Honorary Classmates of 2002 before and after vestment

 

The Class of 2002 Honors the Class of 1952

Although our reunion formally ended with Sunday brunch, the celebration of our achievements continued on Monday, June 3 at the Class Day exercises of the class of 2002. Putting a capstone on the relationship, the class of '02 inducted as honorary members four members of the class of '52: Jim Baker was the Class Day speaker; Roger McLean and Joe Handelman were recognized for initiating, shaping, and conducting the interactions between our classes over the past few years; and Hal Saunders was recognized for his work with members of '02 and other undergraduate classes in sustained dialogue on racial and ethnic relationships.

For all, it was a deeply moving moment and one that we hope will set a precedent for relationships between other pairs of classes so that this
"grandfather" and eventually "grandmother" relationship will become a permanent part of the Princeton scene. Joe will continue on behalf of '52 working to make this one of the "enduring marks" of the class of 1952. The text of Jim Baker's remarkable speech to '02 will appear on this site as soon as it is available. The citations for Roger, Joe, and Hal appear below:


Introduction of Roger McLean and Joe Handelman by Ingrid Fetell ’02

Thank you, Roger and Joe, and welcome.

I am honored to have been asked to speak today on behalf of the class of 2002 about two men who have given so generously to our class over the past four years. I first met Roger McLean and Joe Handelman in the summer of 1998, at a pool party they had organized for a few members of our class who lived near to them. Unlike the buttoned-up, Princeton-sponsored receptions I had attended after receiving my YES! letter, this was a kick-off-your-shoes, backyard get-together, and I think all 15 of us were unsure of how to act. Only one of us actually swam.

But that tentative quality faded almost immediately as we listened to Roger and Joe speak with passion about their experiences at Princeton and their experiences since leaving Princeton. It was clear from the get-go that the great class of 2002 had a grandparent class with an inspiring level of devotion to this University. What they proposed to do was forge a bond that no class had done before them: this intent became realized in the ’02-’52 program.

More than a mentorship program, though it is that in part; more than a vehicle for activities and events, though it is that too, ’02-’52 is, very
simply, a gathering of friends. Due to the initiative of these two incredible Princetonians, our class has been treated to lectures on foreign affairs, astronomy, careers, politics, and the arts, given by alumni who have lived all the history and discovery of which they speak. Due to their tireless commitment, each event has had more members of each class than the last. Due to their responsiveness and resourcefulness, the
program has expanded to include a concert, a newsletter, and a tailgate, and that summer pool party has become an annual affair in seven locations.

So when I say that these two men have become our friends, I mean this sincerely and deeply. When we meet, we talk about our families, trips we’ve taken, and movies we’ve seen. At football games, you’ll see them sporting ’02 sweatshirts. Though in this year’s P-rade we marched with our own class, for the past three years, we have been invited to march with the class of ’52 and carry an ’02-’52 banner. They have adopted us, and we have adopted them right back. So I think it’s only fitting that as we are about to graduate, we make them official honorary members of the one and only class of 2002. And to fully induct you in the class of 2002, I have these two pairs of glow-in-the-dark, 2002 sunglasses for you both to wear. Wear them well.

Thank you, Roger and Joe, and welcome.

Introduction of Hal Saunders '52 H '02 by David Tukey '02

Harold Saunders is a leader, a scholar, a friend, a distinguished voice of peace, and a most dedicated member of the Princeton community.
He graduated from this University as a member of the Class of 1952. After five unfortunate years (he went to Yale for his Ph.D), Dr. Saunders began serving his nation. He served in the White Houses of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford before being appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and Southeast Asian Affairs under President Carter. During this time, he played an important role in the 1977 summit that produced the Camp David Accords. Since he left government in 1981, Dr. Saunders has served as Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation, as a trustee of this University and, now, as the new President of our grandfather class,
the Class of 1952.

Drawing from a breadth of experience in dealing with human conflict, Dr. Saunders and his colleagues conceptualized a framework called Sustained Dialogue for improving relationships strained along ethnic and racial lines. Sustained Dialogue has been implemented most notably in easing civil strife in Tajikistan and, more close to home, in improving race relations on this campus. Since Sustained Dialogue began here at Princeton at the end of our freshman year, Dr. Saunders has spent countless hours helping us to get things going.

What started as two 12-person discussion groups meeting twice monthly to discuss race relations has blossomed into an umbrella organization that has personally affected the lives of nearly two hundred people on this campus. Thanks in no small part to his encouragement, foresight, and patience, Sustained Dialogue shall continue to expand at this University. But, as Dr. Saunders has so quietly and powerfully instilled in me, the greatness of a man or a woman does not lie in accomplishments, titles, or accolades. Instead, it lies in demeanor, integrity, and perseverance. Through his personal humility and contagious warmth, he has made us realize the truth behind one of his favorite phrases: there are some things that governments can do, and there are some things that governments can’t do. Indeed, as we confront issues rooted in strained human relationships, issues that plague our world today, we see that it is nearly impossible for any
administration to legislate effective solutions. To the contrary, it is the responsibility of educated citizens to work together toward creative and
inclusive solutions.

In a time of world disorder, we turn to the example of leaders such as Hal Saunders as we decide how best to enter the nation’s service.
I am deeply moved and highly honored to present, on behalf of the Class of 2002, Honorary Class Membership to one of my best friends, Dr. Harold Saunders.