Our Success …and Challenges
Charter has had incredible success, with our Club serving approximately 180 members annually with full waitlists. But this success has opened a window to Charter’s future and revealed several pressing needs. Our current membership challenges the ability of Charter’s infrastructure to sustain superior dining and social experiences. Due to limited dining space, members regularly dine in the Great Room, Ferguson-Jacobs Room and even on the staircase. Our female members must still trek upstairs to use the restroom. The clubhouse is inaccessible to students and alumni with mobility challenges. The vintage rope-pulley dumbwaiter imposes logistical constraints. And full use of the clubhouse is hindered without an elevator to move people and supplies.
We Must Act
The need to face these challenges is unavoidable. Princeton continues to grow, with 1,500 students in the Class of 2026. Many other eating clubs have already updated their clubhouses in response. The average club now has 170 members, with some clubs exceeding 200 members. Although we don’t assume Charter will follow a similar path, larger memberships amortize the Club’s considerable fixed costs and thus enable Charter’s life-changing experience to remain affordable to students, an increasing proportion of whom rely on financial aid. To ensure Charter’s future, we need to ensure the clubhouse has the capacity to serve the present membership and accommodate growth.
We are therefore undertaking Project 79, the biggest improvement to Charter’s clubhouse in its 110-year history. This project will address the aforementioned challenges of capacity, accessibility, and efficiency while preserving our Club’s timeless design and feel. It is being designed by Ford 3 Architects, a respected local firm with expertise in historic preservation.
The Importance of Your Gift
We need the support of all our alumni to make Project 79 a reality. Please consider a generous gift pledge payable over three years. Charter’s members will be grateful for your generosity as they experience an even better version of our great club. Naming opportunities, a commemorative plaque, named paver stones and a Project 79 donor book will cement your Charter legacy. Please support Project 79 below for the future of Charter via the links —allowing future members to enjoy the same experience that our predecessors provided us.
The Board of Governors, Undergraduate Officers and Club Management
The Princeton Charter Club