Shawon Jackson remarks at installation of President Eisgruber

By Shawon Jackson, president of the Undergraduate Student Government

Sept. 22, 2013

It’s such an honor and a pleasure to take part in this installation ceremony today. I’d like to thank you for inviting me to speak.

On behalf of all undergraduate students, I’d like to formally welcome President Eisgruber as the 20th President of Princeton University.

I’ve only heard positive things from students about our new President. Even as the Prince conducted a thorough investigation on President Eisgruber’s life, they found “Success – and only success”, as the 3400-word article detailing Eisgruber’s entire life is titled.

Before taking on this new role, President Eisgruber spearheaded many meaningful initiatives, many of which had a great impact on student life. As Provost of the University, he worked to expand international opportunities for Princeton students. Today, thousands of Princetonians take advantage of travelling, studying, and interning abroad. Coming back to campus, it’s always powerful for me to see just how much an abroad experience changes my friends’ worldviews.

We also appreciate President Eisgruber’s commitment to diversity, which was a priority for him as the Provost and is still a priority for him today. Most recently, the Board of Trustees released a report detailing how Princeton can enhance its diversity efforts. While the committee’s work is done, President Eisgruber noted, “our community’s work is only beginning.” His charge for all of us to think critically about diversity is inspiring, and we commend him for thinking about how we can make the Princeton of today even better and more welcoming for all tomorrow.

And as the class of 2017 is well aware, President Eisgruber also began a new tradition this year: the pre-read. As an RCA in Forbes, I saw first-hand how freshmen took this experience to combine their academic experience with their residential one. I commend President Eisgruber on making sure these two worlds are combined, allowing us – as Princetonians – to form greater bonds with one another and have a more rewarding undergraduate experience.

Beyond these impressive initiatives, it’s the small things about President Eisgruber that make students excited about his term: meeting with students in Forbes to talk about the Honor Code, or personally emailing a student with book recommendations based on his interests. He takes the time to listen – to all of us. And for that, we are deeply grateful.

I’m sure I speak for all undergraduates when I say: President Eisgruber, we are so grateful to have you. We wish you all the best, and we look forward to a wonderful year.