Graduates at Class Day

Students honored for leadership and service at 2023 Class Day

Princeton University’s Class of 2023 celebrated the end of their undergraduate careers with a Class Day ceremony honoring their achievements and leadership on Monday, May 29.

The Allen Macy Dulles ’51 Award was given to Esha Jain of Parsippany, New Jersey. 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.” Jain is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs with certificates in Environmental Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and South Asian Studies. She has served as the head of Princeton's United Nations Women Fellowship, an intern with the Sant’Egudio Foundation for Peace and Dialogue, a council member and a faith-based fellow with the Office of Religious Life, and a performer with Princeton South Asian Theater. She is also the recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. Jain is a member of Butler College, where she served as a residential college adviser.

Angelica Qin of Princeton Junction, New Jersey, 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.” Qin is a sociology major with certificates in Theater and Asian American Studies. She has served as a student adviser for the Lewis Center for the Arts; a Princeton RISE Fellow and a co-chair of the Community House Executive Board for the Pace Center; a student stage management mentor for the theater program; an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion officer for Theater Intime; a producer for "All-Nighter: Princeton's Late Night Talk Show"; and president of East West Theater. She has been named a Mary W. George Conference Scholar and received the Theater Department Awards for Outstanding Work by a Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior. She is a member of Forbes College, where she served as a residential college adviser.

The Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Prize was presented to Preeti Chemiti of Fargo, North Dakota. 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.” Chemiti is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs and with two certificates, one in the history and practice of diplomacy, and the other in values and public life. She served as a student fellow at the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding; founded the Princeton Political Review and served as its editor-in-chief; served as attorney and captain of Princeton's mock trial team; and wrote "Mind Matters," the student mental health guidebook. She has been named an Andrea Echikson ’80 and Tom A. Bernstein Scholar, a Scholar in the Nation’s Service, a John C. Bogle Fellow, and a Whig-Clio Summer Fellow. She is a member of Mathey College, where she served as a residential college adviser, a peer academic adviser and a member of the college council.

The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was awarded to Taryn Sebba of Fort Collins, Colorado. The prize is given to a senior who, in the judgment of classmates, has done the most for the class. Sebba is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs with certificates in Latin American Studies and Latino Studies. Among her many contributions to campus life, she founded the Acts of Kindness "Positively Princeton" Initiative and served as president of the Class of 2023, and on the class's commencement and honor committees. She also served on the three committees for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG): mental health, academics and social. She served as an Orange Key tour guide, a Vote100 ambassador and a Scully dorm assistant. She is a member of Whitman College.

Mayu Takeuchi of Watkinsville, Georgia, received the Walter E. Hope Class of 1901 Medal, which recognizes the senior who, in the judgment of classmates, has done the most for Princeton. Takeuchi is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs with a certificate in Values and Public Life. Her contributions to Princeton include serving as the USG president during this school year, chairing the sustainability committee, serving as executive director of the New Jersey Student Climate Advocates, and leading a Wintersession workshop on environmental justice. She was also a member of Tora Taiko, a Japanese drumming group, and the University Orchestra. She is a member of Rockefeller College.

The Priscilla Glickman ’92 Memorial Prize — given to a Princeton senior who has demonstrated independence and imagination in the area of community service, who seeks knowledge and purposeful adventure in unfamiliar cultures, and who maintains strong academic work — was awarded to Gisell Curbelo of Miami, Florida. Curbelo is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs with certificates in in Spanish, Latin American Studies and Latino StudiesShe is a transfer student and a member of the Princeton Transfer Association, co-president of the Princeton Latin American Student Association, a founding member of the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) Student Advisory Board, a former USG representative, and a member of Masflow Dance Company.

Athletic awards

The Class of 1916 Cup was, for only the fourth time in Princeton history, presented to two students: Ella Gantman and Madeleine Polubinski. 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.

  • Soccer player Ella Gantman of Washington, D.C., is majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs with a certificate in Spanish Language and Culture. Gantman, a goalkeeper and Academic All-Ivy honoree for Princeton women’s soccer, made seven starts as a senior, yielding fewer than two goals per game. She was recently awarded the Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize the University’s top undergraduate honor given to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. She has been active with the Princeton Writing Center, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Vote100, the Asian Student Athletes of Princeton, Athlete Ally, Jewish Asians and Jewish Latinos. She also co-founded the Poll Hero Project, a non-partisan organization that recruited 37,000 new poll station workers in the lead-up to the 2020 election. She is a member of New College West.
  • Rower Madeleine Polubinski, a politics major from New York City, is an Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) All-Academic honoree for Princeton women’s lightweight rowing. In 2022, she paced the varsity four to a bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints and fourth place finish at the IRA Championships, helping the Tigers to the IRA women's lightweight national team title for the first time in program history. This year’s varsity four captured gold at Eastern Sprints for the first time since 2010. Polubinski serves on the Princeton Disability Awareness Council, helping to organize campus events to promote awareness, education and inclusion for children living with physical and intellectual disabilities. She also volunteers with the Special Olympics of New Jersey and previously served as vice president for the Princeton Undergraduate Law Journal. She is a member of Forbes College.

The C. Otto von Kienbusch Award, which recognizes the top senior sportswoman at Princeton, was awarded to tennis player Daria Frayman, a psychology major from Moscow, Russia. The 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year, Frayman led the Tigers to a fourth-straight Ivy League title and a third-straight NCAA Tournament second round appearance in 2023. Ranked as high as No. 1 in singles the first Ivy League player to obtain the nation’s top ranking and No. 7 in doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) during the 2023 campaign, she was selected to participate in the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments in the past two seasons, and in 2023, she became the first Princeton woman to win a singles match in the NCAA Tournament. The 2020 ITA Northeast Region Rookie of the Year, Frayman is a two-time First-Team All-Ivy honoree and was the runner-up at the ITA Fall National Championships in 2021 and 2022. Frayman is a team captain and a member of Mathey College.

The William Winston Roper Trophy was awarded to pole vaulter Sondre Guttormsen, a psychology major from Ski, Norway. The trophy, awarded since 1936, goes to “a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics.” A three-time NCAA champion and First-Team All-American pole vaulter, Guttormsen won titles at both the 2022 and 2023 NCAA indoor Championships and the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships. His indoor championship in 2022 was Princeton Track’s first individual national title in 20 years, and he repeated as champion in 2023 with a performance that tied the national collegiate record with a jump of 6.0 meters. In addition, this year Guttormsen became the first Norwegian pole vaulter to win gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships. A four-time Ivy League Champion who has won both the indoor and outdoor pole vault championship for two consecutive seasons, Guttormsen has set new program and Ivy League pole vaulting records both indoors and outdoors. He is a member of Mathey College.

The Arthur Lane ’34 Citizen Athlete Award honors selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate student-athlete. This year the honor went to softball player Serena Starks, a major in the School of Public and International Affairs from Huntington Beach, California. Starks, a team captain and two-time first-team All-Ivy honoree for Princeton softball, was unanimously named the 2023 Ivy Player of the Year after leading the Tigers to back-to-back Ivy League championships in her two full seasons on the diamond. She received the 2023 Spirit of Princeton award and has served with the Student-Athlete Service Council and Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders. She has also been part of the University’s Service Focus program and served as co-president of the Princeton Disability Awareness Board. She has been active with the Special Olympics, Best Buddies and Academic Success Today programs. Additionally, Starks co-founded the Asian Student-Athletes of Princeton student affinity group and serves on the Tigers Together Executive Committee. She is a member of New College West.

The Chris Sailer Leadership Award honors two senior student-athletes who demonstrate exceptional leadership and a commitment to serving others. The award, presented for the first time this year, was donated by Lucy Small DeStefano of the Class of 1999 and Chris DeStefano of the Class of 1994 in honor of Chris Sailer, Hall-of-Fame women’s lacrosse coach at Princeton from 1987-2022. The inaugural award recipients are wrestler Quincy Monday and basketball player Grace Stone. 

  • Quincy Monday, an anthropology major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a two-year team captain and three-time All-American for Princeton wrestling. A four-time NWCA Scholar All-American and Academic All-Ivy honoree, Monday is only the third Tiger to garner three or more All-American honors in a career, and one of only four Princeton wrestlers with two top-three NCAA finishes. In 2020, he helped Princeton to an unblemished league mark and its first Ivy League team championship since 1986 which also marked Princeton Athletics’ 500th Ivy League team title. Monday helped found and lead the Black Student-Athlete Collective, uniting and supporting Black student-athletes across sports in their Princeton experience. He has previously served as a Health Professions Advisor on campus, and he mentors young area wrestlers through clinics with the Trenton Youth Association. He is a member of Yeh College.
  • Grace Stone, an African American Studies major with a certificate in American Studies, is from Glen Cove, New York. Stone, an an Academic All-Ivy honoree, is a two-time All-Ivy guard for Princeton women’s basketball. In addition to helping the Tigers to four straight Ivy championships, Stone helped the team become the first Ivy League women’s program to win NCAA Tournament games in consecutive seasons. Stone appeared in 118 games for the Tigers, third-most in program history. She co-founded and chairs the Black Student-Athlete Collective, and she serves as a leader on the executive team for Princeton Athletics’ Tigers Together initiative and as a representative for the Ivy League’s “8 Against Hate” diversity and inclusion committee. In 2020, Stone worked as a media intern for the Poll Hero Project, helping to recruit 37,000 volunteers to staff election polling locations nationwide. 

Honorary class members

Each year, the graduating class nominates and selects faculty, staff, alumni or others who have made a profound impact on the student body.

The Class of 2023 recognized the following people as honorary class members: Eduardo Bhatia of the Class of 1986, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and a former president of the senate of Puerto Rico; Anne Anlin Cheng, professor of English and affiliated faculty in the Program in American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Committee on Film Studies; Matt Crispino, Princeton's head coach for swimming and diving; Joe Coraggio, food service worker in Forbes College and a three-time nominee for Hidden Chaplain; Lori Dauphiny, head coach for women's open rowing; Kathleen Deignan, dean of undergraduate students; Tom Dunne, deputy dean of undergraduate students; Dr. Daniel Notterman, senior research scholar in molecular biology, senior advisor to the provost for biomedical affairs and professor of the practice in molecular biology; Ruth Ochs, conductor of the Princeton University Sinfonia, associate conductor of the Princeton University Orchestra and senior lecturer in music; Claire Pinciaro of the Class of 2013, assistant dean for student life for Yeh College; Congresswoman Terri Sewell of the Class of 1986, seven-term U.S. Representative from Alabama’s 7th Congressional District and this year's Class Day speaker; and Ashlee Shaw, associate director for the Scholars Institute Fellows Program in Princeton's Office of Programs for Access and Inclusion.


Commencement 2023