Princeton-Blairstown Center to become independent of the University
Beginning July 1, the Princeton-Blairstown Center, a recreation and wildlife center serving the University and the surrounding community, will cease to be classified as a supporting organization of the University. The Center’s independence will allow it to increase its focus on its mission of serving urban youth of the New York and New Jersey region.
PBC, an independent nonprofit organization which offers summer and school-year camps and outdoor programs for children, has also hosted Outdoor Action programs and retreats for University organizations at its 263 acre-facility in Blairstown, N.J., roughly 60 miles from campus.
The decision to terminate PBC’s classification as a supporting organization will allow PBC to focus on goals independent of the University’s interests by regaining complete control over its board members, University General Counsel Peter McDonough explained.
The classification was attained through PBC’s own efforts in 1995.
Currently, because PBC is classified as a supporting organization of the University by the Internal Revenue Service, the majority of its trustees must be appointed by the University.
Although PBC is able to consider its own mission goals as an independent organization, it must ensure that its actions fall in line with the University’s mission goals, McDonough explained. For example, the Princeton-Blairstown Center ran the University’s OA program until it was brought back fully under the office of the Vice President for Student Life.
But University and PBC representatives are now currently in the process of altering their classification. After the process is complete, “its entire board then will be able to focus exclusively on what I’d call the mission of PBC, as distinguished from PBC as a supporting organization of Princeton University, and the focus on how PBC should do that,” McDonough explained.
The termination of PBC’s official relationship with the University will also affect the classification of the Center’s employees. While PBC employees are currently considered University employees on lease to PBC, they will become employees of PBC after July 1.
The change in the Center’s official classification will have no perceived effect on the experience of University organizations and community members who presently make use of the Center. Students who use the location as a retreat destination or who become counselors at the Center’s summer camp will continue to deal with the Center in the same fashion as before. The OA program will continue to send groups of freshmen to the Center as in previous years, OA director Rick Curtis ’79 confirmed.
The Executive Director of PBC, Wardell Robinson-Moore, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
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