Welcome from the President

October 2020

Welcome to the 2020–21 edition of the Princeton Profile, which offers a quick yet comprehensive overview of the University — its mission, community, and history.

The current global COVID-19 pandemic brings increased vitality and urgency to Princeton’s teaching and research mission. Our community has rallied together in ways large and small to chart a path through this challenge, which is one of the greatest ever to confront our University. Students, faculty, and staff — whether on campus or far from it — have demonstrated how Princetonians continue to live the University’s informal motto, “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity.”

With an enduring commitment to admit, enroll, and support extraordinary students from all backgrounds, the University remains dedicated to attracting more first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds. And we continue to ensure that a Princeton education is affordable for all students. In the light of the pandemic and the resulting economic challenges, we are increasing the University’s financial aid budget to enhance the University’s exceptional financial-aid program, underpinned by our endowment, so that students from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to graduate without debt even in these difficult times.

We also continue to receive extraordinary, transformative gifts from alumni whose vision, generosity, and personal stories will inspire students for generations to come. For example, Kwanza Jones ’93 and José E. Feliciano ’94 are funding the construction of two adjoining dormitories. Their gift helps Princeton to increase the number of outstanding undergraduates we admit and advances our efforts to become more fully inclusive for students from all backgrounds. Mellody Hobson ’91 and the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation made the lead gift to establish Hobson College — Princeton’s first residential college named for a Black woman — which will be built on the site of First College, formerly known as Wilson College.

Princeton University seeks to serve the nation and humanity through teaching and research of unsurpassed quality. Diversity, inclusivity, and human rights are fundamental to that mission. I have been heartened by the efforts of faculty, students, staff, and alumni who are in this moment taking action on behalf of racial equity on our campus, in our country, and around the world. I have no doubt that we will continue to bring this University’s commitments to scholarly excellence, creative thinking, and constructive engagement to bear on questions of equity and justice and other issues of urgent concern to our society.

I hope the Princeton Profile gives you a good sense of Princeton today and where we are headed together.

Best wishes,
Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83, president