Construction is on schedule for the two residential colleges set to open in the fall of 2022, with crews working on everything from exterior stonework to interior drywall, according to University Architect Ron McCoy *80. But the college on the western side of the site will no longer be named Perelman College.
“The University has terminated the gift agreement with the Perelman Family Foundation, Inc. to name a residential college because the Foundation has not made payments due under that agreement,” University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss said in a statement to PAW. “However, we remain grateful for the Perelman family’s long-standing support of the University, including its support of the Ronald O. Perelman Institute for Judaic Studies.” The University removed the college name in June, Hotchkiss said.
The Perelman Family Foundation declined to comment, and the University would not provide additional information. The lead gift for the residential college was announced in December 2018 by Debra G. Perelman ’96, CEO of Revlon, and her father, Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc. It was meant to play a significant role in the expansion of Princeton’s undergraduate student body. Bloomberg News and Forbes reported that the gift was $65 million. The second residential college has not been named.
The residential-college change is not the first time that Princeton has sought to rename a building that honored a donor. In October 2019, the University announced plans to rename Marx Hall, named for Louis Marx ’53 and dedicated in 1993, “because the donor’s circumstances have changed, making him unable to fulfill his fundraising pledge.” A new name has not yet been announced.
Construction of the two residential colleges south of Poe Field, temporarily known as College 7 and College 8, began early last year and is scheduled to finish next summer, in time to welcome members of Princeton’s Class of 2026. The colleges were designed by Deborah Berke Partners, a New York-based architecture firm; each includes four residential halls and can house up to 500 students.
McCoy described the new colleges as “a wonderful, intimate village” — “part of the family” of Princeton residential buildings, yet distinctly different in design and setting. The residence halls are organized around familiar courtyards and passageways, with a shared courtyard that connects the two colleges. Buildings are designed to be more transparent and welcoming than the opaque collegiate-gothic dormitories to the north, with large ground-floor windows in community areas that include dining halls, seminar rooms, a performance space, and a ceramics studio.
This story was updated with additional information on Aug. 10.