From the Nominator
Thrive: Empowering and Celebrating Princeton’s Black Alumni was a three-day conference held on the Princeton University campus in October 2019. Nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni attended all or part of the event. This was the fourth conference to be held for this affinity group since 2006. In the early planning stages of the fourth conference, the steering committee thought it was critical to rename the conference and create a brand that was memorable, forward-looking and action-oriented. Through a rigorous process, the naming and branding subcommittee selected “Thrive,” signaling a call to action for Princeton’s black alumni to work toward thriving individually and as a community. A conference mission was also developed: Inspiring personal and economic growth, and authentically connecting black alumni with the university and one another in measurable ways.
From the Judges
We appreciated how the planning and execution of this event was inclusive, thoughtful and deliberate. “Thrive” exceeded its goals and we loved how each moving part was authentic and true to the mission set out by its planners. Alumni involved in Thrive displayed an emotional connection that spoke not only to their individual commitment to the future of Princeton, but also to the enduring legacy of Black students and alumni at Princeton. We admired the strategy to offer a wide variety of events to make alumni feel welcome, and the inclusion of entrepreneurship programming was an action-focused benefit. The overall event was substantial, memorable and unique, and added to a strong underlayment on which future iterations of the event will grow. Other institutions can learn from the care and commitment shown in the development of this conference.