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Students process into the Class Day ceremony

Students honored for leadership and service at 2022 Class Day

May 23, 2022, 12:07 p.m.

Members of Princeton University’s Class of 2022 celebrated the end of their undergraduate careers with a Class Day ceremony honoring their achievements and leadership on Monday, May 23.

The Allen Macy Dulles ’51 Award was given to Mayowa Oke of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 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.” Oke is a neuroscience concentrator who is earning a certificate in global health and health policy. She served as president for the American Red Cross chapter of the Student Volunteer Council, and co-founder and co-president of Princeton Students vs. Pandemics, which recruited donors with the goal of increasing the diversity of the blood supply. She was awarded Princeton’s Peer to Peer Administrators Leadership Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Oke is a member of First College.

Gabriella Carter of Miramar, Florida, 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.” Carter is a concentrator in anthropology who is earning a certificate in African American studies. She founded the Black Talent Initiative, which helps establish mentoring networks and provides access to and information on colleges and scholarships to underserved communities. Carter also co-chaired Our Health Matters to facilitate conversations about the personal, professional and mental wellbeing of Black women through weekly on-campus events. She is a member of Butler College.

The Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Prize was presented to Ashwin Mahadevan of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. 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.” Mahadevan is a concentrator in the School of Public and International Affairs and is earning certificates in music performance, South Asian studies and the history and practice of diplomacy. He received the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and served two terms as vice president of the Undergraduate Student Body. He was also an Orange Key tour guide, a member of the Glee Club and the Chamber Choir, and a volunteer with the Trenton Youth Singers. Mahadevan is a member of Rockefeller College.

The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was awarded to Mansi Totwani of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The prize is given to a senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for the class. Totwani is a molecular biology concentrator who is earning a certificate in global health and health policy. She is treasurer for the Class of 2022 and head fellow for the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP). A member of First College, Totwani is also a peer academic adviser.

Naomi Hess of Clarksville, Maryland, 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. Hess is a concentrator in the School of Public and International Affairs who is earning certificates in journalism and gender and sexuality studies. She served as a fellow with the Office of Disability Services’ AccessAbility Center and launched the Undergraduate Student Government’s Disability Task Force. She was an associate news editor at The Daily Princetonian and is a member of Butler College. 

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 Bethwel Kiplimo of Solai, Kenya,  and Grace Simmons of Blackwood, New Jersey. 

A mechanical and aerospace engineering concentrator with a certificate in computer science, Kiplimo built a library in his home community in Kenya, taught reading classes there and brought sustained fresh water to his home village of Solai through a well-water project with the Keller Center. Kiplimo has served as a Community Action leader, a Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP) head leader and a tutor with the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. He is also a member of the Princeton Radio Control Club.

A neuroscience concentrator with a certificate in global health and health policy, Simmons has served as a volunteer with the CONTACT of Mercer County crisis hotline, a Fields Center Fellow, a Peer Health Adviser, a health scholar with the Center for Health and Wellbeing and a mentor with the Princeton University Mentoring Program (PUMP). With a focus on global medicine, she participated in the John C. Bogle ’51 Fellows in Civic Service program.  

Both Kiplimo and Simmons are members of Rockefeller College.

Athletic awards

The Class of 1916 Cup was presented to Jake Mayer of Scotch Plains, New Jersey. The award, which was established 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. Mayer is an economics concentrator and captain of the men’s golf team. He helped lead the Tigers to the 2019 Ivy League championship and earned Academic All-Ivy honors this spring. As co-president of the Student-Athlete Service Council, Mayer helped organize on- and off-campus service initiatives to connect varsity student-athletes with the Princeton community. He is a member of Butler College.

The William Winston Roper Trophy was awarded to Kevin O’Toole of Montclair, New Jersey. The trophy, awarded since 1936, goes to “a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics.” O’Toole, a concentrator in the School of Public and International Affairs, made Princeton men’s soccer history by becoming the first Tiger to win multiple Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year awards over his career. He also led Princeton to only the second perfect Ivy League season in program history. In January, O’Toole was drafted to the Major League Soccer team NYCFC and has begun his professional career. He is a member of Mathey College.

The C. Otto von Kienbusch Award was given to Kyla Sears of Skaneateles, New York. The award recognizes the top senior sportswoman at Princeton. Sears, a history concentrator, has had the most successful offensive career in Princeton women’s lacrosse history and is a three-time, first-team All-Ivy selection. Sears is a member of Whitman College.

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 Ornella Ebongue of Milton, Massachusetts, and Elle Ruggiero of Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Ebongue, an operations research and financial engineering concentrator, is a member of the women’s open rowing team, which she helped win the 2019 Ivy League Championship. Ebongue has worked with at-risk youth in Vietnam to foster a positive school culture and has helped implement free statewide swim programs in the greater Boston area. She has also volunteered with the STEM to Stern program, which provides access to rowing and STEM education for middle school students from underserved communities. She is a member of Butler College.

Ruggiero, a concentrator in the School of Public and International Affairs, is a captain and two-time All-American for the women’s squash team. She has tutored students as part of the FUTURO program, which provides academic support and mentorship to first- and second-generation high school students. She has served as an intern with Child Family Health International, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ruggiero was awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize, which funds international civic service projects. She is a member of First College. 

Honorary class members

The Class of 2022 also recognized the following people as honorary class members: Joshua Alan Brown, manager of classroom and event technology services for University Services; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden; Sonja Angelique Francis, director of General Chemistry Teaching Laboratories and a lecturer in chemistry; Ruby Huttner, a physician and member of Princeton’s Class of 1972 as well as the chair of the Class of 1972 Cross Generations Program; and Lexy Parrill Sarstedt, director of Campus Club.

 

Commencement 2022