Addressing seniors at Princeton’s virtual Class Day ceremony on Saturday, May 15, Class President Emma Parish said, “The past year has been filled with unanticipated and unprecedented challenges. Our class has remained strong, navigating the pandemic with dedication to keeping our classmates and our community safe.”
Class Day is organized by members of the senior class. The ceremony also includes speeches by graduating seniors, the recognition of class members for their contributions and the induction of honorary class members.
Parish, of Tenafly, New Jersey, was awarded the W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize, given to a senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for the class. Parish, a School of Public and International Affairs concentrator, earned a certificate in Asian American studies.
Parish was a member of the Princeton Undergraduate Student Government since her first year on campus. A member of Whitman College, she was a residential college adviser.
She reflected on the diversity and perseverance of the class. “Our class is made up of people from all different backgrounds and experiences. Our classmates hail from 49 states; Washington, DC; and 76 countries. Though from all across the country and the world, we are all united in our ability to overcome obstacles, our dedication to learning and bettering the world around us, and — by the fact that we have all taken Writing Seminar.”
Featured speaker Trevor Noah, author, comedian and The Daily Show host, speaking of the pandemic through which the Class of 2021 persevered, said, “My greatest hope is that we will use this time, which is arguably one of the worst periods the world has been in in recent history, to try and transform how we do things.”