Hobson College, named after Mellody Hobson, will be built on the site of Wilson College. Princeton residential colleges provide room and board for students.
The residential college that will now bear Hobson’s name was originally named after former President Woodrow Wilson, a former Princeton president. The name was changed to First College earlier this year after the university’s board of trustees ruled that Wilson’s “racist thinking and acting” made him an “inappropriate namesake,” the school said.
Wilson once called segregation “an advantage” and said slaves were “happy and well taken care of”. He also refused admission to black men and tried to exclude them from school history.
;When I was approached about this opportunity last year, I was most impressed by the symbolism of a black woman replacing the name of someone who would not have supported my inclusion three decades ago and what that would mean for future generations, “said Hobson in a video to Princeton.
“I hope my name reminds future generations of students – especially those black and tan and the ‘first’ in their families – that they are one of them. Renaming Wilson College is my very own way, them inform about it Our past does not have to be our future.
The university said Hobson and the Hobson / Lucas Family Foundation – named after Hobson and her filmmaker husband, George Lucas – made the “main gift” to build the new building. Construction work on the site should begin in 2023 and be completed in 2026, the school said.
The name change follows the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for racial justice following the ongoing police deaths of blacks. Schools, businesses, and institutions have made an effort not only to recognize their sometimes troubled history, but also to change the names of buildings and logos to reconcile themselves with racist behavior.
Schools like Virginia Tech and Duke University have either changed the names of buildings or named new buildings after prominent black alumni.
CNN’s Jay Croft contributed to this report.