Members of Princeton University's Class of 2015 gathered in the University Chapel Monday, June 1, to celebrate the conclusion of their undergraduate careers in a Class Day ceremony honoring their achievements and leadership.
The Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award was presented to Laura Harder of Shanghai. 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." Harder is a major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She has served for two years as chair of the Student Volunteers Council, overseeing more than 40 service projects. In addition, she is one of two students appointed to the University's Service and Civic Engagement Self-Study task force. Harder started the Prison Electives Project, designing and teaching a course on poetry and public speaking for 15 inmates. She also trained other student volunteer teachers in the program. Harder also was a co-founder of the "Ban the Box" student initiative. She was a site director, and then program director, of the Let's Get Ready SAT prep course for first-generation, low-income high school students. The weekly service project engaged more than 40 of her Princeton peers who taught and mentored high school juniors from several underserved local schools. She has also held several summer public service internships and has participated in a variety of other service projects.
Hannah Rosenthal of St. Louis received the Frederick Douglass Award, established in 1969 at the recommendation of Carl Fields, who was assistant dean of the college. 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. Rosenthal is a politics major earning a certificate in African American studies. As a high school student she was one of the winners of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. Rosenthal has been a student fellow at the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Understanding and has served as the coordinator of the "Ask Big Questions" series for the past two years. She also was the driving force behind a dinner-dialogue series between students who affiliate with the Fields Center and the Center for Jewish Life. Rosenthal developed the Club Nom dinners with the eating clubs, with the purpose of promoting informal discussions about complex subjects. She has served as a residential college adviser in Wilson College, and has been a member of the Black Men's Awareness Group, working on the group's behalf as the liaison to community groups and other organizations outside the University to coordinate service projects. She has held public service internships with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and with the North Star Academy Charter School in Newark, New Jersey.
The Harold Willis Dodds Prize was presented to Brett Diehl of Charlottesville, Virginia. 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." Diehl is a history major earning certificates in Spanish language and culture and Latin American studies. He has served as a residential college adviser for the past two years at Wilson College. Diehl was president of Students for Prison Education and Reform, where he led weekly meetings, oversaw a number of educational initiatives and campaigns, and organized student conferences. Since his freshman year, Diehl has volunteered weekly as a prison tutor through the Petey Greene Program. He also has served as chair of the Undergraduate Student Government's campus and community affairs committee and has been a four-year member of the club volleyball team.
The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was given to Jonathan Ma of Arcadia, California. The award is given to the senior who, in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for the class. Ma is an economic major earning a certificate in statistics and machine learning. He was president of the Class of 2015 for four years. He also is the co-founder of CodePrep, teaching computer science classes to young students in his hometown.
Shawon Jackson of University Park, Illinois, received the Class of 1901 Medal. The medal recognizes the senior, who in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for Princeton. Jackson is a Woodrow Wilson School major earning certificates in African American studies, Latino studies and Spanish language and culture. He served as president of the Undergraduate Student Government from 2012-15. He was project manager of the Students for Education Reform's College 1010 program. He also was a residential college adviser in Forbes College and a member of diSiac Dance Company.
Claire Nuchtern of Houston received the Priscilla Glickman '92 Memorial Prize, which honors "independence and imagination in the area of service." A Woodrow Wilson School major, Nuchtern is a tutor at the A.C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility through the Petey Greene Program. She is a board member of the Pace Council for Civic Values and served on the board of the Women's Mentorship Program. In her freshman year she started the College Counseling Project through the Student Volunteers Council. The project matches low-income high school students with Princeton undergraduates to mentor them through the college application process. She is a member of Students for Prison Education and Reform and helped organize a benefit concert on campus for the victims of the April earthquake in Nepal. Outside of the University, Nuchtern co-founded a project called Sibs' Journey, which aims to support siblings of family members with disabilities and broaden the narrative of their experience.
The Class of 1916 Cup was given to Chris McCord of Newark, Delaware. The award, which was given by the Class of 1916 on the occasion of its 50th reunion, is presented to the senior varsity letter winner with the highest academic standing. McCord, an operations research and financial engineering major, is a four-year letter-winner on the sprint football team. He served as one of the team's captains during the past two seasons. He was a first-team College Sprint Football League selection as a junior, the same year he made 35 receptions, the second-highest single-season total in program history. He was a second-team College Sprint Football League selection as a sophomore and senior, and he was named an Academic All-Ivy League honoree this past fall.
The William Winston Roper Trophy was awarded to Mike MacDonald of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada. The trophy goes to "a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics." MacDonald, a politics major, is one of the greatest scorers in the history of the men's lacrosse team. He set the University record for points in a season this year, and he graduates third in all-time goal scoring in the team's history. MacDonald was the 2015 Ivy League Co-Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection, giving him two first-team All-Ivy selections in his career.
Blake Dietrick of Wellesley, Massachusetts, received the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award. The award recognizes the top senior sportswoman at Princeton. A member of the women's basketball team, Dietrick helped lead the team this year to a historic 30-0 regular season and a fifth Ivy League title in six years, as well as the highest national ranking in Ivy League women's basketball history. Dietrick, an English major, is a seven-time Ivy League Player of the Week and was the conference's unanimous choice for Player of the Year this season. She is a two-time, first-team All-Ivy selection and she also received Associated Press and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's honorable mention All-America honors.
The Arthur Lane '34 Award honors selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete. The honor was shared this year by Andrew Mills of Sacramento, California, and Tiana Woolridge of Sherman Oaks, California. Mills is a Woodrow Wilson School major and member of the men's soccer team, which was the Ivy League co-champion this season. He was one of the team's captains and was named second-team All-Ivy League this season. Mills earned the team's Rob Myslik Award given to a member who "most demonstrates a passion for life, a fiery competitiveness, an unwavering honesty and a selfless generosity." In addition, he re-established the Princeton chapter of Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement to create one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and development disabilities. Mills also worked as a student-athlete wellness leader, was a volunteer coach for the Dillon Youth Basketball League and a volunteer with the "Restore The Shore" project as part of the Princeton Varsity Club's Weapons of Mass Construction community service initiative. Woolridge, a Woodrow Wilson School major, is a member of the women's volleyball team. One of the league's most efficient hitters during her career, she ranked first and third in the Ivy League in her two seasons as a starter. She was one of five finalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup, given to amateur athletes for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society. As a junior she won the University's Spirit of Princeton Award, which is given to undergraduates who have made positive contributions to campus life. Woolridge was a founder of the Student-Athlete Service Council, which enables interested student-athletes to get more involved with community projects, and served on the executive board of Student Volunteers Council. She was vice president of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, as well as an organizer of campus blood drives through the Student Health Advisory Board. She interned with the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, D.C., last summer and has been director of fundraising for the Princeton chapter of the Foundation for Medical Relief of Children, including coordinating a relief trip to Costa Rica.
Honorary class members
The Class of 2015 also recognized the following people as honorary class members during the Class Day ceremony: Shelley Jannos, assistant to the deputy dean of undergraduate students; Mary Kemler, assistant director of client resources, University Services; Charles Krank, assistant director, Facilities Operations; Christopher Nolan, Class Day speaker; Joseph Ramirez, a Class of 2007 graduate and former staff member in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students; Joel Ristuccia, chaplain, Manna Christian Fellowship; and Valerie Smith, dean of the college.