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Among awards trends, 7 out of 13 Class Day award winners in SPIA

13 students of the Class of 2023 were honored as prize winners during Class Day for their special dedication to a community, either inside or outside of Princeton.
Angel Kuo / The Daily Princetonian

At Class Day 2023, members of the senior class were honored with awards. Some of the awards were chosen by the faculty, while others were put to a vote of the class. Awards ranged from those honoring students who most embodied being “in the nation’s service” to exemplary student-athletes. We broke down award recipients’ extracurricular activities, sports teams, and majors. 

The analysis shows that graduates of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) are most likely to receive awards. Students affiliated with Undergraduate Student Government (USG) dominate awards voted on by the student body. Athletic awards are more distributed by major, with some variation by team.


Leadership and service awards

Of the six leadership awards presented to members of the graduating class, the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) was the most popular major for award recipients, with many involved in the Princeton community, serving as residential college advisors, peer academic advisors, and working with the Pace Center.

The Allen Macy Dulles Award, this year given to Esha Jain ’23, is given to a senior who embodies Princeton’s informal motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Over the past ten years, four awardees have been SPIA majors, while five have been given to students involved with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.


Another award focused on service is the Frederick Douglass Service Award, this year given to Angelica Qin ’23. It is given annually to a senior who is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion work, and who is committed to understanding the struggles of racial minorities. Of the past 10 recipients, all were engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work while at Princeton, three directly through the Carl A. Fields Center and many through independent projects. Four served as residential college advisors (RCAs), and two majored in African American Studies.

A third service award, the Priscilla Glickman Memorial Prize, is given annually to a 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.” This year, the prize was awarded to Gisell Curbelo ’23. Three awardees over the past ten years have been Spanish and Portuguese concentrators, a large number for a relatively small department. Among its recent recipients are two members of the Princeton Transfer Association (including Curbelo), eight students directly involved with the Pace Center, and two involved with the Keller Center, focused on Entrepreneurship.

The Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Prize, this year won by Preeti Chemiti ’23, is presented to a senior with a commitment to equity, the interests of others, and the University. Over the past ten years, three of the award’s recipients majored in the School of Public and International Affairs, and two were in the Politics department. Six were involved with the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) while at Princeton, and six served as RCAs. Three recent winners were also awarded a Shapiro Prize for academic achievement in their freshman or sophomore year.

Two awards, the W. Sanderson Detwiler and 1903 Prize and the Walter E. Hope Class of 1901 medal, are prizes voted on by the senior class. Both prizes are mostly given to members of the USG. The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize, given to Taryn Sebba ’23, is awarded to the senior who has done the most for the graduating class. In that vein, nine of the ten most recent winners have been involved with USG. Sebba served as senior class president and on three USG committees. Seven recipients over the past ten years majored in the School of Public and International Affairs. 

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The Walter E. Hope Class of 1901 medal recognizes the senior who has done the most for the University. Seven of the ten most recent recipients have been involved with the USG, and six have majored in the School of Public and International Affairs. This year’s recipient, Mayu Takeuchi ’23, has done both, serving as the USG president and graduating with a degree from SPIA.

Athletic awards

Seniors were also awarded athletic awards at Class Day.

The C. Otto von Kienbusch Award and the William Winston Roper Trophy are awarded to the “top senior sportswoman” and “a male senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics,” respectively. This year’s recipients are Daria Frayman ’23 and Sondre Guttormsen ’23, both psychology majors from Russia and Norway, respectively. Almost half of William Winston Roper Trophy winners majored in History or Politics, while the C. Otto von Kienbusch award winners exhibit a more even distribution of majors. The team with the most C. Otto von Kienbusch Award winners in recent history is the women’s ice hockey team, while the men’s track and field team boasts the most William Winston Roper Trophy winners.

Beyond athletics, awards were given to athletes who also excelled in academics. The Class of 1916 cup, this year awarded to both Ella Gantman ’23 and Madeline Polubinski ’23, is given to the varsity athlete with the highest academic standing. Over the past decade, no particular major or team has dominated the award.

Awards also honored athletes’ commitment to public service. The Arthur Lane ‘34 Citizen Athlete award, this year given to Serena Starks ’23, is given to a student athlete who has also demonstrated a dedication to serving the community. Ten out of the 30 most recent award winners majored in SPIA, Starks included. Six majored in economics, and three in history. The field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams had more recipients of the Arthur Lane award than any other team in the past ten years, with each team claiming four recipients. Most Arthur Lane award recipients were also team captains, with many serving on the Student-Athlete Service Council and Student-Athlete Wellness Council. A significant number of award winners were also involved in personal community service projects.

This year, a new award was introduced for athletes: the Chris Sailer Leadership Award, given to two student-athletes who exhibit strong leadership and are dedicated to serving others. This year’s recipients are Grace Stone ’23 of the women’s basketball team, an African American studies major, and Quincy Monday ’23 of the wrestling team, an anthropology major. Both teams had major athletic successes over the course of the year.

Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko is an assistant Data editor for the ‘Prince.’

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