Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at opening events

An ice sculpture lit up East Pyne courtyard for the ice cream social.
Fotobuddy Photography/courtesy ODUS
On the Sunday of Opening Exercises, multi-hued umbrellas added bright splashes of color as the Class of 2022 marched through FitzRandolph Gate in the annual Pre-rade, and the Step Sing took place — minus the steps — under a big white tent.

But despite the day’s steady rain, the 1,342 freshmen made the best of their welcome to Princeton. Alumni, parents, and others along the Pre-rade route made up for their small numbers with rousing cheers. “It was amazing to have alumni there, that they came out in the rain,” Isabel Koran ’22 said. “Princeton sticks with you.” The Step Sing — held on Alexander Beach instead of Blair’s steps — turned into a big dance party, complete with a conga line.

Incoming graduate students joined in their first rendition of “Old Nassau” in Richardson Auditorium.
Ricardo Barros

A casual entrance replaced the traditional procession into the University Chapel for Opening Exercises because of the weather.
Sameer A. Khan

During Opening Exercises, President Eisgruber ’83 urged the students — from 47 states and 63 countries — to take responsibility for their intellectual growth.

“You, personally, are about to invest in this truth-seeking institution. ... I’m talking about your time, your effort, your talent, and your character,” Eisgruber said. “You are the makers of your education.”

An earlier orientation event offered an energetic discussion and debate of this year’s Pre-read, politics professor Keith Whittington’s book Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech. At the Pre-read assembly, Whittington encouraged the class to “take the opportunity to speak with people you disagree with” while at Princeton. He urged the freshmen to appreciate the pursuit of truth at universities and “what can be done here that can’t be done as easily anywhere else.”

History professor Fara Dabhoiwala and anthropology professor Carolyn Rouse offered responses to Whittington’s points, questioning the idea that unfettered free speech truly existed to the extent Whittington said. “There is no civilization that allows for absolutist free speech,” Rouse said. The lively exchange drew snaps and applause from the students, who continued discussions in their residential colleges.

There were plenty of smiles despite the rain during the Pre-rade.

A Tent Sing on Alexander Beach took the place of the customary Step Sing.
Ricardo Barros

The Class of 2022

  • Class size: 1,342
  • Applicants: 35,370*
  • Admitted: 1,940 (5.5%**) 
  • Yield: 69.2% (highest since 2003)
  • Of those enrolled:
  • Students receiving financial aid: 62%
  • Women: 49.3%
  • Men: 50.7%
  • U.S. minority students: 46.1% 
  • International students: 12.7%
  • Children of alumni: 14.3%
  • Recruited athletic prospects: 16.5%
  • Pell Grant recipients: 20% From public schools: 59.6%
  • First-generation college students: 15.5%
  • Number of U.S. military veterans: 1
  • B.S.E. students: 28.5%* (43.5% are women*) 

* a record high ** a record low

Transfer Admission

  • Applicants: 1,429
  • Admitted: 13
  • Enrolled: 9 (three as freshmen, six as sophomores)
  • Yield: 69.2%
  • From community colleges: 5
  • Military (reservist, veterans): 6

Entering Graduate Students

  • Doctoral-degree students: 497
  • Master’s-degree students: 173
  • Applicants: 11,371 
  • Admitted: 12%
  • Yield of those admitted: 49%
  • Men: 59%
  • Women: 41%
  • International students: 41%
  • U.S. minority students: 34% (of domestic students) 
  • Humanities and social sciences: 47%
  • Sciences and engineering: 53%

Sources: Office of Admission; School of Engineering and Applied Science; Office of the Dean of the Graduate School