Elizabeth Lewis-Channon: “Princeton became his intellectual home.”
Photo: Egan Jimenez/Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Princeton celebrated the naming of the ARTHUR LEWIS AUDITORIUM in Robertson Hall April 18 with a video tribute to Lewis — which played continuously in the auditorium — and remarks by President Eisgruber ’83 on the importance of Lewis’ contributions to the University and beyond.

Lewis, a leading authority on economic growth and political and social change in emerging nations, became Princeton’s first black full professor in 1963. He also was knighted in 1963; became the first and only black man to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, in 1979; and was an adviser to several African and Caribbean governments.

“Through the naming of the Arthur Lewis Auditorium, we not only recognize an intellectual giant who contributed greatly to the world, but also take an important step to illuminate this University’s history more fully and to reflect the vibrant diversity of our society,” Eisgruber said.

In 2016, a committee charged with examining the legacy of Woodrow Wilson 1879 recommended that Dodds Auditorium be renamed for Lewis, as well as the renaming of West College to recognize professor emerita Toni Morrison.

“It’s a great honor because this is a place where he really spent a lot of time,” said Lewis’ daughter, Elizabeth Lewis-Channon. “In a sense, Princeton became his intellectual home, and to be honored by one of your own is very special.” 

The video commemorating Lewis’ life can be viewed at bit.ly/lewis-video