Princeton University will name a residential college after a Black woman for the first time in the institution’s history.
Named after Mellody Hobson, Hobson College will be built on the site of what was Wilson College. Princeton’s residential colleges provide housing and dining to students. Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2015, graduated from Princeton in 1991.
She said in a video to Princeton, “When I was approached last year about this opportunity, I was most compelled by the symbolism of a Black woman replacing the name of someone who would not have supported my admission three decades ago and what that would represent for future generations,”
“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.”
The university said Hobson and the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation — named for Hobson and her filmmaker husband George Lucas — made the “lead gift” to establish the new building. Construction on the site is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2026, the school said.