Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Princeton Renames Center to Honor Former African American Dean

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Princeton Renames Center to Honor Former African American Dean

Article excerpt

PRINCETON, N.J.

The name of Princeton University's Third World Center is being changed to more accurately reflect its mission. Last month, the university's trustees approved a recommendation to change the name to the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, effective July 1. The name honors Fields, a former Princeton dean who was the first African American to hold such a high-ranking post at an Ivy League school.

Kathleen Deignan, dean of undergraduate students, noted that the center's name change was initiated by students who serve on its governance board, and that she supported the recommendation along with Heddye Decree, director of the center.

Over the past year and a half, the board has explored the name change and solicited feedback from students and alumni. Members have discussed the action in various forums, sent e-mail to interested parties and published an opinion piece in the Daily Princetonian.

"Essentially, the board believes that the new name will help encourage a more inclusive membership and, consequently, a more robust, diverse program," Deignan says.

The new name is intended to focus on the mission of the center, which was established in 1971 to provide a social, cultural and political environment that reflects the needs and concerns of students of color at the university. …

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