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For immediate release: June 3, 2003
Contact: Patricia Allen, (609) 258-6108, pallen@princeton.edu
(Editor's Note: A total of 1,117 undergraduates were granted degrees in the 2002-03 school year, including students from earlier classes. However, only 1,108 undergraduate degrees were actually awarded at commencement.)

Princeton University holds 256th Commencement
1,812 students awarded degrees

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton University awarded degrees to 1,117 undergraduates and 695 graduate students at its 256th Commencement today. In addition, the University conferred honorary doctorate degrees upon five individuals for their contributions in the fields of education, science, human rights law and the humanities.

President Shirley M. Tilghman, the 19th president of Princeton, presided over the ceremony and addressed graduates. Approximately 8,000 guests attended the morning ceremony on the front lawn of historic Nassau Hall.

The valedictory oration was delivered by Peggy Ping Hsu from Bethlehem, Pa. Hsu, with a grade point average well over 4.0, majored in molecular biology.

Salutatorian Jesse Liebman, of New York City, who received a bachelor's degree in classics, addressed his classmates and their guests in Latin -- a tradition that dates back to an era when the entire ceremony was conducted in Latin. The Latin Salutatory, Princeton's oldest student honor, began as a serious, formal address, but today it often contains humorous tributes, recollections and a farewell to Princeton campus life.

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). Guests and other audience members do not have the annotated copies as tradition dictates since the salute is directed to the members of the class.

Class of 2003 By the Numbers:
570 men, 532 women
929 bachelor of arts
173 bachelor of science in engineering
1,102 total class of 2003 undergraduate degrees awarded
Six degrees were awarded to students from earlier classes and nine undergraduate degrees were awarded earlier in the academic year.

Class of 2003 Honors:
484 received honors (43.9 percent)
41.4 percent of men and 46.6 percent of women
105 highest
156 high
223 honors

Graduate Degrees:
260 doctors of philosophy
269 master of arts
53 master in public affairs
23 master in finance
21 master in architecture
20 master of science in engineering
17 master of engineering
12 master in public affairs and urban and regional planning
14 master in public policy
4 master of fine arts
2 master in Near Eastern studies

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