While there have been Princetonians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for many years, alumni formalized the group on December 19, 1980 by creating the Princeton Alumni Association of Dallas (PAAD), a tax-exempt organization with 501(c)(3) status. Eventually PAAD expanded to include the Fort Worth area and changed the name to the Princeton Alumni Association of Dallas-Fort Worth (PADFW).
Informally known as the “Lone Star Tigers,” PADFW organized a number of activities and programs, including:
- An undergraduate community service summer internship program;
- An annual PADFW Scholarship to a local student;
- PADFW Annual Dinners;
- PADFW Annual Holiday Parties, (which for many years were hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Harold Urschel ’51 and held in their home);
- Local performances from campus groups such as the Triangle Show and concerts from the Nassoons;
- Game-watching gatherings of Princeton sports teams at local sports bars;
- Trips to Rangers baseball games;
- Deep Ellum parties;
- And wine tastings.
Dues were collected to support various initiatives both locally and on campus: printing and postage costs for PADFW Newsletters; expenses of University speakers; sponsorship of the undergraduate Lone Star Tigers Barbecue on campus; support of Schools, Careers and Young Alumni Committee activities; and underwriting meal costs for undergraduates and admitted high school students at local alumni events. In the age before TigerNet, PADFW directories were available for purchase.
The mission of PADFW is portrayed in a statement made by PADFW member Penn Laird ’62 during a presentation in December 1990: “We like to describe the Princeton alumni in terms of the 4 C’s: 1) Counseling 2) Contact – Catalyst 3) Connection 4) Community.”
There are a number of other influential members of PADFW whose commitment to the group and this mission was invaluable in its formative years: Watt Matthews ’21, Reilly Nail ’50, Dr. Harold and Betsey Urschel ’51, Dick Schulze ’54, Bill Fleming ’64, John Rush ’64, Sandy Thatcher ’65, Doug and Justine Yeager ’69, Dick Respess ’70, Aaron Kaufman ’72, Wayne Wilcox ’75, Kneeland Youngblood ’78, Dave Maldonado ’80, Shirley Lake ’83, Steve Heussner ’84, Sonja J. McGill ’93 as well as Mr. and Mrs. J. Luther King P’93, P’98.
Many of these individuals remain active members of the group today – a testament to the continued strength of the region’s alumni network. We are grateful to these Princetonians for their tireless efforts to make the Dallas-Fort Worth community a place in which we feel both connected to Princeton as well as a sense of that unique Tiger camaraderie. From that foundation the Princeton Club of Dallas-Fort Worth has emerged, and will continue to build upon the traditions established by this first formal organization of Princetonians in Dallas-Fort Worth.