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Novogratz gift endows Bridge Year Program

  • The inaugural group of Bridge Year volunteers, and the 10th cohort (next).

  • The Bridge Year volunteers of the 10th cohort.

By University Advancement

A transformative gift from an alumni couple will enable Princeton to expand its Bridge Year Program, which allows a group of incoming undergraduate students to spend their first two semesters as Princetonians engaged in community service abroad.

The gift from Michael Novogratz, a member of Princeton’s Class of 1987, and Sukey Cáceres Novogratz of the Class of 1989, will allow the program — now known as the Novogratz Bridge Year Program — to offer its life-changing experiences to more students.

“Since 2009, the Bridge Year Program has oriented its participants to the wider world, heightened their commitment to service, prepared them for leadership, and inspired personal transformation,” said Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. “I am deeply grateful to Mike and Sukey Novogratz for their generous support of the program since its inception, and for making Bridge Year a permanent part of our educational program. Their extraordinary gift will enable generations of Princetonians to embark on a path of global citizenship as Bridge Year scholars.”

Bridge Year, housed in the Office of International Programs, is a tuition-free program that allows a select number of incoming students to engage in nine months of University-sponsored service at one of five international locations — Bolivia, China, India, Indonesia and Senegal. At each location, Princeton works with a partner organization that has a history of running meaningful and engaging programs and a strong track record for managing student health and safety.

“I believe that Bridge Year gives students an incredible opportunity to prepare for their role as leaders of an increasingly interconnected world,” said Michael Novogratz. “At the same time, it offers abundant opportunities for introspection and personal growth. Students return from it with a real sense of purpose, and an interest in being of service to their communities and to the world. The combination of the stellar Princeton education and a commitment to helping others is powerful.”

“Mike and I have met many Bridge Year scholars; the positive impact the program has had on their lives — and on the lives of the people in the communities they have served — is extraordinary. We’re very happy to help make that possible,” said Sukey Novogratz.

Read more about the Novogratz Bridge Year Program at bridgeyear.princeton.edu.