Students honored for leadership and service at Class Day
Members of Princeton University’s Class of 2019 gathered Monday, June 3, to celebrate the end of their undergraduate careers during the Class Day ceremony honoring their achievements and leadership.
The Allen Macy Dulles ’51 Award was given to Michael Wisner of Polk, Pennsylvania. The award recognizes a senior whose activities at Princeton best exemplify the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Wisner is a politics major who is also earning certificates in African studies, Latin American studies, and history and the practice of diplomacy. He worked as an English as a second language instructor for Catholic Charities of Trenton and the Natan Gesang International School in Buenos Aires. He also volunteered with Kilimanjaro for a Cause and served as community relations chairman for Princeton’s Engineers Without Borders chapter. He is a member of Forbes College.
Kauribel Javier of New York City received the Frederick Douglass Service Award, established in 1969 at the recommendation of Carl Fields, who was assistant dean of the college. The award is given to a senior who has exhibited “courage, leadership, intellectual achievement and a willingness to contribute unselfishly toward a deeper understanding of the experiences of racial minorities and who, in so doing, reflects the tradition of service embodied in education at Princeton.” Javier is a concentrator in sociology and is earning certificates in American studies, Latino studies and Latin American studies. She served as treasurer for Princeton Latinos y Amigos and she received the People’s Choice Leadership Award from the Women*s Center for her leadership. Javier completed internships at Lawyers for Children and Midtown Community Court. She was a residential college adviser in Forbes College. She served a mentor coordinator for Princeton University Mentorship Program and as a fellow at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Undergraduate Fellows Program. In 2018, she was awarded Princeton’s Alberto Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation.
The Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Prize was presented to Jordan Salama of Pelham, 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 Class Day co-chair, Salama is a Spanish and Portuguese major and is also earning certificates in creative writing, environmental studies, journalism and Latin American studies. With a Dale Award, he retraced his great-grandfather’s footsteps as a traveling salesman in early 20th-century Patagonia; for his senior thesis he produced a nonfiction book of travel writing about the people and places along Colombia’s main river, the Magdalena. He co-founded Princeton Tonight, the University’s broadcast television show and entertainment organization, wrote for Princeton Alumni Weekly, and served as editor of The Princeton Tiger. He also served as a tutor in the Henry Pannell Center’s after-school program. A recipient of a ReachOut fellowship — an alumni-funded effort that supports year-long public service projects after graduation — Salama will travel throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America to create an online children’s video series, “Lulus America,” in conjunction with Sesame Workshop. He is a member of Whitman College.
The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was awarded to Christopher Umanzor of Baltimore, Maryland. The prize is given to a senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for the class. Umanzor is a Woodrow Wilson School major and senior class president. A member of Butler College, he has served as a financial aid representative on Princeton’s Hidden Minority Council and interned with the Princeton Entrepreneur Council. He has been a member of the Princeton Undergraduate Student Government since his first year on campus.
Rachel Yee of Mount Holly, New Jersey, was given the Walter E. Hope Class of 1901 Medal. The award recognizes the senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for Princeton. A member of Wilson College, Yee is a sociology major and is earning a certificate in entrepreneurship. She has been involved in a wide range of activities across the University, including serving as president of the Undergraduate Student Government in 2018-19 and vice president of the Class of 2018 during the 2014-15 academic year. She is a founding member of the Company of Female Founders, was director of the 2018 Ivy Mental Health Conference, and has served as policy advocate for the Asian American Student Association, a representative of the Student Housing Advisory Board, and sustainability chair of the Student Dining Advisory Board.
The Priscilla Glickman ’92 Memorial Prize — which is given to a Princeton senior who has demonstrated independence and imagination in the area of community service, seeks knowledge and purposeful adventure in unfamiliar cultures and maintains strong academic work — was awarded to Samuel Vilchez Santiago. A politics concentrator, he is also earning certificates in Latino studies, Latin American studies, American studies and Spanish. A native of Venezuela, Vilchez Santiago came to Princeton through QuestBridge, which connects the nation's brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education. He has been actively engaged in advocating for political causes as well as building community both on and off campus. During all four years on campus, he has been involved with Princeton Latinos y Amigos and co-led advocacy efforts to highlight the needs of undocumented and DACA students at Princeton. Through the Undergraduate Student Government, he served on the University Student Life Committee and as a U-councilor. He has engaged in political work, including serving as a Princeton Internship in Civic Service (PICS) intern in the office of then-Representative Jared Polis (now governor of Colorado) in Washington, D.C. He also did an internship with a Florida nonprofit focused on increasing voter registration in the Latinx community in Florida. He is a member of Whitman College.
The Class of 1916 Cup was presented to Lauren Barnard of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. 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. Barnard, an economics major who also is earning a certificate in finance, is a member of the women’s open rowing team. This past weekend, May 31-June 2, Barnard rowed in the second varsity eight boat in Indianapolis for the NCAA championships. She is a four-year member of the second varsity eight, and she helped Princeton to gold medals in the event at the last two Ivy League Championships. Her senior thesis was titled "The Impact of Acquisitions on Hospital Capacity and Investment," and in addition to her outstanding work as a rower and student, she was also on the Community Service Inter-club Council and a community service chair for Cloister Inn for two years. She is a member of Butler College.
The William Winston Roper Trophy was awarded to John Lovett of Wantagh, New York. The trophy, awarded since 1936, goes to “a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics.” Lovett, a history major, finished his Princeton career as a two-time Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, in 2016 and then, after missing the 2017 season due to injury, again this past fall. He also became the eighth Princeton football player in the last 100 years to be a two-time first-team All-American and was a three-time first-team All-Ivy League selection. In April, after helping lead Princeton football to its first undefeated season since 1964, Lovett signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The C. Otto von Kienbusch Ward was given to Clair Collins of McLean, Virginia. The award recognizes the top senior sportswoman at Princeton. A member of the varsity rowing team and four-time Ivy League champion with the women’s open first Varsity Eight, Collins is an economics major and a member of Whitman College. In 2018, she was a first-team All-American as the Tigers had their best finish (fifth) in six years at the NCAA Championships Grand Final. Collins has rowed with the Varsity Eight in each of her four seasons with Princeton, having lost just three regular season meets, and none as a senior. At the most recent Ivy League championships, she helped Princeton win by nearly four full seconds. Collins also participated with the United States at the U-23 World Championships in each of the last three years, picking up a silver medal in 2018.
The Arthur Lane ’34 Citizen Athlete Award honors selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete. This year the honor was shared by Carly Bonnet of Haddonfield, New Jersey; Kurt Holuba of Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey; Sydney Jordan of Manassas, Virginia; and Ryan Wilson of Pacific Palisades, California.
Bonnet, an ecology and evolutionary biology major who is also earning a certificate in global health and health policy, is a two-time captain of the women’s track and field program. She has dedicated herself to service on campus and abroad through her roles as an Orientation Outdoor Action team leader and secretary of the Class of 2019. She taught biology, life skills and sports to underprivileged youth in rural Vietnam, through the PVC-sponsored Coach for College program. Her leadership, team spirit and commitment to serve prompted her coaching staff to select her to a board leadership role within their Friends of Princeton Track & Field and Cross Country alumni group. Bonnet is a member of Butler College.
Although injury abruptly ended his playing career and NFL dreams just days before the 2019 football opener, Holuba was a two-time captain, leading Princeton football to the Ivy League title and first undefeated season in 54 years. A former All-America and Bushnell Cup finalist, he became the inspirational team leader following his injury. Holuba, a psychology major, served as the chapter president of Uplifting Athletes, raising over $60,000 to fight rare diseases. He also partnered with Powers Promise in the fight against muscular dystrophy, and participated in service projects in support of the PVC and Isles Inc., a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton. He is a member of Mathey College.
Jordan, a philosophy major who is also pursuing a certificate in Near Eastern studies, was a three-year starter and captain of the Ivy League champion women’s basketball team. She served as the chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government, a representative on the Community Service Inter-Club Council, a University Chapel deacon and a student-athlete wellness leader. Last summer, Jordan completed a Princeton Internship in Civic Service at LIFT, a national nonprofit that empowers parents and caregivers to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Earlier this year, she received the University’s Moses Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate. When the women’s basketball program visited Australia to compete against semi-professional teams in Sydney and Cairns, the team led a leadership clinic at the Meriden School and a youth sports clinic at the Yarrabah Aboriginal Community Center. Jordan has volunteered in Trenton at a YMCA after school sports clinic and for Habitat for Humanity with Princeton Varsity Club. She is a member of Rockefeller College.
Wilson, a two-time league champion and the all-time assist leader for Princeton men’s water polo, is an economics major. He was an instrumental leader for the Varsity Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (VSAAC) and the Student Athlete Service Council (SASC), serving as president of both organizations this year. For VSAAC, he helped lead efforts around the “All Stripes One Streak” initiative focused on campus inclusivity, as well as this year’s campaign, “No Tiger Too Tough,” to eliminate the stigma and encourage awareness around mental health. In his role with SASC, Wilson has partnered with local school and organizations such as HomeFront and Habitat for Humanity to provide service opportunities for Princeton student-athletes across all varsity teams. He is a member of Wilson College.
Honorary class members
The Class of 2019 also recognized the following people as honorary class members: Khristina Gonzalez, associate dean of the college and director of programs for access and inclusion; Ellie Kemper, Class Day speaker, actress and 2005 alumna, who gave the closing keynote at the fall 2018 She Roars alumni conference; Richard Kitto, president of the Class of 1969; Catalina Maldonado-Lopez, a member of the Campus Dining staff, University Services; Joyce Carol Oates, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities Emeritus, who spoke to Princeton seniors during a Last Lecture event in Nov. 2018; musician and author Questlove, who held a public conversation with Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton, earlier this year at McCarter Theatre Center; Carolyn Rouse, professor of anthropology and department chair; and Matthew Weiner, associate dean of religious life.