Pardon selected as valedictorian, Shi named salutatorian

John Pardon, a mathematics major from Chapel Hill, N.C., will be the valedictorian for Princeton University's class of 2011. Veronica Shi, a classics major from West Covina, Calif., has been named the Latin salutatorian.

The Princeton faculty accepted the nominations of the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing at its April 25 meeting.

Pardon, who stands at the top of the class of 2011, will deliver the valedictory address at Princeton's Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 31. Shi, who stands seventh in the class of 2011, will deliver the traditional salutatory oration in Latin at Commencement.

Pardon and Shi this fall shared the Class of 1939 Princeton Scholar Award, which is given annually to the undergraduate who, at the end of the junior year, has achieved the highest academic standing for all preceding college work at the University. They both have twice won the University's Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and were elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2010.

In addition to prizes for outstanding achievement within the mathematics department, Pardon won the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a national award recognizing outstanding potential in math, natural sciences or engineering. Among his research accomplishments, he solved a well-known problem in knot theory that will appear as a paper in the Annals of Mathematics, the top research journal in the field.

Shi was awarded the 2011 Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship, one of the highest awards given to Princeton undergraduates. She also received a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, which recognizes minority students and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities who will pursue a Ph.D. in the arts and sciences.

Feature stories on these students will be posted on the University home page next month.