A thunderstorm sent graduate students to Whig Hall to receive their hoods in a short ceremony. The next day, graduate school dean William B. Russel hooded ­students under sunny skies.
A thunderstorm sent graduate students to Whig Hall to receive their hoods in a short ceremony. The next day, graduate school dean William B. Russel hooded ­students under sunny skies.
PHOTO: DENISE APPLEWHITE/OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

The June 3 graduate school hooding ceremony opened and ended as expected, starting with a processional on Cannon Green and finishing with applause, hugs, and photos. But in between, organizers had to improvise when a thunderstorm swept over the campus less than 10 minutes after the event began. 

Family and friends were directed to take shelter in Richardson Auditorium while the graduates packed into the Senate Chamber at Whig Hall to receive their hoods and convene for an abbreviated ceremony.

Dean of the Graduate School William B. Russel hoods Edmond Choi *13 — along with Choi’s 5-month-old daughter, Stephanie — at a reception after Commencement.
Dean of the Graduate School William B. Russel hoods Edmond Choi *13 — along with Choi’s 5-month-old daughter, Stephanie — at a reception after Commencement.
PHOTO: STEVE MCDONALD/OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

Sheryl WuDunn *88, a Woodrow Wilson School M.P.A. graduate who won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, delivered the keynote remarks, encouraging the graduates to be resilient, ambitious, and generous during the years ahead. “You and I being here means that we have won a lottery of sorts, the best there is — the lottery of life,” WuDunn said. “When you win, the question becomes, ‘How do you discharge the responsibility that comes with it?’ ”

Anthony Fiori *03, president of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni and the final speaker, found a silver lining for the cloudy evening: The 2013 hooding ceremony, he said, would be the fastest on record. 

The following day, Dean of the Graduate School William B. Russel apologized for misjudging the weather outlook and offered to present hoods personally to graduates after Commencement.