ABPA President Eric Plummer ’10: “Be the Change”

Eric Plummer '10 at Jadwin Gymnasium

When Eric Plummer ’10 interviews  undergraduate candidates for Princeton,  the Alumni Schools Committee volunteer gives them advice for college from his own experience: “Build what you would like to see.”

Plummer will have a chance to put his advice to work again this year as the president of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

Since Princeton, Plummer has largely lead teams and developed data-driven strategies for companies including Under Armour, Capital One and Lyft. Currently, he is managing director for Silicon Valley Bank.

Building on the energy of the 2019 Thrive conference — he was a steering committee member and ABPA vice president at the time — Plummer hopes to marshal the group’s 5,500 members to keep connected online given current restrictions. His focus as ABPA president is on meaningful community engagement that is “deeper, richer and more efficient.”

His Princeton experience gives him grounds to believe in the possibilities. The New Jersey native grew up hearing stories about his uncle, Roderick Plummer ’72, Princeton’s first Black quarterback. He remembers, at four years old, visiting the former Third World Center on Olden Street for ABPA Reunions cookouts with his father Eric Plummer Sr. ’85, who was a decathlete and javelin specialist.

Arriving on campus as a student, Plummer said, “I prioritized my interactions with other students. I knew the value of a Princeton education wasn’t getting an ‘A’ but getting to know a wide swath of people and be able to relate to them and understand where they came from.”

His four years as an economics major included singing with Old NasSoul, interning at the Fields Center, and being co-president of the Black Men’s Awareness Group and a Butler College residential college adviser. For these activities and many more, he was recognized with the Spirit of Princeton Award his senior year.

Plummer also played on the track and field team like  his father. He captained the men’s varsity team and earned five Ivy League championships, four NCAA qualifications and a Junior National title for shot put. His goal to throw 60 feet became a reality senior year and earned him a spot on the Tigers’ all-time list.

Most of those accolades almost didn’t happen when a herniated disc sidelined him sophomore year. “Those were four long, dreary months of recovery,” he said. “But looking back, it taught me that if you can’t get  to your goal, you have to adapt your approach.” 

The lesson continues to underline how Plummer sees this specific historical moment and the way he approaches work and service.

“In this time of racial unrest, some say ‘Princeton is not really home,’” Plummer said. “But it’s up to each of us to begin the changes that we hope to see to make Princeton home for the next generation.”