Princeton University has renamed the iconic Lockhart Hall archway to honor Kentaro Ikeda, a remarkable figure in the institution’s history.
Remembering a complex history: While the New Jersey-based Ivy League school protected him during a challenging time, it also acted as his de facto jailer due to wartime restrictions. The university’s decision to rename the archway is seen as an acknowledgment of this history and a step toward building a more inclusive and just institution.
A fitting tribute: Speaking at the dedication ceremony on Sept. 13, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber emphasized the significance of Ikeda’s story:
“Decades after the war, the U.S. government formally apologized for the treatment of Japanese people during World War II. With this naming, we honor Kentaro’s experience at Princeton during the war and his inspiring persistence in the face of adversity. As future generations of Princetonians traverse our campus, they too will come to know his remarkable story.”
Paying respects: The ceremony saw dozens gather in front of Lockhart Hall, including Ikeda’s widow, Young Yang Chung, who joined university officials in the ribbon cutting. Michele Minter, vice provost for institutional equity and diversity, and Beth Lew-Williams, associate professor of history and chair of the university’s naming committee, were also present to pay their respects.