Eisgruber, director Nolan trade tales of the Caped Crusader at Class Day

Seniors donned Batman masks for Class Day.
Seniors donned Batman masks for Class Day.
Office of Communications: Jill Feldman
Christopher Nolan: “Chase your reality”
Christopher Nolan: “Chase your reality”
Office of Communications: Denise Applewhite

Did Batman go to Princeton or Yale? President Eisgruber ’83 posed the question to members of the senior class before Christopher Nolan — director of The Dark Knight Batman film trilogy — took the stage as Class Day speaker.

“I figure you want Christopher Nolan to settle this argument and tell you that Batman went to Princeton,” Eisgruber said at the event, which was moved inside the University Chapel due to rain. “But you know what? I have something he doesn’t: I have Batman’s alumni records.”

To the cheers of students — some of them wearing Batman masks — University Archivist Dan Linke walked down the long center Chapel aisle flanked by two Public Safety officers and holding a locked briefcase.

Among the documents inside, Eisgruber said, were Bruce Wayne’s admission card and proof that Wayne was training “an elite corps of Princeton alumni known as the Mighty Tigers.” Eisgruber then asked the seniors to stand and join in the mission “to protect the world from evil and to return to Princeton’s campus every year at this time.” 

Picking up the theme, Nolan said he could confirm that Bruce Wayne did indeed attend Princeton — but did not graduate. “So as of tomorrow, you are all better than Batman,” he told the seniors.

Nolan spoke about the difference between dreams and reality, a major theme of his movie Inception, and encouraged the students to improve the world by pursuing their reality.

“I don’t want you to chase your dreams, I want you to chase your reality,” he said. “I want you to understand that you chase your reality not at the expense of your dreams, but as the foundation of your dreams.”

For ’15, Rainy Farewell | Parting Words | Special Graduations | Spotlight on Batman | Graduation: What it Cost | At Hooding Event, a Faculty Role | General’s Welcome for New Officers | Honorary Degrees | Slide Show