Welcome message to parents and families of '24 Forbesians from HOC

Monday, Jul 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Families,

We warmly welcome you and your first-year student to the Forbes community!  I want you to know that our team at Forbes, and all the Princeton faculty and staff, have been working tirelessly to navigate the challenges that come with a global pandemic in an academic setting.  Our goal is for your student to remain safe and healthy while enjoying a meaningful academic and social experience.  Your student is in good and able hands.

I write this letter not only as the Head of Forbes College, but also with experience of being a faculty member here since 2002, and as a mother of two college students. I am thus very familiar with the University, and with the mixed feelings of pride and anxiety associated with a young adult leaving for college.  The current situation will leave you with more questions than ‘normal,’ no doubt!  There is a lot of information on the Fall 2020 planning website, and the FAQ section, which may be of help.  We’ve attempted to anticipate many of your questions with these online resources, but please know that we are eager to be of assistance if you have further questions. We will respond to your questions and concerns, but please be patient. We are in an unprecedented situation and are doing our best to respond thoughtfully, which might not be immediately. 

I work closely with the advising and support staff at Forbes College – they are an amazing group of people! I recently wrote them saying how glad I am to be on their team because it takes not only individual talent, but also teamwork to develop an exceptional student experience.  Two weeks ago, your student should have received a welcome email from me, another from our Director of Studies, Rashidah Andrews, regarding academic planning (e.g. course selection and more), and another email from our Director of Student Life, Olivia Weiner, who focuses on aspects of student life that complement your student’s  academic experience, including housing.  Please encourage your student reach out to them with any concerns.

As a whole, the staff oversees rich and stimulating programs that enhance the intellectual, cultural, and social experience of our students. In the first year, we will adapt to safe means of enabling these experiences, but we still intend for all the students in Forbes to feel they are truly welcomed as members of a strong community and family.

Forbes College is located at the western edge of campus, overlooking Princeton’s Springdale Golf course. Across the greens, you can see the Gothic towers of Princeton’s Graduate College. Of the six residential colleges, we definitely have the best views and the largest wide-open outdoor space (click here for a photo of the Forbes backyard)!  The main building of Forbes College was originally the Princeton Inn, a hotel built during the Roaring Twenties, and our college still has a bit of an “Inn” flavor. While on a map Forbes appears as the furthest from the center of campus compared to other residential colleges, it is only a two minute walk further than the next runner up!  Many of us see this location as ideal: When we cross Alexander Street after a busy day of classes, Forbesians – more than their classmates at other colleges – “go home” to the Inn.

We know you will have many questions and concerns about your child’s upcoming transition to college, and we have done our best to anticipate them. Please refer to the COVID-19 Information page for the most current information on the University’s response to the current global pandemic, including its impact on the residential colleges and undergraduate teaching.  The University home page will also guide you to updates and information on such timely information as Princeton’s efforts to promote equality, combat racism, and facilitate engagement with these important issues on campus and beyond.  For less time-sensitive information and advice, I encourage you to refer a special section of the Office of the Dean of the College website with information for parents and families, including a monthly guide for first-year families and a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions from parents about Move-In and Orientation.  As the term progresses, you will find Forbes-specific news, events, and activities on the Forbes College website. You will also find information specific to the class of 2024, and a welcome message from Dean Jill Dolan on the Your Path to Princeton website.

Finally, but most importantly, I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy.  We will do our very best to update you on plans for the start of the academic year and to care for your student’s wellbeing during their time at Princeton.  Whether virtually or in person, I look forward to welcoming your student to Forbes!


Maria E. Moreyra Garlock, P.E., Ph.D.

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Head of Forbes College