History

In 1958, at the request of the Graduate InterClub Council, the Graduate Board of Tower Club, of which James Newman ’26 was chairman, made a study of ways to “strengthen the community of interests between the Prospect Avenue eating clubs and Princeton University,” and issued a report entitled the Tower proposals. The goals of the study were “(1) to help the University achieve its education and financial objectives, and (2) to help Prospect Avenue solve its own increasingly critical social and economic problems, which, if unsolved, will tend inevitably to become the University’s problems, perhaps within the near future.”

The report emphasized the point that “economic considerations for Prospect Avenue as a whole cannot be separated from the social and educational aspects of the Princeton college community. Consequently, a key proposal is to add to Prospect Avenue activities a new and wholesome function–the carrying out of certain educational programs–while continuing to strengthen existing social, eating and rooming functions.”

With the persistence of Newman and the aid of others, several of the basic recommendations were implemented that led to the creation of the Princeton Tower Foundation whose board of directors included members of Tower as well as other clubs. The Foundation was able to assist Tower Club in creating study and seminar facilities, expanding its educational library, providing scholarships to some of its members, and annually appointing a number of faculty fellows, who were encouraged to dine at the club from time to time.

By 1969 the benefits that were accruing to Tower had been observed by the officers of the other clubs, a few of whom were belatedly wondering whether they should affiliate with this successful enterprise. To encourage such affiliation the name officially was changed to the Princeton Prospect Foundation in 1969. It was nearly a decade later, however, before other clubs joined Tower and shared in the benefits of this Foundation that was primarily the creation of James Newman, the longtime devoted chairman of the Tower Graduate Board who also served as chairman of the Graduate InterClub Council during most of the 1960s.

By the early 1980s eight clubs officially were associated with the Foundation: Campus, Cap & Gown, Cloister, Colonial, Elm (now part of Dial, Elm & Cannon), Quadrangle, Terrace and Tower. Since then, Charter, Cottage and Ivy have joined, bringing to 11 the number of Princeton’s eating clubs associated with the Foundation. In the spring of 2000, Tiger Inn joined the Foundation, allowing the Princeton Prospect Foundation to be of use to all of Princeton’s Eating Clubs.