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Kate Reed ’19 and Rafail Zoulis ’19 have been selected as this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Communications.


Kate Reed ’19 and Rafail Zoulis ’19 have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the Class of 2019, according to a University statement

On Tuesday, June 4, Reed will deliver the valedictory address, and Zoulis will deliver the traditional salutatory oration in Latin.

University faculty accepted the nominations for the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing during a faculty meeting on Monday, April 29.

Reed, from Arnold, Md., is a history concentrator who is pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies and Spanish. For her senior thesis, which is titled “Myths of Revolution: Development and State Violence in Mexico, 1968-1976,” she is examining state violence in Mexico during the 1970s, looking at the time period after a 1968 massacre of student protesters in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City.

In November 2018, she received a Rhodes Scholarship and will be pursuing a M.Phil. in Development Studies at the University of Oxford.

Outside of academics, Reed is involved in El Centro — which offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adult immigrants in the towns of Princeton and Trenton — The Pace Center for Civic Engagement, and the Princeton University Language Project. She also took part in developing and teaching an ESL-adapted history course at Princeton High School.

“From the latinamericanistas in the History Department and PLAS, to El Centro, to the label-less — but no less important — friendships that have been sources of great joy and love for me, I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such remarkable people every day,” Reed wrote in a statement to The Daily Princetonian.

Zoulis, who is from Marousi, Greece, is majoring in classics with certificates in Hellenic studies, humanistic studies, and medieval studies. Over the past two years, he has focused his independent work on state politics and identity construction during Late Antiquity.

"I am grateful to all the people, family and friends on the one hand, and institutions, on the other, that provided me and other middle class students with the opportunity to be in a place like Princeton which, despite its faults, strives to be of service to both the academic and the wider civic world," Zoulis wrote in a statement to the 'Prince.'

Zoulis's senior thesis is titled “Cultural Syncretism and Royal Ideology in Ptolemaic Egypt.” In the University statement, Zoulis said that his thesis “is the byproduct of a longstanding commitment to understand the different manifestations of sociology of rule over and upon a multiethnic array of subjects.”

"Pre-modern and early modern societies are surprisingly useful to think with due to their complexity and radically different modes of thought. The aim, however, is not to find a solution for our current social questions, like climate change or immigration, in the past but to better understand the origins and development of our shared human challenges in order to initiate the process towards ameliorating them," Zoulis wrote in a statement to the 'Prince.'

Post graduation, Zoulis will pursue a master’s degree in Greek and Roman history at Oxford through the Ertegun Scholarship and then pursue a Ph.D. in Classics and History at Yale University.

Apart from his academic work, Zoulis has served as a research assistant in the University’s effort to digitize Servius Auctus’ commentary on Virgil’s “Aeneid” as well as in the University numismatics collection. He is also a mentor for students enrolled in the Humanities Sequence, editor-in-chief of the journal of Princeton Studies in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and a tour guide at the University Art Museum.

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