History


Alliance Française de Princeton
PO Box 1165
Princeton, NJ 08542-1165
info@allianceprinceton.com


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History


Bonjour!
Welcome to the Alliance Française de Princeton et da sa region – one of the newest Alliance chapters in the United States. We are part of the worldwide network of Alliances Françaises.

Our story began in 2005. A light bulb went on for two local residents: why does Central Jersey not have its own Alliance Française? For such a densely populated, accessible, cosmopolitan location as Princeton, it seemed strange that there would be no chapter of the Alliance.  Unknown to each other, two Princeton-area residents reached out to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ask what needed to be done.

The answer made the creation of an Alliance Française chapter appear simple. So, introduced by the Embassy, Anthony Fuller and Susan Burns got together to launch a campaign: Central Jersey Should Have its Own Alliance Francaise! Before long flyers with the campaign’s mascot, a little French Bulldog, began to appear on noticeboards all over the region. A public meeting was planned to test the waters and find out if central Jersey really wanted its own Alliance Française.

Neither Susan nor Anthony had any idea what the response would be. Perhaps ten, fifteen, maybe twenty souls would show up – enough to fill the front row. So when Anthony rose to deliver his presentation to a packed audience of almost seventy people, both he and Susan knew that the campaign would be a resounding success.

It was however an arduous process to bring the Alliance to life. A local chapter cannot just use the symbol and the name. In order to be recognised as a fully-fledged branch, the Paris-based headquarters of the worldwide Alliance Française must grant approval. And the only way to achieve this is through submitting a business plan and request for recognition. One person cannot do this, not even two together. Instead a small team of committed citizens emerged as the Steering Committee and worked diligently for many months on the plan for an Alliance chapter in Princeton.

Despite some setbacks 2006 turned out to be a big year for the Alliance. Regular conversation groups started, public meetings took place, cooking demonstrations were held – and the business plan was submitted. All the while, ever growing numbers of potential members signed up for the mailing list. By the end of the year more than 160 people were regularly receiving news about the Alliance.

Finally on 13 December 2006 word came from Paris: the business plan had been approved! At last, the Alliance Française de Princeton et de sa region was real. All the efforts of the Steering Committee and the many supporters across the region had paid off.

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