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Lawrenceville Announces Hutchins Center for Race & Social Justice

As Lawrenceville endeavors to strengthen its culture of belonging and to prepare its students as critical thinkers and doers, the School is honored to announce the forthcoming Hutchins Center for Race and Social Justice.

Consistent with Lawrenceville’s mission to "...challenge a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose," this interdisciplinary hub will promote academic research and active civic engagement. Framed through the lens of the "Energize Academic Culture" pillar of Lawrenceville 20/20, the School's strategic plan, the Hutchins Center will advance the vision of applied, experiential learning and will empower students to pursue original research and writing, actively seeking solutions to some of the greatest societal challenges of our time. It will offer direct access to scholars and leaders at highly respected national organizations, as well as opportunities for guided student research, faculty and staff fellowships, and summer studies.

Launching in fall 2021 with a national search for an executive director underway, the Hutchins Center will be housed in the Hutchins Galleries and offer gathering and presentation space, flexible study areas, and multimedia resources.

"The newly established Hutchins Center for Race and Social Justice will create meaningful and enriching experiences that will inspire lifelong learning, critical thinking, and impassioned action in each and every Lawrentian," said Head of School Steve Murray. "As we endeavor to stimulate and support student and faculty intellect and ambition, this academic research institution provides unparalleled leadership opportunities and vital connections."

Leaders of the Lawrenceville Black Alumni Association developed the original concept for this landmark initiative. An advisory board with leading practitioners at Rutgers University, Princeton University, and New York University, as well as select Lawrenceville School community members, produced and refined the full vision for the Center.

Primary financial support for the Hutchins Center is provided by Trustee Emeritus Glenn Hutchins '73, who also was highly influential in developing the vision that focuses on both scholarship and social activism. In concert with the Hutchins Family Foundation, Hutchins has made enduring contributions to the School through initiatives like the Hutchins Scholars Program, which provides enriching research experiences for Lawrenceville’s most committed student scientists and prepares them for leading university science programs and related careers. The Hutchins Galleries at Lawrenceville offer rotating exhibitions, integrating art into campus life and inspiring individual reflection and community dialogue. Hutchins is also a benefactor of both the Obama Foundation and the Hutchins Center for Africa and African American Research at Harvard University, as well as other organizations like Brookings and CARE that seek both to promote justice and to take concerted action.

"Lawrenceville's motto, Virtus Semper Viridis, exhorts us to create an ever more perfect school," said Hutchins. "Like many fine institutions, our dear alma mater seeks today to act upon its virtues by reconciling with our imperfect past while preserving the best of our hallowed traditions – and preparing young leaders who can ensure our ongoing vitality. If this new Center nudges us along that path, we will have done some small share of the unfinished work of those who preceded us."

Inspired when they heard the news about the Hutchins Center, Trustee Emeritus David Ottaway '57 and his wife, Marina P'86 '91 GP'24, have provided additional generous support, helping to ensure a strong launch and a successful future.

The Hutchins Center for Race and Social Justice is an outgrowth of the School’s continued diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, which have been detailed in a strategic plan designed to steward these priorities.