Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Baccalaureate speaker ANNE HOLTON ’80

Visiting professor, George Mason University; wife of Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine

“I choose to believe that things happen for a reason, even when it is beyond my understanding. I can even acknowledge some silver linings in [Hillary Clinton’s presidential election] loss for us as a nation — not the least being a renewed vigor of participation in our constitutional democracy.”

Nick Donnoli/Office of Communications
Class Day keynote speaker BAZ LUHRMANN

Film director, screenwriter, and producer 

“When [F. Scott] Fitzgerald left Princeton, the world was in cataclysmic change. It was out of ideas. And I don’t want to scare you, Class of 2017, but the world is out of ideas again — it’s exhausted, it’s tired, it’s confused. And it needs you. The world needs you.”

Beverly Schaefer
Valedictorian JIN YUN CHOW ’17

Chow focused on those who “have played a large role in our success yet remain largely invisible.”

“Learn the names and stories of all of the unsung heroes in your life and learn to be more generous with your time. More often than not, it’s not because of some orchestrated, preplanned effort that we end up sharing a beautiful bond of friendship with someone. It’s because we were present to talk. It’s because we were there to listen.”

Beverly Schaefer
Salutatorian GRANT STOREY ’17

(Translated from the Latin) “As we all travel forward on our own paths, to pursue passions or dreams or ambition or stability, may we all find success. ... But may we also never forget our comrades for these four years, who ate, drank, slept, cried, laughed, and danced with us.”

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Class Day speaker MADDIE MEYERS ’17

“We all start out pre-med and drop, join teams, drop teams, drop our baby sister, drop acid, and it’s the moments when those choices are made, those in-betweens, that end up creating the monumental moments. And that is awesome. At its best, Princeton is never either-or, but encourages both, and I have the ‘P’ in ‘Math Alive’ to prove it.”

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications
Class Day speaker SUKRIT S. PURI ’17

“I tried out for sprint football, but they told me they’d rather disband the program. I ran around in circles only to be told I’m too square for Triangle. I even paid [Princeton] $60,000 a year. And yet she remained thoroughly unimpressed. Until two years ago, she would give my efforts no more than a B+.”