In a $20 million gift, Bloomberg Philanthropies has endowed the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity, a resource the University plans to use to expand its commitment to enrollment and graduation of first-generation, low-income (FLI) students.
Named for Emma Bloomberg ’01 — also the namesake of Bloomberg Hall in Butler College — the center will “bring together the University’s nation-leading initiatives in college access and opportunity, serve as a hub for research and innovation in the field of college access and success, and inform and strengthen similar efforts at colleges and universities across the country,” according to a University press release.
Bloomberg has dedicated her career to expanding educational equity, according to the release. Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by businessman, former New York City mayor, and 2020 presidential primary candidate Mike Bloomberg, also focuses on causes related to educational equity.
“This Center will help make sure that students who are disproportionately affected by the current inequities in education are better able to access supports, resources and opportunities, and that lessons learned are shared broadly across the country,” Emma Bloomberg said in the University press release.
The proportion of FLI students at Princeton has increased in recent years, with 22 percent of the students offered admission to the Class of 2025 identifying as first-generation college students. This number had hovered at around 17 or 18 percent for the last four years.
Associate Dean of the College Khristina Gonzalez, who is also director of Programs for Access and Inclusion and director of the Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI), will serve as the center’s director, as the result of a gift from Bob Peck ’88.
The Center aims to use research and initiatives to get underrepresented students “to, through and beyond the university,” Gonzalez told The Wall Street Journal.
The Emma Bloomberg Center will house programs such as the Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI); the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP); the University’s Program for Transfer, Non-Traditional and Veterans Students; the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program; the Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP); and the Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP).