The Alumni/ae Association Executive Council began years ago as an advisory
board that planned events related to visits throughout the country by our
Seminary president. The scope and representation of the council broadened
under Dan Thomas, who instituted the election of council members by
regional ballots. Now the council represents 12 regions of the country and
includes several at-large and non-Presbyterian members.
The Reverend Jon Black (Class of 1972)
is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and serves
as secretary of the Alumni/ae Association Executive Council. He represents
Region 5 on the council, which includes western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
If you would like to continue the conversation, please email the Alumni/ae
Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today it continues to plan and lead the annual reunion event, but it’s
service has also broadened. Members of the council continually serve as
“ears,” listening to other alumni/ae speak their hopes and fears, joys and
concerns about their seminary. The council listens to students share their
experiences on campus and their hopes for ministry. Professors,
administrative staff, department leaders, and the president often speak to
us concerning their perspectives on the life and work, mission and
ministry, of Princeton Seminary.
Listening has often moved us to prayer and to action. For example, the
council has helped establish PTS’s childcare program, which is now
expanding. Counseling services for seminary students, once a need and
concern, are now being offered on campus. Housing for continuing education
families, a strengthened spiritual life for students, and enhanced use of
online Seminary resources are other areas we have been able to address and
strengthen. All of these programs have grown from comments heard from our
The council, then, also serves as a voice. Together, members lend
support to the Seminary community with words of appreciation and
encouragement. They voice the inquiries raised by other alums. They share
words of concern and verbalize hopes for the Seminary’s life. Members of
the council invite continued conversation with alums in order to give
expression to shared hopes, needs, concerns, and joys. Let there be
continued listening and speaking and praying together as we move toward
Princeton Seminary’s 200th anniversary celebration.