Q&A with Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber
Interview by Wendy Greenberg | Photography Courtesy of Princeton University, Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy
In its 275th year, Princeton University has a lot to celebrate. As students return for the fall semester, two new residential colleges have opened — Yeh College and New College West — with the goal of increasing the number of undergraduates by about 10 percent. This past year ground was broken across Lake Carnegie for the Lake Campus Development, which will include graduate student housing, athletics, and recreational facilities. Add to the campus development an engineering and environmental studies complex, and a new art museum, anticipated to open in late 2024.
At the helm of all the activity is Christopher L. Eisgruber, a 1983 alumnus, who will continue in his role as the 20th president of the University for at least the next five years. On April 9, the board of trustees extended his presidency as the school looks toward the expansion of its undergraduate student body, increasing investments in emerging areas of science and innovation, gains in philanthropy, and the ambitious building program. Trustees cited “transformational gains” in student body diversity and philanthropic support, accomplishments that have enhanced the University’s teaching and research, and historic campus expansion as reasons to extend Eisgruber’s tenure.
Eisgruber received his A.B. in physics from Princeton in 1983, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned an M.Litt. in politics at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. cum laude at the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the law review. After clerking for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Eisgruber taught at New York University’s School of Law for 11 years.
Joining the Princeton University faculty in 2001 as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs, he served as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He directed Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs from 2001 to 2004 before being named provost in 2004. He has served as president since July 2013. more