Founding Donors

Peter B. Lewis '55

Peter B. Lewis, a member of Princeton's board of trustees, gave $35 million to launch the scientific programs within the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Lewis, who is chairman and CEO of the Progressive Corporation, one of the nation's largest auto insurers, made the donation to mark the 45th anniversary of the graduation of his Class of 1955 from Princeton.

The endowment also honors Lewis' long time friend and roommate at Princeton, Dr. Paul B. Sigler '55. Sigler was one of the world's leading structural biologists, a field that has provided insights into the amazing chemistry of life. Before his untimely death in January 2000, Sigler was the Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale, an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Part of the endowment from Lewis' gift will be used to support promising early career scientists as Lewis-Sigler Fellows. Typically, five-year term appointments will be made, with ample start-up funding to ensure that these scientists can focus immediately on their research and teaching.

"What really excites me about this new initiative," said Lewis, "is that it brings together remarkably talented people in a way that is very different from what has been traditionally done at Princeton. The combination of bright young minds, experienced senior scientists and the resources for them to work together creatively in an area of international importance maximizes the chances that good ideas and important discoveries will happen. I've always been a risk-taker myself, and this new Institute seems very much in that spirit."

Carl Icahn '57

Carl Icahn was awarded the McCosh Prize for the finest thesis written by a student in the Philosophy Department in his senior year. After graduating from Princeton he attended medical school for two years and then left to enter the world of finance as a stockbroker in New York. Within a decade he had founded his own firm, Icahn and Company. In his long career as a financier and executive, Icahn has bought, sold, and managed an array of enterprises. He has shown a zest for philanthropy, especially involving the welfare of children and the progress of learning. His vision for an expansive future in biology and his confidence in Princeton's leadership in the life sciences led to his generous gift of the Carl Icahn Laboratory.