PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano have made a major gift to Princeton University, a $20 million contribution that is the largest gift to date by Black and Latino donors, and one of a few extraordinary alumni commitments to the University's strategic goal of undergraduate expansion, with the construction of two adjoining dormitories in one of the two new residential colleges being built at Princeton. In recognition of their philanthropy and leadership, the University will name two buildings in their honor. One of the dormitories will be named for Jones, a member of the Class of 1993, and the other will be named for her husband, Feliciano, a member of the Class of 1994.
"Kwanza and José bring strong values and deep dedication to their philanthropy as well as their work as volunteer leaders on behalf of the University, and I am deeply grateful for their extraordinary commitment to Princeton," President Christopher L. Eisgruber said. "Their generosity makes possible new dormitories that are essential to Princeton's future. Through their visionary gift, Kwanza and José are enabling us to increase the number of outstanding undergraduates we admit and to attract and support talented students from all backgrounds. In addition to supporting the expansion of the undergraduate population, which is among the University's highest priorities, this historic gift from Kwanza and José diversifies Princeton's institutional narrative in meaningful ways by weaving their names, identities and experiences into our shared campus tapestry. As we strive to make Princeton a fully inclusive community, we are fortunate to have their partnership."
The new colleges — scheduled to open for the 2022-23 academic year — will allow Princeton to expand the undergraduate student body by about 10% while providing flexibility so that other campus housing can be renovated or replaced. The addition of approximately 500 undergraduates allows the University to admit more talented students who will realize the benefits of a Princeton education, enhance the diversity and vitality of the campus community, and contribute to society after their graduations.
"We see this gift as the color of commitment. It celebrates the many contributions to Princeton's legacy from its diverse students and alumni making a tremendous impact in the world," Jones said. "It represents what it means for us to individually and collectively thrive. It demonstrates that people of color belong in the room and sit at the table as patrons and co-creators to help the University to continue to do the work of service to humanity. Most importantly, during this time of national reckoning on race and racial injustice, it highlights the benefits that diversity, inclusion and belonging can bring. Princeton is a microcosm of America; we're modeling that working together makes us all stronger moving forward."
Eisgruber recently wrote to the University community about steps the University administration will take to make Princeton fully inclusive and to address systemic racism at Princeton and beyond.
Said Feliciano: "Kwanza and I are committed not only to continuing Princeton's tradition of excellence in academia but also in making sure that we can make that available to more deserving students who represent a cross section of our society. We recognize that our Princeton education and network have had a fundamental impact on our career path and success. As such, we hope that our gift can be used to continue providing access to education and opportunity to many others, and we hope to inspire other alumni, including alumni of color, to give and be even more active stakeholders of the Princeton community."
About Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano
Jones is an artist, investor, lawyer and entrepreneur who founded SUPERCHARGED, a media company that specializes in self-development and hosts a community-driven platform. Feliciano is the founder and a managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group, a private investment firm that he co-founded in 2006. In 2014, Jones and Feliciano co-founded the Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano SUPERCHARGED Initiative (KJSI), a high-impact philanthropic grant-making and investment organization.
SOURCE Princeton University