On Wednesday, May 11, the University announced the new residential college, formerly temporarily named New College East, will be renamed Yeh College following a donation from alumnus and University trustee James Yeh ’87 and his wife, Jaimie Yeh.
An email to undergraduate students from Dean of the College Jill Dolan and a press release published on the University’s website detailed that the donation was gifted as part of the Venture Forward campaign, which launched in October 2021.
The gift is framed in the University announcement as a substantial step toward the “strategic framework” adopted in 2016 that calls for a 10 percent expansion of the student body as part of the continued effort to ensure “talented students from all backgrounds and sectors of society have access to a Princeton education.”
The specific monetary amount of the donation from the Yeh family was not disclosed.
Crest of Yeh College courtesy of Princeton University Instagram
In the press release, James Yeh spoke of the motivations for the donation.
“When the University announced that it would seek to expand the number of students who could be offered a Princeton education as part of the Venture Forward campaign, we were immediately excited to lend our support,” Yeh said in the statement.
Yeh serves as a trustee of the University and a co-chair of the Campaign Executive Steering Committee for the Venture Forward campaign. He received an A.B. degree in physics with a certificate in engineering physics from Princeton in 1987. Formerly, he served as the president and co-chief investment officer of Citadel, a multinational hedge fund and financial services company based in Chicago.
Professor of psychology and neuroscience Asif Ghazanfar was announced as the inaugural faculty head of the college; former Whitman College dean Alexis Andres will transition to become the inaugural dean of Yeh College.
“This extraordinary gift propels Princeton forward in its mission to offer a transformative educational experience to more students who can then make a positive impact on the world,” President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 said in the press release.
“We are thrilled that Yeh College will join the tapestry of names that are a permanent part of our campus, and I am deeply grateful to Jaimie and James Yeh for their commitment to the Venture Forward campaign and their vision for the future of Princeton,” Eisgruber added.
James Yeh spoke in the press release about the unique obligations he felt to lend financial support to the University’s expansion goals.
“I am the son of immigrants, and the local Princeton alumni I met when I was a high school student in Alabama welcomed me, looked after me and encouraged me to get the most out of my Princeton education,” he said.
“I can never truly pay that debt back, but 40 years after I stepped on campus, we are inspired to do our part for the next generation of students, just as others did for me,” Yeh added. “I hope the students who live in Yeh College have transformative experiences, build friendships, discover their passions and develop their talents so they can make a positive impact on the world.”
Yeh College will welcome students in fall 2022.
This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Bailey Glenetske is an Assistant News Editor who often covers student life, University COVID-19 policies and STEM news. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @bailey.glenetske.