. Schafer (1972-1987)

Raymond Clark (1987-2001)

Christopher McCrudden (2001-2007)

Carolyn Ainslie (2007- )

Source: From the finding aid for AC128

  • Office of the Treasurer Records. 1754-2009 (inclusive), 1939-2006 (bulk).

    Call Number: AC128

    The Office of the Treasurer is Princeton University's administrative office charged with the coordination and execution of the receipt, disbursement, custody, and safeguarding of the financial assets and resources of the University. The Office of the Treasurer records document the custodianship of Princeton University's finances and contain correspondence, annual reports, budgets, audited statements, and other finance-related materials which are related to the University's assets, investments, cash flow, and spending practices.