Friederike Funk remarks at installation of President Eisgruber

By Friederike Funk, president of the Graduate Student Government

Sept. 22, 2013

Good afternoon. On behalf of the more than 2,600 graduate students in the 42 departments and academic programs at Princeton it is my pleasure to welcome President Eisgruber as the 20th President of Princeton University.

For a graduate student, Princeton University is a fantastic place to work and grow. I know that President Eisgruber deeply cares about the high quality of teaching and research here at Princeton. And graduate students play a critical role in this. We learn how to become good teachers by being preceptors or teaching assistants. And we are asked to start our own line of research and become independent thinkers. We take in the current knowledge of experts in our field, and we are asked to create something new out of it. As graduate students, we need the right balance of guidance and freedom to explore new things, so that we can make new contributions to our fields and generate the knowledge of future generations.

President Eisgruber, I think, will face a similar challenge. How can you preserve the traditions, the culture, and core values of Princeton but still lead this University into the next decade? Where should you be courageous, how do you find the right areas that need to be addressed and changed, and how do you choose where and how Princeton wants to innovate?

On behalf of the graduate students, I wish President Eisgruber courage and wisdom to make the right decisions, to be a pioneer, and to shape the field of higher education.
President Eisgruber, we are eager to work with you and your administration to address the challenges, needs, and opportunities of the years ahead. We look forward to thinking about new ways to advance the research and teaching experience of graduate students.
Princeton needs to prepare graduate students for the job they choose – in or outside of academia – and encourage them to be visionary, to make a difference, and to have a positive influence on other people’s lives.

On behalf of the graduate student body, once again welcome, and all the best to you, President Eisgruber, for your years as President of this great University.