Sue-Jean Lee Suettinger
July 15, 2011
Dear Fellow Princetonians:
I write with sad news, to share with you the passing of Sue-Jean Lee Suettinger ’70, our courageous and inspirational leader of A4P. While I don’t have the words to express how much we will miss her or the pain of her loss that many are experiencing, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate and remember her countless contributions to our community.
As the board chair of the Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton (A4P), Sue-Jean was wise, patient and kind. While she could see through to the heart of every matter, she always enabled everyone’s voice to be heard and led us gently to a consensus outcome – a valuable skill within a volunteer leadership organization. Sue-Jean had a bold vision of A4P’s role, and she was stalwart in her belief of why it is critical that our mission include both Asians and Asian Americans. She planted the seed for the idea that we could come together and both embrace and be embraced by Princeton and was just beginning to build interest in such a gathering.
I will miss Sue-Jean’s joyful optimism and her ability to see the best in each of us, and therefore enable our best selves to emerge. I continue to be so amazed by how she made the time to lead A4P while also looking after her beautiful family, pursuing her professional career, and engaging deeply with her church and community. Like so many of us, I am so grateful to have called her a friend, colleague and mentor.
As many of you know, Sue-Jean was one of only eight women in the very first class of graduating women at Princeton, who had transferred in from the critical languages program. Even in the midst of her battle with cancer, she made a final trip back to Princeton for the She Roars conference in April to reconnect with old friends and reach across the generations. Sue-Jean was also the very first female cast member of the Triangle Club, and photos from that period reveal a beautiful and spirited young woman who was charting new territory. In so many ways, she was a pioneer who served as an inspiration to us all.
After a heroic battle against acute myeloid leukemia, Sue-Jean died peacefully at her home on June 29, surrounded by her devoted husband Bob and her family. We extend our deepest sympathies and support to them, and will continue to hold dearly our joyful memories and the impact that Sue-Jean has left on us all.
April Chou ’96, on behalf of the Board of Governors
Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton (A4P)
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