At the behest of the University’s Board of Trustees, the Committee on Naming, a special branch of the Council of the Princeton University Community, is soliciting suggestions for the names of two notable structures on campus, the easternmost arch of East Pyne and a public garden visible from Nassau Street that is currently under construction.
The easternmost arch of Pyne Hall opens out onto Firestone Plaza and the Princeton University Chapel. The committee’s website notes that “it is the first arch students pass through when they leave the Chapel after Opening Exercises and the first they pass through when they leave after Baccalaureate.”
The second structure, the public garden, which is currently under construction, will function as a green roof that covers an underground portion of Firestone Library. According to the committee website, it “will exemplify the University’s commitment to sustainability.”
The committee’s website also contains a form through which members of the University community may submit proposed names for each of these spaces.
Referring to the naming of the two spaces, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 explained that “while both of these spaces are outdoors, they are different in character – one is entirely open and newly created, whereas the other is defined and partially enclosed by one of Princeton’s oldest and most prominent collegiate gothic buildings.”
Eisgruber added that “both are in areas heavily trafficked by members of the campus community, by alumni when they are on campus, and by townspeople and other outside visitors.”
Most buildings and spaces at the University are named after donors or their friends, families, or graduating classes. The committee was formed in September of 2016 to advise the Board of Trustees in “naming buildings or other spaces not already named for historical figures or donors,” with the goal of recognizing “individuals who would bring a more diverse presence to the campus.”
Last spring, the committee recommended changing the name of West College to Morrison Hall in honor of Nobel Laureate and Professor Emerita Toni Morrison and naming the main auditorium in Robertson Hall after Nobel Laureate and former professor Sir Arthur Lewis.
The committee, chaired by professor Angela Creager of the Department of History, is comprised of four University faculty members, as well as two undergraduate students, one graduate student, and two members of the administrative staff.
None of the committee members could be reached for comment at the time of publication.