In 2002, eBay president and CEO Meg Whitman '77 donated $30 million to the University, putting her name on the residential college that opened this fall following five years of planning and construction.
"Princeton had an enormous impact on my life, helping to define the person I am today," Whitman said in a recent email to The Daily Princetonian. "Many of my core values — the values I apply every day in every facet of my life — were molded at Princeton. And the friendships I made there are very special to me."
Whitman hopes to give a new generation of students a chance to attend Princeton. "By providing for Whitman College, my goal was to give more young people the opportunity to experience the Princeton I love so much," she explained. "I'm particularly excited that Whitman College will help the University expand its enrollment by 500 students."
Whitman has kept a close eye on the college's planning and construction. "I was shown designs all along the way and contributed suggestions throughout the process," she said. "The collegiate gothic architecture, combined with modern design elements and thoughtful landscaping, blend beautifully into the campus."
Whitman was born in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., and attended Cold Spring Harbor High School before matriculating at Princeton. During her time on campus, Whitman was involved in Business Today and was a member of Cap & Gown Club. She later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979.
She is best known for her work with eBay, which she has headed since March 1998. Whitman's extensive experience in management, consumer products and brand building helped her establish eBay as a commercial giant.
When Whitman began work at eBay in 1998, the company had just 29 employees and operated only within the United States. Now, eBay has more than 11,000 employees worldwide. She also serves on the boards of directors of Proctor & Gamble and DreamWorks Animation and has been named one of Time Magazine's most influential people several times.
Whitman is married to Stanford neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh IV, and has two sons, Griff Harsh '08, a Whitman resident; and Will Harsh '11, a Wilson resident.
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