Princeton Arts Profiles

Peter Lewis ’55: A Remembrance

His beneficence spanned a wide range of disciplines and initiatives, and established him as Princeton’s most generous donor of the modern era…

LewisPeter Lewis ’55 (1933 – 2013) was one of Princeton’s most generous and insightful alumni. “He was not only a benefactor but also a visionary who pushed us—and enabled us—to aim at ever higher levels of excellence,” said President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83.

A University trustee for 15 years, Lewis provided invaluable advice and guidance to his alma mater. When the University decided to weave the creative and performing arts more integrally into its curriculum, his $101 million gift created the Lewis Center for the Arts. “This center brings together two of my great passions,” Lewis said at its launch in 2007. “Princeton, with its constant quest for excellence, and the arts, which help people to explore their limitless human creativity.”

His beneficence spanned a wide range of disciplines and initiatives, and established him as Princeton’s most generous donor of the modern era. His many gifts to the University include the Frank Gehry-designed Lewis Library, which houses collections in the sciences; and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, given in honor of his classmate and roommate, Paul Sigler. His other gifts, far too numerous to list, supported teaching and learning throughout the University, and provided unrestricted funds for the financial aid program.

“Our students and faculty will long benefit from Peter Lewis’s unparalleled generosity to this University, and Princeton will be forever in his debt,” said President Eisgruber.