Class of 1939 Scholar
The Class of 1939 Princeton Scholar Award is given to the undergraduate who, at the end of junior year, has achieved the highest academic standing in all college work. It was established by the Class of 1939 at their 35th reunion in 1974.
This year the award was divided between two members of the Class of 2000: Izzet Coskun of Istanbul, Turkey and Benjamin Sommers of Loveland, OH.
A math major, Coskun served as a member of the Turkish delegation to the European Youth Parliament in Goteborg, Sweden while in high school. At Princeton he is a member of the Turkish Students Association and the International Students Association; he plays piano and helps organize activities at the Center for Jewish Life. This past summer he participated in an undergraduate research program at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He intends to earn a PhD in preparation for an academic career in math.
An English major, Sommers is also earning a certificate in Jewish Studies. Recipient of the 1998 Manfred Pyka Memorial Physics Prize, he is now writing his senior thesis on the cultural dialog between blacks and Jews through literature, theater and film. A resident adviser in Butler College, he is involved in SECH peer education and the Princeton Model Congress and teaches religious school at local synagogues. He also loves to play the piano, juggle and participate in intramural sports. After graduation he intends to pursue a joint degree in medicine and health policy.
Freshman First Honor
The Freshman First Honor Prize is awarded each year in recognition of exceptional academic achievement in the freshman year. This year the recipient was Lillian Beatrice Pierce '02 of Fallbrook, CA.
Pierce followed the nontraditional path of home schooling, studying academic subjects and focusing intensively on the arts and math. A violinist, she has been a member of the Palomar College Symphony Orchestra and the La Jolla Symphony and performed in the Tanglewood Music Festival. An AB candidate at Princeton, she plans to major in math while completing premedical requirements. Outside the classroom she is a member of student chamber music groups, the Princeton String Quartet and the University Orchestra. She began this past summer with a solo violin performance at the California Center for the Performing Arts in Escondido, then returned to Princeton to conduct research in theoretical chemistry, and ended the summer back in San Diego producing and acting in The Importance of Being Earnest. After completing her undergraduate studies in theoretical math, she hopes to earn an MD/PhD.
Wood Legacy prizes
The George B. Wood Legacy Sophomore Prize was divided between two members of the Class of 2001: Eileen Higham of Woodbridge, VA and Christine McLeavey of West Kingston, RI.
McLeavey, a physics major, is also earning a certificate in piano performance. In the fall of 1997, she took a leave of absence to study piano at Oberlin Conservatory. She was winner of the 1997 Manfred Pyka Memorial Physics Prize and the 1999 Kusaka Memorial Prize in Physics. She plays with the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club, as well as giving concerts as a soloist, accompanist and as a member of a chamber group. For the future, she will choose between an academic career in physics and a performing career as a pianist.
The recipient of the George B. Wood Legacy Junior Prize for the Class of 2000 is Jerrel Mast of Farmington Hills, MI. A math major, Mast plays the violin in the University Orchestra. He tutors adults in Trenton through the Student Volunteers Council and is community service chair of Campus Club. This past summer he did topology research at Tulane University under a Research Experience for Undergraduates grant sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He plans to earn a PhD in math and pursue an academic career.
Porter Ogden Jacobus Honorific Fellowship
The Graduate School's Porter Ogden Jacobus Honorific Fellowship recognizes students in their final year of enrollment who have demonstrated the highest scholarly excellence in their graduate work at Princeton.
This year the recipients were Xiaohui Fan, in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Jay Ladin, in the Department of English.