Alumni Day was first observed on Lincoln's birthday in 1915. Designed to give alumni a glimpse of campus life when the University was in session (and not just at commencement or Reunions), the event drew 100 people in what the PAW called "an intellectual pilgrimage" to Princeton. From 1916 to 1955, Alumni Day took place on Washington's birthday; thereafter, it was and remains observed on the Saturday nearest to February 22 (when at all possible avoiding the three-day holiday weekend associated with Washington’s birthday).

Today, Alumni Day draws over 1,000 alumni, parents, friends and family. At the Alumni Day luncheon, several awards are presented to alumni in recognition of their achievements and volunteer service. Alumni Day also includes a panoply of engaging academic content featuring Princeton alumni and faculty. At 3:00 p.m. in the University Chapel, the Service of Remembrance honors those Princetonians — alumni, students, faculty and staff — whose deaths were recorded during the prior calendar year.