Members of Princeton University's Class of 2012 gathered on Cannon Green Monday, June 4, to celebrate the conclusion of their undergraduate careers in a Class Day ceremony honoring their leadership and accomplishments.
The Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award was presented to Kevin Donahue of Middletown, R.I. The award is given to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations." Donahue is a Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs major and a candidate for a certificate in Near Eastern studies. He served for two years as a residential college adviser in Whitman College and also led the Whitman College Council's community service efforts. Donahue led freshmen in the Community Action pre-orientation program and served as the community service chair for the Undergraduate Student Government, organizing monthly projects for Princeton students in collaboration with other campus service groups. On campus, he organized a tutoring program and a charity 5K run for the children of Dining Services staff. He also served as a project coordinator for the GetSET Afterschool Program in Trenton, N.J., and led a Breakout Princeton civic action trip through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.
Sandra Mukasa of Owings Mills, Md., received the Frederick Douglass Award, which was established in 1969 by the Association of Black Collegians. The award recognizes a senior who has exhibited courage, leadership, intellectual achievement and a willingness to contribute unselfishly toward a deeper understanding of racial minorities and who, in doing so, reflects the tradition of service at Princeton. A sociology major and candidate for certificates in African American studies and gender and sexuality studies, Mukasa has been active as a moderator for Sustained Dialogue and as a member of the Princeton Association of Black Women. She was an intern at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Center and served as a LGBT peer educator. She served as student co-chair of the LGBT Task Force and was a founding member of the Princeton Equality Project. Mukasa studied abroad in Tanzania and South Africa and volunteered in a primary school in Uganda. Next year, as a recipient of the Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize, she plans to return to Tanzania to establish an organization to combat AIDS and gender-based violence.
Angela Groves of Cleveland was awarded the Harold Willis Dodds Prize. The award recognizes the senior who best embodies the qualities of Princeton's 15th president, Harold Dodds, "particularly in the qualities of clear thinking, moral courage, a patient and judicious regard for the opinions of others, and a thoroughgoing devotion to the welfare of the University and to the life of the mind." Groves, a Wilson School major and a candidate for a certificate in African American studies, was a residential college adviser in Mathey College. She led freshmen through the Community Action pre-orientation program and the Leadership and Mentoring Program. She served as a student member of the University's Eating Club Task Force and Working Group on Campus Social and Residential Life. In addition to her role as secretary for the Class of 2012, Groves was a member of the Princeton Association of Black Women, the Black Student Union and the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She also has been involved in the local community as a tutor for the GetSET Afterschool Program in Trenton and as a tutor/mentor for elementary school children at the First Baptist Church in Princeton.
The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was presented to Lindy Li of Malvern, Pa. The Detwiler Prize is given to the senior who, in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for the class. Li, a philosophy major, was president of the Class of 2012 for three and a half years. In that position, Li served as chair of the Senior Class Commencement Committee, organized events such as a class cruise and trip to Washington, D.C., for the 2009 presidential inauguration, and spearheaded a clothing drive for the Salvation Army. She also was a four-year member of the Honor Committee and a member of the Princeton Running Club.
Michael Yaroshefsky of Wayne, N.J., received the Class of 1901 Medal, which goes to the senior, who in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for Princeton. An operations and financial engineering major, Yaroshefsky served for two years as president of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). Prior to his terms as president, he was chair of the USG's IT Committee. His many projects for the USG included the creation of TigerApps, a website that provides apps with useful and important information for students. In addition to his student government work, Yaroshefsky was a member of the Chapel Choir, competed with the Princeton Cycling Team and volunteered with the National Youth Council for the March of Dimes Foundation.
Alexander Craig, of Palo Alto, Calif., and Alexandra Gecker, of Richmond, Va., shared the Priscilla Glickman '92 Memorial Prize, which honors "independence and imagination in the area of service." Together, Craig and Gecker served as co-coordinators of the Student Volunteers Council project PiTSToP, helping elementary, middle and high school students from Trenton with homework assignments. They also implemented a pilot literacy program at a Trenton middle school through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. In addition, Craig, a classics major, was a member of the Student Volunteers Council during his four undergraduate years and helped facilitate community service activities as chair of the Whitman College Council. He also served as a residential college adviser in Whitman. Gecker, an economics major, was chair of the USG's community service committee and formed the Campus Community Challenge to encourage service through residential colleges and eating clubs. She also was a member of the Pace Center's education initiative, a task force to identify areas for future research on tutoring and mentoring best practices.
The Class of 1916 Cup, which is presented to the senior varsity letter winner with the highest academic standing, was given to Ravi Yegya-Raman of Cherry Hill, N.J. The award was given by the Class of 1916 on the occasion of its 50th reunion. Yegya-Raman played singles and doubles as a member of the men's tennis team, while balancing his academic work as an operations research and financial engineering major.
The William Winston Roper Trophy goes to "a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics." The award was shared by Donn Cabral, an economics major from Glastonbury, Conn.; Jon Christensen, a psychology major from Reston, Va.; Tyler Fiorito, a politics major from Phoenix, Md.; Alexander Mills, a philosophy major from Short Hills, N.J.; and Chad Wiedmaier, a sociology major from Chatham, N.J. Cabral, a member of the men's cross-country and track and field teams, has been part of eight Ivy League team titles in his career and is a nine-time Ivy League individual track and field champion. He is a six-time All-America, earning honors four times in track and field and twice in cross-country. Cabral also competed in seven NCAA championships, five in track and field and two in cross-country, and won the Penn Relays three times. Christensen was an integral part of the men's swimming and diving team's four straight Ivy League championships for the first time in two decades. An eight-time Ivy League individual champion, he earned both the high point swimmer and career high point swimmer honors at the 2012 Ivy League Championships. Fiorito was a first-team All-Ivy League selection three times and an All-America selection four times as the goalie for the men's lacrosse team. He was the Most Valuable Player during the 2010 Ivy League tournament and the 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year. Mills, of the men's fencing team, earned four first-team All-Ivy League honors during his career at Princeton. He also earned four All-America honors and won the inaugural Most Outstanding Performer honor at the Ivy League Round Robin in 2011. Wiedmaeir, also a member of the men's lacrosse team, is a four-time All-America player. He also is a four-time first-team All-Ivy League selection — the first player to earn the honor in Princeton history and the second in Ivy League history.
Alex Banfich, a history major from Plymouth, Ind.; Lauren Edwards, an economics major from Los Angeles; and Eileen Moran, an ecology and evolutionary biology major from Homer Glen, Ill.; shared the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award in recognition of the top senior sportswomen at Princeton. As a member of the women's cross-country and track and field teams, Banfich helped Princeton win three Ivy League championships in cross-country, two in indoor track and field and two in outdoor track and field. She also is a two-time academic All-Ivy selection and a four-time national All-Academic Team honoree. Banfich is a two-time All-America honoree in cross country, helping her team finish strongly at a number of NCAA cross country championships during her four years. A four-year starter on the women's basketball team, Edwards was part of three consecutive Ivy League championship teams and in 2012 she helped Princeton become the first Ivy women's basketball program to earn a national ranking. She also earned first-team All-Ivy League honors for three years, was a three-time academic All-Ivy selection and was on the All-America second team. Moran, of the women's track and field team, is a five-time Ivy League champion. She holds five Princeton records including the indoor 60 meters, 300 meters and 4x400 meter relay, as well as the outdoor 4x100 meter and 4x200 meter relays.
The Arthur Lane '34 Award was given to Hilary Bartlett, a Wilson School major from New York City; Allison Behringer, a sociology major from Severna Park, Md.; Hannah Cody, a religion major from Dunwoody, Ga.; Lauren Edwards, an economics major from Los Angeles; Manny Sardinha, an ecology and evolutionary biology major from San Diego; and Chad Wiedmaier, a sociology major from Chatham, N.J. The award honors selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete. Bartlett, a member of the women's tennis team, was a first-team All-Ivy League player for four years and was named Ivy League Player of the Year. She spent her summers working on international causes, such as interning at an environmental organization in Thailand, working at the Council on Foreign Relations and conducting research for the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in India. Behringer, a member of the field hockey team, spent the summer after her sophomore year working at an orphanage in India and teaching field hockey to children there. She also interned with the Global Literacy Project in South Africa and she plans to participate in the Princeton in Asia program in Thailand after graduation. As a member of the women's swimming and diving team, Cody led efforts to promote community service among the men's and women's teams. She participated in the Toys for Tots campaign and coordinated the Special Olympics' Learn to Swim program, which offers free lessons to the special needs community in the greater Princeton area. Cody also participated in a Breakout Princeton trip that provided art therapy for special needs students and spent the past summer as an affordable housing intern in Atlanta. Edwards, of the women's basketball team, spent the summer before her junior year teaching English and helping build a school in Cambodia. She and her teammates also spent five days this summer in Senegal, where they held a basketball clinic for local youth. Edwards is the first athlete to win both the Lane and von Kienbusch awards. Sardinha, a member of the men's soccer team, worked with the Trenton Tots program through the Student Volunteers Council and spent two summers as a counselor at the Ronald McDonald House for ill children in Los Angeles. He also served as the soccer team's athlete wellness leader, receiving training on how to help others work through a variety of personal issues. Wiedmaier, of the men's lacrosse team, has taken a lead role in the organization Fields of Growth, which uses lacrosse to promote educational and economic ventures in Uganda. He spent a month in Uganda last summer working with local children and helping build facilities for village residents. After graduation, he will join the entire Princeton lacrosse team as Fields of Growth expands its service projects to Costa Rica. Wiedmaier is first Princeton athlete to win both the Lane Award and Roper Trophy.
Honorary class members
The Class of 2012 also recognized the following people as honorary class members during the Class Day ceremony: Steve Carell, actor, comedian and the Class Day speaker; Derek DiGregorio, a student at John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton who was diagnosed as a young boy with Ataxia Telangiectasia and started the organization Derek's Dreams to raise awareness about the rare degenerative disease; Sean Ryder, sergeant for community relations in the Department of Public Safety; Dianne Spatafore, director of Campus Club; and Howard Sutphin, a residential food service worker in Dining Services.
The following individuals also will be named honorary class members during other graduation events this month: the Rev. Peter French, chaplain for the Episcopal Church at Princeton; Thomas Dunne, associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students; and Margaret Miller, assistant vice president for the Alumni Council and a member of the Class of 1980.