Bob Hillier, as usual, hit the nail on the head: “Princeton is the best little city in the world, and that’s because of the university.” Hillier was part of the quartet of heavy-hitter speakers that brought some of the biggest names in the Princeton arts and business communities into the Princeton University Art Museum on Thursday, June 23, for the first annual Princeton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Recognition Event. Hillier was joined at the podium by Peter Crowley, president and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce; James Steward, director of the museum; and Fred Young, VP, Glenmede Investment and Wealth Management.

Many of the guests, remarkably, had never been to the museum, which, Hillier pointed out with his characteristically keen observation skills, is actually closer to the intersection of Nassau and Witherspoon streets than Princeton Public Library — only no one can see it because Nassau Hall is in the way.

Steward took the opportunity to tell this captive audience of movers and shakers that, because of its wow factor, the museum is a great selling point for new hires considering a move to the Princeton area. Steward told guests that the museum had a record 150,000 visitors in the past year; houses 82,000 works of art, five to seven percent of which is on view at any given time; mounts 15 temporary exhibitions a year; and is home to one of the top five photography collections in the world.

What he didn’t mention was that everyone who works in the Princeton area should know that the museum is open Thursdays til 10 p.m. Admission? Free. The art? Priceless.

For more photos of the event, see U.S. 1’s Facebook album:

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