A Tribute to Ivy Steward Prosper Aeschbacher

By Peter Angelica ’14

The Ivy Club has been fortunate enough to undergo a number of additions and improvements over recent years, perhaps most notably the Great Hall and most recently the stained glass window installed this October in memory of Bob Bennett ’82. While such physical additions to the Club are easily recognizable, there have been a number of contributions made by individuals to Ivy that are not as easy to record. When examining those who have played important roles in the Club’s development, there are few greater than the steward who served Ivy for 35 years, Prosper Aeschbacher.

Though Prosper’s life with Ivy started on the night he served members Stoney Simmons ’42 and James Carey ’29 drinks at the Princeton Inn during the spring of 1942, his life in Princeton, NJ started well before that. Ship logs reveal that Prosper became a naturalized citizen via the Mercer County Courthouse on June 25, 1927, after working as a waiter in both New York and Princeton for the previous six years. During this period Prosper lived with his wife, Alice Aeschbacher, in the apartments that are above what is now Agricola Eatery, formerly Lahiere’s. Records indicate that the two traveled briefly to Europe during that summer, and then returned to their home in Princeton in early September 1927.

Prosper’s next home became 43 Prospect Avenue when he began working at Ivy on April 1, 1942. The account of his tenure at Ivy by Frederic Rich ’77 in his book on Ivy’s history is described fondly as being characterized by the Swiss server’s “courtesy, efficiency, and loyalty.” Such loyalty was surely tested when the Club was closed in 1943 and Prosper was solely responsible for the building’s upkeep a little over a year after his installation. Many of Prosper’s numerous contributions to the Club remain defining Ivy institutions to this day. Beyond instituting such menu staples as omelets for breakfast and hamburgers for Thursday lunches, Prosper, oversaw the permanent installation of the bronze tiger that now resides over the fireplace in the dining room room, with the help of then professor and sculptor Joe Brown.

Prosper’s ability to remember the names of the members even years after their graduation was uncanny. He always made sure to keep a spare room available for any graduate on the second floor, despite the fact that it was only occupied a handful of times each year.

Not much information is available about Prosper after his retirement in 1976. Though he continued to visit Ivy from his home in Princeton Junction through his death in 1988, Prosper still remains a permanent fixture in the Club via his portrait that hangs in the Music Room put up a few years after his passing.

It is important to regularly recognize those who have been very generous to the preservation and continuation of Ivy. Remembering Prosper this fall, however, holds special significance. Specifically, Prosper’s time as steward overlapped with the tenures of three University Presidents (Dodds, Goheen, and Bowen), offering us a lens to appreciate the Club’s ability to remain regardless of the University’s stance towards the eating clubs. Such an understanding is particularly comforting in the wake of President Eisgruber’s installation this fall.

Sachs’ Memorial Scholarship Fund Grows

By Philip Detjens ’60

The 1960 Section of Ivy, originally a group of 34, was unique in many ways. It provided all three of the Rhodes Scholars in the senior class that year, also had the Co-winner of the Pyne Prize, the football and hockey captains, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Undergraduate Council and the President of the Triangle show. As alumni the Section subsequently served the Ivy Club by providing two Graduate Presidents, two Graduate Treasurers, one Graduate Secretary and four Graduate Governors.

One of the three Ivy Rhodes Scholars was Dan Sachs, a football and lacrosse player and a Phi Beta Kappa student. He subsequently went to Worester College at Oxford and was able to win an Oxford Blue playing rugby. Then he went on to Harvard Law School which was unfortunately followed by a cancer diagnoses which took his life at age 28. His portrait, as pictured above, hangs in the Ivy Club.

The Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship was established in his honor in 1970 and was subsequently supplemented by the Class of 1960, who adopted it as its legacy. It provides for two years of study at Oxford and/or one year of independent study abroad. A recent campaign to raise $200,000 by the Class of 1960 for the Scholarship endowment has been successfully achieved thereby ensuring its long term existence as a tribute to a distinguished Ivy Club member and the Class of 1960.

Christopher G. Cavoli ’87 Promoted to Brigadier General

Ivy’s own Chris Cavoli ’87 was recently promoted to the highly regarded post of Brigadier General of the U. S. Army. In this new postion, BG Cavoli will serve as the deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division located in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While at Princeton, BG Cavoli began his dedication to the armed services through participation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Since graduating with his Bachelor’s and obtaining a Masters at Yale, he has served in a wide variety of positions in operational units throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He commanded 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as well as serving as Deputy Commander of Regional Command West in Herat, Afghanistan. BG Cavoli is also a Foreign Area Officer with a concentration on Eurasia, and speaks Italian, Russian and French. Ivy extends its warmest congratulations to Chris and wishes him the best in his heroic leadership on behalf our country’s defense.