Eisgruber Invites Class of 2022 to Explore ‘The Miracle of Beautiful Ideas’
Emphasizing the importance of truth-seeking, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber welcomed new students at Opening Exercises on Sunday, Sept. 9, encouraging them to explore “the miracle of beautiful ideas.”
As the students walk out of the chapel, the first archway they pass through — the easternmost arch of East Pyne Hall — will illustrate that message, Eisgruber said.
In the spring, the archway was named for James Collins Johnson, a former slave who worked on campus for more than 60 years until his death in 1902. Johnson’s story emerged in part through the multi-year Princeton and Slavery Project led by Princeton historian Martha Sandweiss.
Eisgruber said: “In my view, the Johnson archway exemplifies several of the values that together make up our truth-seeking enterprise: the need for careful inquiry into difficult and sensitive topics, including uncomfortable questions about this University’s past; honesty, not only in research methods but also in this University’s account of its identity; and respect, for the extraordinary diversity of people who have contributed and contribute today to this extraordinary community.”