Baccalaureate speaker RANDALL KENNEDY ’77

Professor, Harvard Law School 

“Insistence upon academic freedom. Facilitation of respectful deliberation. Joy in academic discovery. Delight in artistic brilliance. A determination to do better tomorrow than we did today. These are the representative features of the Princeton that inspires us, the Princeton we admire, the Princeton we love.”

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Class Day keynote speaker JODI PICOULT ’87 Best-selling author 

“We are living at a time when a female presidential candidate is berated for not smiling enough and for yelling during her speeches. We are living in a time when the Black Lives Matter movement occupies campus spaces to raise racial awareness at universities, while the press tells them to stop complaining. Comments like that come from the gatekeepers who have always had a voice. But when you cannot be heard, you yell.”

Beverly Schaefer
Valedictorian CAMERON PLATT ’16

“I hope that all of us might listen to others with compassion, with care, and with a keen awareness of the responsibility that we carry as speakers. Because the truth is that we never speak only for ourselves. The things that we say, and the things that we do not say, change the lives around us.” 

Beverly Schaefer
Salutatorian ESTHER KIM ’16

(Translated from the Latin) “We have shared many experiences — suffering wounds caused by meningitis vaccines, surviving floods and blizzards, fighting (and often losing) battles with our schoolwork. To the stars through difficulties. Though we must part for the time being, let us shed no tears.”

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Class Day speaker ANNA ARONSON ’16

“You took a risk going on this scary, exciting, four-year date — maybe by taking a really hard class, participating in a protest, or continuing your make-out on the TI dance floor even when the lights came on ... true bravery. Whatever it was, you made yourself vulnerable here, and that’s something to be proud of.”

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Class Day speaker MARTINA FOUQUET ’16

“Over the last four years, I’ve learned that Princeton is anything but perfect. And that in and of itself is a part of its beauty. Imperfections lend us the ability to realize the humanness of a place. And as you can tell by this packed lawn, Princeton is full of humans from many different places.”