History of the College
Forbes College is located on the site of the historic Princeton Inn, a gracious hotel overlooking the Princeton golf course. The Princeton Inn, originally constructed in 1924, played regular host to important symposia and gatherings of renowned scholars from both the University and the nearby Institute for Advanced Studies for many years.
In 1970, the Inn was acquired by the University to create an undergraduate residential college. A generous gift from Malcolm S. Forbes, Sr. ’41 allowed for extensive renovations to the entire facility in 1984. The newly renovated residential college was named in honor of Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr. ’70. Forbes College, now one of six residential colleges at Princeton, functions as a center of undergraduate academic advising and carries on the legacy of the Princeton Inn by hosting a diverse range of intellectual, social, and cultural events.
Forbes is the sister college of Whitman College. Renovations and an expansion of the residential area in Forbes were completed during the summer of 2007. Facilities include the Main Inn, the Addition, the Annex, and the New Wing. An adjacent structure at 99 Alexander Street houses a faculty apartment, two graduate student suites, a common room, and a fully-equipped seminar room.
Former Masters of the College include Albert Sonnenfeld, Professor of French Literature and Comparative Literature (1970‑1973), Lawrence Lipking, Professor of English and Comparative Literature (1973‑1976), Lou Ann Garvey (1976‑1983), and Lynn T. White, Professor of Chinese Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, (1987‑1988). John F. Wilson, Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion, was Master 1983‑1987 and 1988‑1992. John G. Gager, William H. Danforth Professor of Religion, was Master 1992-2000. Andrea La Paugh, Professor of Computer Science, was Master 2000-2004. Elizabeth Lunbeck, Professor of History, was Master 2004-2006. Christian Wildberg, Professor of Classics, was Master 2006-2010. The current Master is Michael Hecht, Professor of Chemistry.