Albert P. Delacorte '35 was a remarkable and thoughtful philanthropist whose deep love of learning and compassion for the underprivileged fueled his determination to open up educational opportunity to minorities.
In 1971 he began funding an annual scholarship to provide financial aid for African-American and Hispanic students at Princeton. In the early 1990s Delacorte set out to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of the African-American intellectual and social activist W. E. B. DuBois. Delacorte passed away in the summer of 2004, and the remainder of his gift to Princeton’s pooled income fund, along with a bequest, fully funded the scholarship.
By naming the scholarship after DuBois, Delacorte, a son of the well-known publisher and philanthropist, George T. Delacorte, partly reflected his desire to deflect attention from his family name. However, DuBois's reverence for education as the foundation for freedom also resonated with him. After 25 years as an editor at his father's company, Dell Publishing, Delacorte spent the remainder of his working life teaching English as a second language to immigrant youth on New York's Lower East Side.
He also preserved his father's philanthropy while redirecting it towards some broader social concerns, including urban education. His love of art, literature, and languages was also a great and palpable passion of his lifetime—in his last months he even brought his small traveling library of literature to medical appointments.
"I know that he was a rarity," says Albert's son, Peter '67. "However, I hope that there are other Princeton alumni who will follow the same path. I know that I will."