Trustees refer West College, Robertson atrium to new CPUC naming committee

Sept. 26, 2016 6:50 p.m.

The Board of Trustees has referred two campus spaces — West College and the atrium of Robertson Hall — to a new Committee on Naming that was established at the Sept. 26 meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC).

The new special committee was proposed in a policy on naming of programs, positions and spaces that do not currently bear names honoring donors or other individuals or groups. The trustees adopted the policy over the summer in response to a recommendation last spring by the Board's Wilson Legacy Review Committee that the University develop a process for naming buildings and other spaces "to recognize individuals who would bring a more diverse presence to the campus.”

In its report, the review committee suggested that the Board consider naming the atrium in Robertson Hall, which serves as the principal entryway into the Woodrow Wilson School. 

In addition to referring the atrium, the trustees asked for advice regarding the naming of West College. "West College is the most prominent and central building on campus that is not currently named to honor an individual, family or group, and the trustees felt it provided an excellent opportunity to make a strong statement about Princeton's commitment to diversity and inclusion," said President Christopher L. Eisgruber.

West College was built as a dormitory in 1836 on the west side of Cannon Green opposite a building known as East College, at a time when Nassau Hall was often referred to as Old North.

The referral of the two spaces followed a meeting this past weekend of the trustee Committee on University Resources, which has principal oversight for the naming of campus spaces.  Under the trustee policy, the CPUC committee is charged with soliciting opinion from the community about potential names for the referred spaces.  It will then make a confidential recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which retains authority to make the final decision about the names of University programs, positions and spaces.

The new CPUC committee will be chaired by Professor Angela Creager of the Department of History. Other members will include:

  • Professors Stephen Macedo (Politics), Alejandro Rodriguez (Electrical Engineering), and Stacey Sinclair (Psychology and African American Studies)
  • Two undergraduates, Myesha Jemison of the Class of 2018 and Devin Kilpatrick of the Class of 2019
  • A third-year graduate student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Jonathan Aguirre
  • One staff representative, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Romy Riddick
  • One alumni representative, Osbourne A. Shaw, Jr., of the Class of 1997
  • And the secretary of the Board of Trustees, Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee.