Graduate School welcomes most diverse class in school history as Princeton resumes full, in-person teaching

Written by
Denise Valenti, Office of Communications
Aug. 30, 2021

Princeton University welcomed 713 graduate students from 54 countries for the 2021-22 academic year during orientation activities held Aug. 25-26.

The Graduate School again admitted and yielded its most diverse cohort of students, with 24% of incoming domestic students (including terminal master’s and Ph.D. students) from underrepresented groups. Incoming underrepresented domestic Ph.D. students will comprise 23% of the domestic Ph.D. population — a historic high.

In a keynote address on Wednesday, Aug. 25, in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber expressed jubilation for Princeton’s return to full, in-person teaching and operations for the first time since March 2020. While a limited number of students, faculty and staff remained on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, most worked virtually.

“I am so glad that you are here,” he told his audience, with great emotion in his voice. “And it is really so great to see you. I have a colleague who has talked about not only having students back on our campus, but having these gatherings together as ‘life-affirming.’ And that is how it feels to be here with you and to feel your energy. So welcome to Princeton!”

During his speech, Eisgruber noted the historic diversity of the incoming class and indicated the need for further efforts to attract and retain talented graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds.

“One thing I never tire of saying is, ‘Look, if we want to diversify the faculties of the world, we must diversify our Graduate School, because our Graduate School is where we produce the faculty who are going to lead in the future,’” he said.


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