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For immediate release: June 4, 2002

Contact: Marilyn Marks, (609) 258-3601 or mailto:mmarks@princeton.edu

Princeton University holds 255th Commencement

1,702 students awarded degrees

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton University awarded degrees to 1,091 undergraduates and 611 graduate students at its 255th Commencement today. Honorary degrees were awarded to eight individuals who have made significant contributions in the sciences, arts and humanities.

In her first Commencement address as Princeton's president, Shirley M. Tilghman addressed the graduates at the ceremony, which was held on the front lawn of historic Nassau Hall.

Five hundred sixty five men and 523 women in the class of 2002 received degrees today. Of those, 886 received bachelor of arts degrees and 202 received bachelor of science in engineering degrees. Three students from earlier classes also received degrees today.

About 46.2 percent of the class members, or 503 students, received honors. Of these, 98 students graduated with highest honors, 175 with high honors, and 230 with honors.

The 611 advanced degrees awarded today included both masters degrees and doctorates. These were: 232 doctor of philosophy degrees, 227 master of arts degrees, 52 master in public affairs degrees, 21 master of science in engineering degrees, 20 master of architecture degrees, 20 master of engineering degrees, 16 master in public policy degrees, 11 master in public affairs and urban and regional planning degrees, four master of fine arts degrees, four master in finance degrees, three master of Near Eastern studies degrees and one master of science degree.

Lillian Pierce, a mathematics major and accomplished musician who will study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar next fall, gave the valedictory address. The salutatorian was Josephine Dru, who addressed her classmates and their guests in Latin - a vestige from the days when the entire Commencement ceremony was conducted in that language. The salutatory oration, Princeton's oldest student honor, began as a serious, formal address, but today it is often humorous.

Because few students today know Latin, the new graduates follow along using printed copies of the remarks, complete with footnotes telling them when to applaud (plaudite), laugh (ridete) and shout (vociferate).

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