Members of Princeton University's Class of 2016 gathered in the Princeton University Chapel Monday, May 30, to celebrate the conclusion of their undergraduate careers in a Class Day ceremony honoring their accomplishments and service.
The Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award was awarded to Funmi Adetunji of Laurel, Maryland. 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 the service of humanity." Adetunji is a molecular biology major earning a certificate in global health and health policy. She is a peer academic adviser in Whitman College and a peer adviser for the Health Professions Advising Office. Much of her extracurricular activities have been focused on reducing disparities in health care. She has volunteered with nonprofit organizations such as Tropical Clinics for Rural Health in Kenya and the One World Center for Autism. She served as vice president and secretary of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students. Adetunji also tutored middle and high school students during a Breakout Princeton civic engagement trip.
Zenaida Enchill of Bowie, Maryland, 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. An English major, Enchill was a residential college adviser in Rockefeller College for two years and served as vice president of the Black Student Union (BSU). She led campus dialogues about how to create a more welcoming community for students of color and developed the BSU's "I too, am Princeton" campaign. She also helped the BSU form and join the Black Ivy Coalition with other universities. In addition to this work, she helped create the annual Sankofa fashion show highlighting African clothing and performing arts groups.
The Harold Willis Dodds Prize was given to Joshua Pitkoff of Pound Ridge, New York. 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." A philosophy major, Pitkoff has been a residential college adviser in Forbes College for two years and served on the Committee on Discipline for three years. In addition, he has held numerous leadership positions at the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), including as president of the CJL Student Board. In his sophomore year he became a campus entrepreneur intern with CJL, leading conversations with students about religious and sexual identity, mental health, personal practices and implicit biases.
Justin Ziegler of Leonia, New Jersey, received the W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize. The prize is given to the senior who, in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for the class. He is a Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs major earning a certificate in African studies. Ziegler has been president of the Class of 2016 since his sophomore year and was a member of the Class Council his freshman year. Ziegler is a co-founder of the club Speak With Style, which aims to improve students' communication and public speaking skills. He also has been involved in the Pace Council for Civic Values and Princeton Business Volunteers. He spent the summer after his freshman year studying in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The Class of 1901 Medal was given to Ella Cheng of New York City. The medal recognizes the senior, who in the judgment of the student's classmates, has done the most for Princeton. Cheng is a Woodrow Wilson School major earning a certificate in values and public life. Cheng was the first woman president of the Undergraduate Student Government in more than 10 years. She was vice president of the International Relations Council and served as chair of the Undergraduate Life Committee. Her other activities include tutoring with the Petey Greene Program and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. Cheng served on the 2016 Commencement Committee Last Lectures Team, Undergraduate Law Review and Princeton Business Volunteers, and also was a writer for The Daily Princetonian student newspaper and member of the Asian American Students Association.
Azza Cohen of Highland Park, Illinois, received the Priscilla Glickman '92 Memorial Prize. The prize honors "independence and imagination in the area of service." Cohen is a history major earning certificates in urban studies and South Asian studies. Before freshman year, she spent nine months engaged in community service work in India through Princeton's Bridge Year Program. While living in India, Cohen volunteered at Guria, an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking through legal and educational intervention. She returned to India to co-produce and direct the documentary "Specks of Dust" about Guria. Her work on the film was supported by a Dalai Lama Fellowship and a grant from the Projects for Peace. At Princeton, she has been involved in many activities through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. She was a trip leader and coordinator for Breakout Princeton, and was program coordinator for the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program. Cohen also is a co-founder of the Career Services Student Advisory Board, a member of the Commencement Committee for the Class of 2016, an opinion columnist for The Daily Princetonian and a member of the Princeton Bhangra dance team. She received the Spirit of Princeton Award in 2015.
The Class of 1916 Cup was given to James Agolia of Massapequa Park, New York. 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. Agolia, a chemistry major, is a member of the men's lightweight crew team. He stroked the third varsity boat to a gold medal at Eastern Sprints earlier this month, capping an undefeated season. Agolia is the co-winner of this year's Pyne Prize, the University's highest undergraduate honor. He also was awarded the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2013 and 2014, received the Peter N. Curtin Award for Excellence in Chemistry Research, and all-academic recognition from the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.
The William Winston Roper Trophy was awarded to Thomas Sanner of Indianapolis. The trophy goes to "a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics." Sanner, a politics major, is one of the most accomplished men's soccer players in Princeton history. Sanner was this past season's unanimous selection for Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and ranks third in all-time scoring at Princeton. He was the 2012 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and earned three All-Ivy League honors during his career, including Player of the Year.
The C. Otto von Kienbusch Award was given to Cecilia Barowski of Amherst, New Hampshire. The award recognizes the top senior sportswoman at Princeton. A member of the women's track and field team, Barowski is a record-setting middle distance runner. The molecular biology major holds 11 Princeton records for indoor and outdoor track and field events, as well as an Ivy League record in the 4x800 meter relay. She has competed in two NCAA Championships, finishing sixth to earn first-team All-America honors this past indoor season. Barowski has completed in the NCAA Regionals and is a six-time Ivy League Heptagonal champion. She will compete in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in July ahead of this year's Summer Olympics in Brazil.
The Arthur Lane '34 Award honors selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete. The honor was shared this year by Emily de la Bruyere of New York City; Anya Gersoff of Greenwood Village, Colorado; Mary Ann McNulty of Jacksonville, Florida; and Joshua Miller of Portland, Oregon. De la Bruyere is a member of the women's cross country and track and field teams. She is a Woodrow Wilson School major earning a certificate in Chinese language and culture. De la Bruyere has spent her time at Princeton as an academic mentor and tutor, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Florida, Texas and Alaska. She also worked overseas in China and France under World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and was a summer intern at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Gersoff, a Woodrow Wilson School major, competed on the field hockey and women's lacrosse teams. She worked in Kampala, Uganda, with Fields of Growth, a volunteer organization that seeks to harness the passion of athletes into positive social impact. During the 2014 Lacrosse World Champions in Denver, Gersoff was appointed the local operations coordinator for Team Uganda and arranged meal and team equipment donations. McNulty, a Woodrow Wilson School major earning a certificate in Latin American studies, was tri-captain of the women's open rowing team. She also was a representative for the U.S. team during trials for the U-23 World Championships. McNulty has been a leader with various groups, including Outdoor Action, Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders and Teams for Tots. She also was a volunteer for the Community Based Learning Initiative (CBLI). The summer after her freshman year, McNulty spent nine weeks teaching English and promoting job skills within the Mwenge Community. Miller, a two-year captain of the men's soccer team, is an economics major. He is a founding member of the Student Athlete Service Council and has supported service opportunities for Princeton student-athletes across all varsity teams. He also participated in several Princeton Varsity Club service initiatives, including Reading with the Tigers and Weapons of Mass Construction. Miller also has co-led a program in conjunction with TerrraCycle that recycles waste from the new fueling station in Jadwin Gymnasium.
Honorary class members
The Class of 2016 also recognized the following people as honorary class members during this year: Walter Bliss, Class of 1966 graduate; Thomas Dunne, deputy dean of undergraduate students; Peter Farrell, head coach of the women's cross country and track and field teams; Oxene Geffrard, food service worker in Wilson College; Duncan Harrison, associate director for support services in Public Safety; Shelley Jannos, administrative assistant in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students; Julia McGlynn, associate director for annual giving in the Office of Development; Robert Mueller, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Class of 1966 graduate; Itzhak and Toby Perlman, co-founders of the Perlman Music Program; Jodi Picoult, novelist and this year's Class Day speaker who is a Class of 1987 graduate; Charles Plohn, president of the Class of 1966; Henry Von Kohorn, vice president of the Class of 1966; and Amanda Zeltner; assistant dean for student programs in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.