Ellis Island Medal

President Eisgruber receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber has received the 2024 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes “individuals who have made significant contributions to society, embodying the values of patriotism, diversity and inclusion.” Eisgruber was among 88 winners acknowledged by the Ellis Island Honors Society during a May 18 ceremony at Ellis Island’s Great Hall.

President Eisgruber wearing the Ellis Island medal

President Christopher L. Eisgruber received the 2024 Ellis Island Medal of Honor during a ceremony May 18.

“I am truly honored to be recognized by the Ellis Island Honors Society,” Eisgruber said. “I share the Society’s defining belief that generations of immigrants to America have profoundly enhanced our nation’s prosperity, creativity, and culture.”

In its announcement, the Society said the awards reaffirm the importance of “fostering a society where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is given the chance to thrive.”

Eisgruber has been a leader on issues related to immigration within higher education. In 2020, the University and co-plaintiffs Microsoft and Princeton graduate Maria Perales Sanchez successfully challenged the Supreme Court to restore the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Eisgruber was a founding member of The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a coalition of higher education leaders, and he has worked with higher education colleagues to support various policies and programs that protect the rights of individuals from immigrant, undocumented and international backgrounds.

“American colleges and universities benefit from the talented students, faculty, and staff who come here from all over the world, and we must ensure that our campuses are a welcoming place for them,” Eisgruber said. “Supporting opportunities for immigrants also resonates with me, personally, as my mother first came to the United States as a refugee and my father as a student. The contributions of immigrants are essential to the history and identity of our country.”

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor has been awarded annually since 1986 to leaders in public office, the arts, philanthropy, technology, media, athletics and more, including U.S. presidents and Nobel laureates.

The ceremony at Ellis Island’s Great Hall recognized this year's recipients.