The EAST PYNE ARCH facing Firestone Library has been renamed for James Collins “Jimmy” Johnson, a fugitive slave who worked on campus selling snacks to students. A new PUBLIC GARDEN between the library and Nassau Street has been renamed for Betsey Stockton, a former slave in the home of Princeton president Ashbel Green 1783 who became a prominent missionary, educator, and respected figure in the town of Princeton’s black community.
The changes were recommended by a committee charged with recognizing individuals who brought a more diverse presence to the campus.
Coming to Princeton as a fugitive slave, Johnson was turned in to the authorities before a local white woman paid for his freedom. He went on to become a beloved vendor of items to students for several decades (see PAW, Oct. 5, 2016). A photo exhibition detailing his life is on display in the 100-level of Frist Campus Center.
Upon gaining her freedom, Stockton became a missionary, a founder of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, and a teacher and founder of the first school in Princeton for children of color. By Allie Wenner
In a case brought by Princeton, University senior Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, and Microsoft, a federal judge ruled April 24 that DACA PROTECTIONS for undocumented “Dreamers” must remain and the government must accept new applications. District Court Judge John D. Bates stayed his decision for 90 days so the Department of Homeland Security could respond.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 3, argued that the termination of DACA violated the Constitution and federal law. At least 21 Dreamers have enrolled at Princeton since 2012, including 15 current undergraduates. “We are delighted that the court agreed with us that the government’s termination of the DACA program ‘was unlawful and must be set aside,’” President Eisgruber ’83 said. “We continue to urge Congress to enact a permanent solution.”
The University’s Resources Committee will not make a recommendation to the trustees on PRIVATE-PRISON DIVESTMENT after failing to reach a consensus on the issue. Instead, the committee — which considers concerns related to socially responsible investments — urged the University to continue “research and debate about mass incarceration, and the role of private prisons in it.”
Students have campaigned for private-prison divestment for the past two years. The Resources Committee said the group Princeton Private Prisons Divest (PPPD) had demonstrated significant campus interest in the issue, as well as sustained interest in criminal-justice reform. But “about half the committee was in favor of divestment from private prisons, and the other half was against it,” the Resources Committee said.
Micah Herskind ’19, an organizer for PPPD, called the committee’s decision “extremely disappointing.”
Princeton has not invested directly or indirectly for many years in the 11 detention corporations, private prisons, or contractors named in the students’ divestment proposal, the Resources Committee said.