Robertson Hall at night, illuminated by rainbow lights

Planning commences for ‘Every Voice: Honoring and Celebrating Princeton’s LGBTQ+ Alumni’

by Advancement Communications
December 20, 2023

Planning for the first alumni affinity conference on campus since 2019 is underway. Scheduled for Sept. 19-21, 2024 and hosted by the University, “Every Voice: Honoring and Celebrating Princeton’s LGBTQ+ Alumni” invites all alumni back to campus for the three-day event. The University conference originally had been planned for 2021 but was postponed due to the pandemic. 

Co-chaired by University Trustee Marisa Demeo ’88 and former University trustees Tim Wu ’84 and Brian Johnson ’99, and led by a 13-person steering committee, the conference will include programming on topics such as social justice, arts, mental and physical health, intersectionality and the history of LBGTQ+ students at Princeton, among others. 

Invitations to a series of focus groups were extended to all alumni with the goal of gathering ideas and feedback for conference programming. Almost 400 alumni participated in 13 conversations held across the country — in-person and virtually — throughout the summer and fall of 2023. Alumni gathered in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Princeton, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and in two virtual sessions. 

Throughout the discussions, alumni conveyed their enthusiasm for the upcoming conference and shared how meaningful it will be for their alumni experience. “The focus groups illustrated that there is a hunger among queer alumni for this community-building event back on campus,” Johnson said. “Princeton is very good at sourcing ideas for the content and the feel for these affinity conferences from alumni themselves. It is deeply intentional about making sure it is going to the alumni to hear what their hopes and dreams and fears are, and then building a conference that is responsive to that.” 

As a result, the “Every Voice” conference will create meaningful engagement opportunities for alumni. “The biggest ‘a-ha’ for me was hearing how eager people are to use the conference to better create a sense of personal community and connection,” said Wu, who attended three focus groups. “One message we heard a lot is that many people are more interested in coming to a conference that offers programming which represents the broad diaspora of our community — to learn how other LGBTQ+ alums, who may be very different from each other, are living their lives to the fullest, even if those lived experiences are very dissimilar to each other.” 

Proposed conference activities include a film festival, book fair, arts showcase, drag show, networking events and more. The conference will be dynamic and interactive, featuring alumni speakers as well as many opportunities for roundtable discussions, networking and socializing. 

“A concept that came up at every focus group is intersectionality, which we are keeping top of mind as we shape the conference.” Demeo said. “Our goal is to create a welcoming space that truly celebrates and honors each individual within this diverse community.” 

Since 2006, Princeton University has sponsored and hosted 12 alumni conferences and one symposium. These gatherings are open to all alumni and are designed to celebrate and engage alumni communities with one another and with the University. Following the 2024 “Every Voice” conference, the next planned affinity conference will celebrate Asian American and Asian alumni in 2026, and an alumni symposium celebrating graduate alumni will be held on campus in 2025 to coincide with the Graduate School’s 125th anniversary.

A conference website,, is now live. Information about the conference, including hotel room blocks, will be added as it becomes available, and a save-the-date postcard will be sent in early 2024.