To the Editor:
On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the Historical Society of Princeton held its public annual meeting, with the Board and staff extending gratitude to the community partners, members, donors, and volunteers who all help execute the important work of HSP. I want to echo those sentiments here.
2017 was an exciting time of growth and innovation for HSP, a hub for experiential history education and stewardship of collections and places. By promoting historical curiosity at all ages, we are building citizens who are critical thinkers, who consider nuance and multiple perspectives, and who know how to make informed decisions. This is essential for healthy civic culture.
With this in mind, we devoted our energies in 2017 to expanding the diversity and reach of our public programming, often partnering with other like-minded community organizations, which ultimately doubled the audience for our history education services.
We launched the Historical Fiction Book Group, with the Princeton Public Library, the Open Archive series, the Speaking of History series of panel discussions, and family programs such as the Chasing George! bike ride. Walking tours, including new themed tours, continued to grow in popularity.
We amped up our co-curricular support for schools, completing third-grade local history curriculum units, offering professional development free-of-charge to teachers, and piloting outreach programs for high school students that promote exciting, skills-based history classrooms.
These are just a few of the many public history programs HSP provides, benefiting thousands of people each year. Our supporters and partners make this work possible. In particular, I would like to celebrate the efforts of HSP’s stellar volunteer trustees. I am thrilled to announce that the HSP Board elected four new trustees during the Annual Meeting. All are members of the Princeton community and together form a cohort of unprecedented quality.
Peter Gibson is the founder and owner of Princeton Online, a hyper-local community web presence in Princeton. He has served on many local nonprofit boards, including those of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (now Learning Ally).
Caroline Hayes is a co-founder and principal of Finitive, a technology company that facilitates direct institutional investment into the alternative lending sector. She has over a decade of experience advising and investing in companies within the financial services industry.
Matthew Henderson is a managing partner at Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, where he handles the firm’s finances. He is a Princeton native, and previously worked for Bear Stearns on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and in brand management for Johnson & Johnson.
John Marshall is a 45-year Princeton resident and the former owner of Main Street Café, Bistro, and Catering from 1988-2016. He is currently the president of the Princeton Merchants Association and has also served as the president of the Friends of Carson Road Woods since 2003.
The annual meeting culminated in a lively lecture by Seton Hall University’s Professor Emeritus Richard J. Connors. In honor of the centennial of World War I, he delivered a talk entitled New Jersey and the Great War, outlining New Jersey’s important economic function in the war, and the lasting impact of the war industry. HSP supplemented the talk by displaying collection items that illuminated the war’s effect on Princeton.
The annual meeting is always a happy celebration of the Princeton community and HSP’s contributions to its vibrancy. We thank everyone in attendance and all those who help advance the work of the Society throughout the year.
Executive Director, Historical Society of Princeton