Since the Black Lives Matter Movement began to create new dialogues on race relations around the country, higher education has been at the forefront of a lot of the conversations for change. Princeton University is the most recent institution to change the narrative.
The Ivy League university announced — this week — that it has received a donation from alumna, Mellody Hobson. They also revealed the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation is set to help convert Wilson College into Hobson College, making it the first-ever new residential college named after a Black woman in the university’s history.
Hobson is the president and Co-CEO of the country’s first minority-owned asset management firm, Ariel Investments. She is also the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation and according to The Daily Princetonian, in 2017 she became the first Black woman to lead The Economic Club of Chicago.
“No one from my family had graduated from college when I arrived at Princeton from Chicago,” said Hobson in an announcement. “My hope is that my name will remind future generations of students — especially those who are Black and brown and the ‘firsts’ in their families — that they too belong. Renaming Wilson College is my very personal way of letting them know that our past does not have to be our future.”
Officials at the univeristy seem to also have the same goal in mind for students.
“We strive for inclusion at the University and hope the significance of this gift and the naming of Hobson College will have a profound impact on current and future generations of students,” University spokesperson Ayana Gibs said, reports Black Enterprise.
President of the University, Christopher L. Eisgruber has been in talks with the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation since last year and expressed how grateful they are for their gift and just exactly what it means for the student experience for minorities on campus.
“It will enable us to improve the student experience at Princeton and to reimagine a central part of our campus, while also recognizing a remarkable woman who is a positive, powerful force for change in the world,” said Eisgruber, in a press statement.
Hobson College is said to be completed by the year of 2026 and will officially open for the Class of 2030.