Forbes College is located on the site of the historic Princeton Inn, a gracious hotel overlooking the Princeton golf course. The Princeton Inn, originally constructed in 1924, played regular host to important symposia and gatherings of renowned scholars from both the University and the nearby Institute for Advanced Studies for many years.
In 1970, the Inn was acquired by the University to create an undergraduate residential college. A generous gift from Malcolm S. Forbes, Sr. ’41 allowed for extensive renovations to the entire facility in 1984. The newly renovated residential college was named in honor of Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr. ’70. Forbes College, now one of six residential colleges at Princeton, functions as a center of undergraduate academic advising and carries on the legacy of the Princeton Inn by hosting a diverse range of intellectual, social, and cultural events.
Former Heads of College include Albert Sonnenfeld, Professor of French Literature and Comparative Literature (1970‑1973); Lawrence Lipking, Professor of English and Comparative Literature (1973‑1976); Lou Ann Garvey (1976‑1983); and Lynn T. White, Professor of Chinese Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, (1987‑1988).
John F. Wilson, Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion, was head from 1983‑1987 and 1988‑1992; John G. Gager, William H. Danforth Professor of Religion (1992-2000); Andrea La Paugh, Professor of Computer Science (2000-2004); Elizabeth Lunbeck, Professor of History (2004-2006); Christian Wildberg, Professor of Classics (2006-2010); Michael Hecht, Professor of Chemistry (2010-2018).
The current head is Maria Garlock, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2018-).