For first time, Princeton names dorms after Black, Latino donors

This month, the Ivy League institution hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting of the new dorms.

Princeton University is making history after naming two dormitories after Black and Latino donors, according to a news release.

On May 5, the Ivy League institution hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting of the residence halls, named after Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano, per the news release. Jones and Feliciano, life and business partners, according to the news release, graduated in 1993 and 1994, respectively. In Princeton’s 275-year history, these are the first buildings named after Black and Latino donors.

Princeton names dorms after Black, Latino donors
At the May 5 ceremony, Kwanza Jones (left) and José E. Feliciano cut the ribbon at the Princeton University residence hall named for Jones. (Photo credit: PRNewsfoto/SUPERCHARGED)

During the dedication, Princeton’s president, Christopher Eisgruber, said the dorms represent “what it means to belong,” and called Jones and Feliciano “two very special members of the Princeton community.”

Jones is an artist and CEO of the media and personal development company Supercharged. Feliciano is a co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital, a private equity firm. The two donated $20 million to Princeton in 2019, which led to the construction of the dormitories.

“We see this gift as the color of commitment. It also demonstrates that people of color belong and we are at the table to help the university to continue to do the work of anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion,” said Jones, per the news release.

Jones previously addressed the racism Blacks and people of color face at Princeton in an “Open Love Letter” to the university. In her message to the university, she requested that Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from two buildings on campus.

Princeton names dorms after Black, Latino donors
Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano stand outside the dormitory named for him. The couple say they had their first date at Princeton at the spot where the connecting dorms were built. (Photo credit: PRNewsfoto/SUPERCHARGED)

According to Jones, she and Feliciano also made the donation to “attract and support high-achieving students from all backgrounds,” according to the press release.

Jones said she and Feliciano had their first date at Princeton in the spot where the dormitories were built.

“There is a bridge that connects the Kwanza Jones Hall to the José E. Feliciano Hall,” she said. “So, when we are talking about buildings and connections, it’s not just metaphorical, it’s literal.”

Professor, writer and commentator Michael Eric Dyson, who earned his doctorate at Princeton, was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and he praised Jones and Feliciano for establishing “a building that is a lasting monument to the beautiful creativity of equity.”

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