Princeton Alumni Couple Donates $20 Million for New Psychology Building

Construction in progress at the new neuroscience building and Peretsman-Scully Hall (taller building on the right). Photo courtesy of Princeton University Office of Communications, Mahlon Lovett.

Princeton University alumni Nancy Peretsman and Robert Scully have donated $20 million for the naming of a new psychology building that is currently being built on the south edge of the Princeton University campus.

The building will be called Peretsman-Scully Hall. It is part of a two-building, 248,000-square-foot complex south of Icahn Laboratory and west of Washington Road that will also house the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Designed by José Rafael Moneo Vallés Arquitecto of Madrid, the three-year project is expected to be completed in the spring of  2013.

The new complex will feature state-of-the-art research facilities, meeting rooms, faculty offices and instructional space. The contemporary structures have been sited to take advantage of the landscape, with two of Peretsman-Scully Hall’s five stories nestled into the ground on the north side emerging to ground level on the south side. The neuroscience portion of the complex, which is on the west side of the site, will have two above-grade stories. There will be many areas of shared space between the two.

The Department of Psychology currently is located farther north on Washington Road in Green Hall, which was built in 1927. The Princeton Neuroscience Institute shares space with the department of molecular biology in the Thomas Laboratory, also in the natural sciences neighborhood.

Peretsman, a University trustee for 21 years, was co-chair of Princeton’s Aspire campaign, which concluded on June 30 after raising $1.88 billion. She earned a bachelor’s degree  in the University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1976, and received a master’s degree in public policy and management from Yale University. She is a managing director at Allen & Co., an investment banking firm in New York City specializing in media and communications. She founded and chaired the University’s Women in Leadership initiative and is now a member of its advisory committee. She also served as chair of the New York City region during the Anniversary Campaign for Princeton in 1995-2000. She is on the boards of Teach for America and the Institute for Advanced Study.

Scully, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Princeton in 1972, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he serves as a member of its board of dean’s advisors. He retired in 2009 from Morgan Stanley after 35 years in the financial services industry and is a member of the board of directors of Bank of America Corp. and KKR & Co. He also co-chairs the New York advisory board of Teach for America.

The couple’s daughter, Emma Scully, graduated in Princeton’s Class of 2012.