Salutatorian remarks

2023 Commencement Salutatio by Annabelle Duval (Latin and English)

Annabelle Duval

The salutatory address is the University’s oldest student honor and is traditionally given in Latin. In the days when the entire Commencement ceremony was conducted in Latin, the salutatio was a formal, serious address. It has evolved to become a farewell to Princeton campus life with humorous tributes and recollections.

This year Annabelle Duval, the Class of 2023 salutatorian and a history major from Rhinebeck, New York, delivered the salutatory address.

—Remarks as prepared—

Latin text:

Habita in Comitiis Academicis Princetoniae 
In Nova Caesarea ante diem iii Kalendas Iunias 
Anno Salutis MMXXIII 
Anno Academiae CCLXXVI

Salve mane felix, salve dies optime! Parentes, magistri et amici, hodie splendida in arena congregati sumus ut victorias perfectas factasque contentiones magnam per classem anni MMXXIII omnes commemoraremus. 

Iuvenes puri et insontes Princetoniam venimus ut Viae bacchanalia Prospectus facillime nos seducerent. Itinere disciplinae vix incepto medio in vere fatali saevum virus coronae nos ex campo traxit. Amicis separati in cubicula pueritiae nostrae fugimus et in lecto monstro Zoomiensi luctati sumus. Saltem cum praeceptores audivimus noctis veste vestiti esse potuimus.  

In anno secundo socios caros etiam nunc desiderantes soli carminibus miris Iasonis Derulonis in culina saltantis domi fructi sumus. Hieme gelida ad campum et multas in moras quadragenarias rediti in dormitoriis nostris inclusi sumus. Iussu praesidis Eisgruberi parva in pocula sputavimus sex semper distantes pedes. Saltem vulpes campi et turres decorae et immensi exstructionis loci, signa notae domus, nobis consolationi serviverunt. Superfuimus utique plagae et tertio in anno tandem mascas deposuimus; denique vultus amicos iterum aspicere potuimus.

Proximo in anno innumerabiles paginas scripsimus et multas probationes immitesque magistrorum reprehensiones tulimus. Lyra, tuba tibiaque cecinerunt ut labores nostros vesperi ante Diem Praetoris celebraremus. Alii musica gavisi sunt, alii in bibliotheca surdas aures obstruxerunt. Intenti athletas nostros in arena hostibus acerbis luctantes vidimus. Clamavimus manusque ereximus furorem Martium celebrantes.

Hoc turbidum tempus recordabimur innumerabiles in annos. Amici, semper caras amicitias per multas noctes in bibliotheca Firestonensi firmatas servemus et semper animus tigris nobiscum sit!

Avete atque valete. 

English text:

Given in the Academic Assembly of Princeton University
In New Jersey on the 30th of May  
In the Year 2023  
In the 276th Year of the University 

Hello fortuitous morning, hello wonderful day! Parents, professors and friends, we have gathered today in this splendid stadium so that we may all recount both the triumphs accomplished and the challenges overcome by the great class of 2023.

As pure and innocent young people we came to Princeton to be most easily led astray by the parties of Prospect Avenue. With our college journey hardly begun, the ferocious Coronavirus dragged us away from campus in the middle of that fateful spring. Separated from our friends we fled to our childhood bedrooms and in bed wrestled with the Zoom monster. At least we were able to wear our pajamas while listening to professors.  

In the second year, still missing dear friends, we enjoyed alone in our homes the amazing songs of Jason Derulo, who was dancing in his kitchen. Having returned to campus and to numerous quarantines in the ice cold winter, we were shut up in our dorm rooms. By order of President Eisgruber we spit into tiny tubes, always standing six feet apart. At least the campus foxes and the beautiful towers and the huge construction sites, these well-known signs of our home, brought comfort to us. Indeed we survived the plague and in the third year, we at last took off our masks; finally we were able to see our friends’ faces again.

In our final year, we wrote countless pages and endured many tests and harsh comments from professors. The lutes, tubas and flutes resounded, so that we could celebrate our labors on Dean’s Date eve. Some were pleased by the music, others in the library covered deaf ears. Eager, we watched the athletes of Princeton playing against fierce enemies on the court. We yelled and raised up our hands while celebrating the madness of March.  

This chaotic time we will remember for countless years. Friends, let us always preserve these dear friendships, formed by many nights in Firestone library, and may the spirit of the tiger always be with us!

Godspeed and goodbye.

Commencement 2023