Hank Rentschler wrote this several years ago.


The Class of 1950 is the only Princeton Class that is a full member of the Center for Economic Policy Studies (CEPS) sharing membership with some 46 other private and corporate members.  Several of the corporate members are, for example, Bloomberg, L.P., Citigroup, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Johnson and Johnson, JPMorgan Chase & Co.and Pfizer.  How did the Class of 1950 join such distinguished company and maintain a current membership?  What does CEPS do?  How can Classmates participate?  Read on for the complete history, and present status.

Think back ('way back) to 1975 - - our 25th Reunion.  The Class Memorial Insurance Policies, so carefully nurtured, were maturing and the University was pushing to have the entire amount donated to Annual Giving.  Jack Wilson (Memorial Insurance Chair) and Bill Maritz (deceased) resisted, and with the enthusiastic backing of the Executive Committee insisted that part of the Policy money be put into an endowment to help support the Economics Department.  The amount set-aside was $57,875.  That amount has now grown to $1,512,282 (Seo Jun 2017) and has generated  considerable income over the past 39 years. For example the Bendheim Center for Finance received $78,815 in 2016.   The Bendheim Center (in the newly developed Romo Babinowitz Building - think old Chemistry Lab) has a greatly expanded function from the old Financial Resource Center,  who were the recipients of our original gift back in 1975.  Its  function is twofold:  First to develop new courses and programs in  finance that will afford exciting learning opportunities to Princeton  students; and second, to establish a leading center for modern financial research.

However all was not well - - - the Deed of Gift specified that the Economics Department would provide periodic reports, so the whole Class of 1950 might enjoy.  This they did not do, and in retrospect, had they tried to do this, the reports would have been of "zero" interest to the Class.  The growing Endowment was assigned to the Financial Research Center which provided arcane financial historical data, and while vital to these economists, was of no interest to any of us.  CEPS did not exist at that time.

Jack Ballard (deceased), who was Class President in 1975, and about 10 years ago worked diligently to erase the barriers that existed and to restore the Class of 1950 to its true relationship to the Economics Department.  After several meetings, some contentious, the Class of 1950 was admitted to full membership in CEPS. This  membership qualifies our Class for outstanding recognition for  Community Services, as defined by the Alumni Council.  (Definition:  For recognition of outstanding contributions by groups of  Princetonians in their efforts to address critical social, economic and environmental needs throughout our society, particularly in the local communities). 

At this time it appropriate to quote from the Deed of Gift in 1975:  "The Class of 1950 Memorial Endowment is intended to encourage research and publication on public policy development concerning taxation, monetary and fiscal practices, wage and price influences, and the impact from government regulation on business enterprise, reinvestment, ability to raise capital and serve the general public, through the process of capital formation in a democratic society."  While this is not the full scope of CEPS, it does, to a degree, describe their present function.

In return, with all past sins forgiven, the Class mounted a campaign to raise $300,000.  This "magic" amount, at 5% will generate $15,000 annual income to continue our active membership - - - this has been done!  Total market value has climbed, under University Investments Portfolio management to $376,808. The University is doing more than OK with its investments.