As Princeton University celebrated its 250th anniversary on Charter Day in 1996, economics professor Burton G. Malkiel *64 announced plans to form a new center for community service at Princeton University — an endeavor that would not only pay homage to the University’s informal motto “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity,” but also strengthen and expand upon the University’s long-standing tradition of service and civic engagement. 

Fueled by this call to action, John Pace Jr. ’39, John C. Bogle ’51, Carl Ferenbach ’64, Peter Ochs ’65 and many other contributors joined the movement, forging a path to create the Pace Center in 2001. The Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s mission is to make service and civic engagement part of the Princeton student experience. 



Burton G. Malkiel *64 and Dorothy Bedford ’78 begin to plan celebrations for the University’s 250th anniversary and re-emphasize the University’s long-standing commitment to service.

The Board of Trustees approves plans by Bedford and Malkiel to develop a new organization to support and tie together campus community service efforts as a centerpiece of the University’s celebrations.

John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 gives the first gift to establish a center for community service. 



Plans are announced to form an official Center for Community Service at Charter Day.

“It will show that community service is not simply a useful add-on, a discretionary extracurricular activity, but rather an essential part of a liberal education.” - Burton G. Malkiel *64

Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro *64 offers his staunch support as alumni, including among others, John C. Bogle ’51, Carl Ferenbach ’64, and Peter Ochs ’65, contribute gifts in support.



The Pace Center for Community Service is founded with Sasa Olessi Montano, former executive director of the YWCA Trenton, named as director. The Center is named for Pace Jr. ’39 and his wife Augusta Pace and resides in the Frist Campus Center. 

“Service is not given. Service is a give and take. Students need to be open to also receive from the people who they are providing service to.” - Sasa Olessi Montano (2001-2005)

At her installation ceremony, President Shirley M. Tilghman emphasizes the value of service and leadership “to help fulfill Princeton’s obligation to society and bring true meaning to our motto ‘Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.’”


The High Meadows Post-Graduate Fellowship program, funded by Ferenbach ’64, begins to connect graduated seniors to careers in environmental nonprofit organizations. 

A Student Task Force on Civic Values at Princeton University opens a dialogue on campus about the relationship between higher education and public service at Princeton. The Task Force examines peer institutions and makes recommendations to inform the University’s approach to service.



Kiki Jamieson, former lecturer in the Politics department, starts as the first Class of 1951 Director of the soon-to-be renamed Pace Center for Civic Engagement.

“Our goal is to connect public service with the academic mission of the University, and we do so by facilitating learning, teaching and action in the public interest.” - Kiki Jamieson (2005-2010)

The Pace Center strives to raise awareness of the full spectrum of service at Princeton by teaming up with the Undergraduate Student Government to organize Princeton in the Nation’s Service, a month-long series of service activities.




Community House joins the Pace Center. Established by University undergraduates in 1969, Community House’s student-led education service projects and mentorship programs are bolstered to foster ever greater academic support and social-emotional well-being for local underrepresented youth and families. 

The Student Volunteers Council (SVC) joins the Pace Center. With roots dating back to the Philadelphian Society in 1825, the SVC’s student-led weekly service projects and other local-community focused efforts, such as Community Action (CA) - a service orientation program for freshmen, gain greater support and resources to grow and thrive.


Students begin to propose and lead Breakout Princeton social-issue-oriented trips over fall and spring break during the academic year. 

The Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), a corps of civic engagement student ambassadors, takes shape. 

Student advocacy organizations with a civic engagement focus join the Pace Center and continue to flourish.


Funded by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, the Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice program offers summer internships at New York City criminal justice nonprofit organizations. 

The Puttkammer Post-Graduate Criminal Justice Fellowship program is established and funded by Charles W. Puttkammer ’58.


Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) partners with the Pace Center, bringing opportunity for students to connect with nonprofit organizations and Princeton alumni through summer internships across the U.S. and abroad.


Kimberly de los Santos joins the Pace Center as the John C. Bogle ’51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Executive Director.

“Meaningful service is service in which we never stop learning – about others, about the community, about ourselves, about why we need to serve and how to do it well.” - Kimberly de los Santos  (2012-present)

The Pace Center celebrates the service leadership and social impact of its students and community partners with new events, awards and recognition.


Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 signals a renewed commitment to service through campus-wide strategic planning by asking the question: “What must we do to make service central to the mission of the University?”

Students lead an international service trip to Peru to explore the impact of solar technology in rural communities.



The Pace Center publishes the Field Guide to Service, which provides simple steps and exercises to help the Princeton University community prepare, engage, and reflect effectively.


The Pace Center celebrates 15 years of helping Princeton students learn to do service well and have a positive impact in the community.

In honor of his father’s commitment to service at Princeton University, John C. Bogle Jr. and his wife, Lynn Bogle, give a gift that establishes the John C. Bogle ’51 Fellows in Civic Service program. 

In the midst of the humanitarian refugee crisis in Greece, the Pace Center collaborated with Karen Emmerich, assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, to organize a six-week summer trip to support non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups aiding refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


The Pace Center welcomes its first Community Partner-in-Residence, the Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen. In this role, community partners bridge campus and community offering student advisement and more. Subsequent Community Partners-in-Residence join in the academic years ahead (Cherry Oakley, 2018; Benjamin Thornton, 2019). 

The Pace Center and Professor Emmerich follow their summer trip to Greece to support refugee organizations with a second trip during intersession.


Service Focus, a collaboration between the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, and the Pace Center, launches to provide a yearlong intensive experience for undergraduate students across the sophomore year. 

In collaboration with graduate student organizers, the Pace Center brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and community members for a year-long Organizing Praxis Lab, which sought to help participants learn and hone skills of organizing for social justice.


Trenton Arts at Princeton (TAP) is formed as a collaboration between the Department of Music, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Pace Center to build a multi-disciplinary community of artists across Princeton and Trenton, NJ through youth programming, student leadership, community performances, and more. 

Student organizations with the Pace Center and Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) team up to host a three-part Grassroots Organizing 101 workshop series bringing local activists together with undergraduate and graduate students for practical trainings on on- and off-campus community organizing.

Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) becomes a University program with the Pace Center.  

The Pace Center awards Alan Kaplan, lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, and Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones, the Emory L. Ford Professor Emeritus in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the center’s first Community Engagement Awards. This award is given to Princeton faculty, administrators, and community partners who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to service and social justice that transcends the classroom.


In January, prior to the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Pace Center sponsored a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico for students to learn how protestors used art as a tool of activism to cultivate community, joy and collective dignity, as well as pressure to initiate change.

The Pace Council for Civic Values transitions to become the Civic Leadership Council, focusing on community-building and professional skill development for Princeton students.

In response to persistent, recent, and continuing acts of systemic racism, the Pace Center initiates Princeton RISE (Recognizing Inequities and Standing for Equality) fellowships to address inequalities and injustices, particularly anti-Blackness, and to foster enduring and sustained commitment to civic engagement.

Following the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Pace Center shifts to respond to community need with virtual service and civic education opportunities, such as the Summer Food and Nutrition program and Princeton Online Tutoring Network.


The Pace Center celebrates 20 years of making service and civic engagement a central part of the Princeton student experience so that students can respond to the needs of the world in responsible ways.

The Princeton Advocacy and Activism Student (PAAS) Board, forms to support the Pace Center’s student organizations.