Letter from the President

Dear Cap Alumni, 

RJ Hernandez '19, Cap and Gown President

RJ Hernandez '19, Cap and Gown President

Happy autumn! It is my pleasure to write to you once again about all that is new at the Cap and Gown Club. After working closely with the former officers throughout the Spring semester, our office corps has hit the ground running this Fall. Despite a rainy September, we welcomed back our membership with an indoor cookout and a rousing Lawnparties Brunch provided by Chef Greg and our fantastic kitchen staff. Weekly activities at the club resumed with the start of classes.

Within our first couple of weeks, we hosted Fall Bicker and welcomed 13 new juniors into the Illustrious. We had 30 total bickerees, a slight increase from the 29 bickerees last fall. Bicker was well-organized by Membership Chair Jacob Schwartz ’19, who kept everyone thoroughly engaged with his entertaining personality while leading discussions. He was assisted by Technology Chair Ryan McCaffrey ’19.


Around the clubhouse, Treasurer Meaghan Attard ’19 and House Manager Theo Tamayo ’19 have helped make things all the more cozy and competitive in the midst of construction on the Cox Wing. Theo helped organize the purchase of some new couches in the game room, and Meaghan complimented this with a brand new WiiU. Mario Kart has taken our membership by storm, culminating with an exhilarating Mario Kart Tournament at our latest Members’ Night organized by Social Chair Esteban Aguas ’19.

Club Night Thursdays continue to provide diverse dishes week in and week out. Through the collaborative efforts of Vice President Josephine Pinnock ’19 and Chef Greg, we have enjoyed a Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, and Indian themed dinner thus far. And to cap off every Thursday evening (pun most definitely intended), our very own “piano man” Jordan Salama ’19 has been bringing the membership together to sing along to classics like “Drops of Jupiter” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”


Athletics Chair Sami Belkadi ’19 has led Cap’s Intramural charge this fall, and we’re off to a hot start across the board. As it currently stands, we are undefeated in IM soccer and are in pursuit of back-to-back championships. The intramural sports have proved a great way for our junior and senior members to get to know one another while proudly representing the Illustrious in the Princeton Community.

Building on the tradition started last fall, Cap hosted our second annual Family Weekend from October 5-7. With the diligent planning of Esteban, Jacob, Dennis, Chef Greg, and our lovely staff, we hosted a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres on Friday evening. As the weekend proceeded, we hosted a brunch Saturday morning and a dinner Saturday night, as well as a farewell brunch on Sunday morning for the families. We enjoyed family members from over 60 of our members, an exponential increase from last year when just over 20 members brought their families to the club.


On the horizon, Esteban has been tirelessly working to pack our upcoming social calendar. We will be hosting Cap Prom just before Fall Break, which is an 80s-themed member’s prom night that fosters a great environment for our junior and senior members to bond. He is also organizing a newly themed semi-formal for November, and is preparing members’ nights for November and December which will include Harry Potter, Family Feud, and Karaoke themes.

Our Culturally Cap Chairs Andrew Wang ’19 and Reed Melchionda ’19 are still spearheading Cap’s “Member of the Week,” which continues to humor the membership by highlighting the fun and quirky unknown facts about our members. They’ve also organized a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure for the club to enjoy the park’s “Fright Fest” attractions as the spooky Halloween season rolls in.

Community Outreach Chairs Morgan Bell ’19 and Alison Shim ’19 have begun meeting weekly with the Community Service ICC (CSICC) and are working hard to help organize the street-wide “Trick or Feed” event. It works to collect foodstuff donations for the local Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and will serve as a way for students to get special stickers that will allow them to go out to the clubs on Princetoween. They also hope to continue efforts to help Cap alum Nat Tung ’18 with her non-profit schoolhouse operation in Trenton.


In huge sustainability news, Chairs Nyema Wesley ’19 and Viv Garth ’19 helped the club transition from styrofoam cups to paper cups to help our coffee and tea addicts be a little more conservation friendly! They are also working to establish a more permanent version of the clothing swap that they organized for a week in the spring.

As the leaves begin to change colors and the crisper weather settles in, the club is excited to enjoy all that awaits throughout the rest of this semester. As always, we love to see alumni, so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop by for some delicious food and merry company!

Best Wishes,

RJ Hernandez ‘19