Video feature: 'Student focus: Celebrating Dean's Date'

Jan. 10, 2011 noon
Rakesh Satyal

Rakesh Satyal of the class of 2002 (shown above) thought a bit of optimism and a free doughnut or two could help ease his classmates' stress during Dean's Date. He enlisted his friends' help for Princeton's first celebration in 1999. Due to its immediate popularity, it became a semiannual tradition that carries on today.

Photo courtesy of Rakesh Satyal

Video still courtesy of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students

John Monagle, a Princeton junior, and Zach Zimmerman, a 2010 Princeton graduate, host this video profile of Dean's Date, which takes place at the end of each semester. This year's events happen Tuesday, Jan. 11, and Tuesday, May 11.

The title "Dean's Date" has long represented the last day for undergraduate students to turn in written coursework. Many students hand in all of their work ahead of Dean's Date. Some students turn in coursework so close to the deadline that they can be seen running across campus to make it on time.

For more than a decade, the date has been celebrated by undergraduates who pack McCosh Courtyard to cheer on their fellow students. The University provides free food, and the Princeton University Band provides the tunes.

The celebration was introduced by Rakesh Satyal of the class of 2002 to bring a little levity to the scene. He enlisted a group of friends to start the first Dean's Date festivities in 1999. By the time he graduated, the event attracted more than 400 participants.

The tradition is carried on by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Undergraduate Student Government.