History and Sense of Place

Land Acknowledgements

Princeton seeks to build relationships with Native American and Indigenous communities through academic pursuits, partnerships, historical recognitions, community service and enrollment efforts.  These communities include the Lenni-Lenape people, who consider the land on which the University stands part of their ancient homeland.  We pay respect to Lenape peoples, past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora. 

While Princeton does not have a policy requiring land acknowledgements, this page is designed to provide resources for offices and event planners who wish to employ the practice in a respectful, appropriate manner.

Campus Iconography Committee (CIC)

The Campus Iconography Committee (CIC) was established along with an Advisory Group to lead recommendations adopted by University trustees from the Report of the Trustee Committee on Woodrow Wilson’s Legacy at Princeton. The CIC was composed  of faculty, students, alumni and administrators. The CIC oversaw the University’s efforts to diversify campus art and iconography, and considered opportunities to express Princeton’s aspiration to be more diverse, inclusive and welcoming to all members of its community from 2017 to 2019. The Committee included working groups focused on history, public spaces and portraiture. The work of the Committee and its working groups evolved over time. 

The History and Sense of Place Initiative represents this evolution.  The website chronicles the University’s efforts to expand the narrative of Princeton’s history and foster an inclusive sense of place on campus through a historical timeline of significant events on campus, information on the transformation of public spaces, and the detailing of portraits commissioned by the University to recognize significant contributions made by members of our community. 

Wilson Legacy Review Committee

In 2016, the Board of Trustees appointed a special committee to consider Woodrow Wilson's legacy at Princeton, and, more specifically, whether changes should be made in how the University recognizes Wilson's legacy. The committee considered information about Wilson from a range of scholars and biographers with an expertise relevant to an understanding of Wilson and a wide array of perspectives from the various constituencies that have an interest in Wilson's legacy and how it is represented on the campus. The board adopted the committee's report and recommendations, one of which was to create a marker showcasing the positive and negative elements of Wilson’s legacy. A committee of faculty, staff and students was formed, which considered a number of firms to create this marker. The installation, unveiled in October 2019, now stands on Scudder Plaza.

Additional background information about Woodrow Wilson can be found through an exhibit created at Princeton in 2016: “In the Nation’s Service? Woodrow Wilson Revisited”.