Class Announcements: 2015
Announcements from 2014 are here


Birkelund Gift Funds New Certificate Program in History and Diplomacy; Kotkin and Mullen to Co-direct

August 5th, 2015/Development Com...

A $5 million gift from investment executive John P. Birkelund ’52 has established the Program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy at Princeton University. The new undergraduate certificate program, available to students beginning in the 2015–16 academic year, will provide preparation for careers in governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that preserve stability and improve lives around the world.

Stephen Kotkin, the John P. Birkelund ’52 Professor in History and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Charles and Marie Robertson Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School, will co-direct the program.

"John Birkelund’s generous gift will support Princeton’s strengths in the humanities and social sciences, which are crucial for women and men planning careers in international affairs. He is helping Princeton extend its commitment to service to our nation and the world,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and Princeton’s Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education.

In addition to requiring courses in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of History, the interdisciplinary program will provide students with the opportunity to take applicable classes from politics and other social sciences, as well as those exploring particular regions of the world, such as Near Eastern studies and East Asian studies. Students of any major may pursue the certificate.

The program will offer a summer internship with an appropriate government agency or NGO. It will also foster students’ engagement with practitioners of diplomacy and international relations through visiting professorships, short-term fellowships, workshops, conferences, public lectures, and field trips.

"There is nothing quite like this at any of our peer institutions—no program that combines immersion in both history and the analysis of contemporary international affairs, much less one that supercharges this combination with the invaluable practical experience of an internship. We see this as a real boon for Princeton,” said William Jordan *73, chair of the Department of History and Dayton-Stockton Professor of History.

Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, has been a visiting professor at Princeton in 2012 and 2014, teaching a Woodrow Wilson School seminar, "US Military and National and International Diplomacy.” Kotkin, a Princeton faculty member since 1989, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on modern authoritarian regimes, global history (1850–present), and Soviet-Eurasian history. He holds a professorship created by a previous gift from Birkelund. "The two co-directors bring different, but highly complementary backgrounds to this program,” said Rouse. "The students will benefit from the overall breadth of their combined expertise.”

Birkelund is a co-founder of and senior advisor to Saratoga Partners, an independent, New York-based merchant banking firm that pursues investments in United States-headquartered companies that it believes have opportunities for enhanced growth and productivity. His gift was inspired by his interests in the complex interplay among history, diplomacy, policy, and culture.

"My interest in the practice of diplomacy stems from my military experience in Berlin from 1954 to 1956, which served as an isolated focal point of the Cold War, and where virtually every day brought a need for negotiation,” Birkelund said. "That we transited these difficult years is attributable to the flexibility and determination of our armed forces and diplomats.”

A Woodrow Wilson School major at Princeton, Birkelund was a US Navy officer and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Northwestern University. He was formerly chairman and CEO of Dillon, Read & Company, Inc., and thereafter, chairman of UBS Investment Bank. He is a former director of the New York Stock Exchange.

Birkelund has been active with the International Executive Service Corps, a nonprofit organization that harnesses the talents of volunteer experts and professional consultants to strengthen businesses and public and private institutions in developing countries. For many years, Birkelund has been particularly engaged in Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe. Appointed by President George H. W. Bush, he has organized and chaired the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, which since 1990 has supported economic reform and stability in Poland.

He also directs the Birkelund Fund, a family charitable organization that supports numerous educational and cultural organizations and institutions, Princeton University among them. He serves as a life trustee at the New York Public Library, and is a trustee emeritus of the Frick Collection. He is a chairman emeritus of the Polish American Freedom Foundation and the National Humanities Center. A member of his class’s executive committee, he has also been a special gifts solicitor for Princeton’s Annual Giving campaign.


The University reports the death of Ray Chirurgi  in Livermore, CA on April 7th.
Posted July 13
The University reports the death of Albert S. Redway  in Woodbury, CT on June 24th.
Posted July 9
The University reports the death of Hugh Ferguson  in Venice, FL on May 28th.
Posted July 9
Don Malehorn reports that Ruthe Battestin called him to say that her husband, Martin C. Battestin passed away in Charlottesville, VA on May 15th after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. Marty had an outstanding career as a professor of English literature at the University of Virginia.
Posted May 20

We have recently learned of the death of  Edward D. Gregory, Jr. of West Chester, PA on April 11, 2015. 
Posted May 4






We have recently learned from Ted McAlister of the death of  William V. Healey in Westworth Village, TX on April 30, 2015. 
Posted May 2


Class Notes for the June 3 issue of PAW are now posted on the Secretary's Page.
April 21

We have recently learned from Dale L. Piret of the death of Paul David Piret of Panama City, FL on April 9, 2015. 
Posted April 20

We have recently learned from Janet M. Hemminger of the death of her husband Chuck Hemminger  of Northampton, MA on April 15, 2015. Chuck volunteered for many years with the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee.
Posted April 17

Posted April 14 We have recently learned of the death of Klaus Rifbjerg on April 4, 2015 in Denmark at the age of 83 after battling a long-time illness.
Posted April 14

Class Notes for the May 13 issue of PAW are now posted on the webpage.
April 2

We have recently learned of the death of John Bryan of New York, NY, on March 20, 2015.  A memorial service will be held at St. James' Church, 865 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 1:00pm EDT. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in John's memory to the Central Park Conservancy or the New York Philharmonic.
We have recently learned of the death of Charlie Schaefer of Lafayette Hill, PA, on March 23, 2015.  Service details and obituary will be posted as soon as available.  



James Baker on Public TV:  Now 84, Baker was instrumental in getting three presidents elected, served in top posts for two of them, and was a central player in some of the most momentous events of the late 20th century. As White House chief-of-staff,Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State, he respectively facilitated the Reagan Revolution, negotiated the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and brought the Cold War in for a soft landing. Baker also put together the unprecedented coalition of nations that fought the first Gulf War, and he organized the Madrid Peace Conference that brought Arab nations and Israel to the table for the first time in modern history.Candid revelations from Baker and firsthand accounts from former Presidents Clinton, Carter, and Bush Sr.; former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger; and journalists, authors and historians provide an eye-opening, behind-the-scenes story of power, persuasion and diplomacy at the highest levels. The film is written,directed and produced by Eric Stange with John Hesse as executive producer.
. . . And in Time Magazine in the March 30th - current - issue of Time Magazine's 10 Questions section, Jim talks with Michael Duffy of Time about current events and his career.

Posted March 23
We have recently learned of the death of John Bartholomew Lee of Freehold, NJ, on March 13, 2015.  Services were held March 16th at st. Rose of Lima Cemetery in Freehold.  His obituary is posted on the Memorials 2015 page. 
Posted March 23

Princetoniana "Take It or Leave It” Tent
Get your paws on another alum’s unwanted Princeton memorabilia! Rather than discarding your unwanted, small Princeton collectibles and apparel, bring them to the new "Take It or Leave It” tent at Reunions [in May] so that they can be discovered by another alum or guest who will treasure them. Items not claimed by a new owner by 9:00 PM on Saturday will be disposed of. Leaving an item does not entitle giver to an acknowledgment of donation and receipts will not be given. To 9:00 PM. Sponsored by the Alumni Council Committee on Princetoniana and the Alumni Council Committee on Reunions. East Pyne, South Lawn Tent.

Mibs Southerland, Office of Alumni Affairs
posted February 17


We have recently received a letter from Andrew Grant '16, recipient of the Bruce A. Beery Scholarship. 
Posted February 16



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