Although the COVID 19 pandemic made it impossible to hold an in-person graduation ceremony, a virtual ceremony was held May 31st 2010, to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2020.

Who is Nicholas Johnson?

Johnson is a Canadian student majoring in operations research and financial engineering. Johnson said it is disappointing to not be able to celebrate as a class together in person this year. However, he said he was thankful to the administration for its commitment to "hosting an in person commencement for my class in spring 2021 to celebrate our achievements."

A member of the Princeton Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, the outstanding student was thankful for the university for making his studies and overall student experience exceptional by encouraging him to explore his areas of interest and supporting him with international internships and cultural immersion trips to Peru, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

"It feels empowering. Being Princeton's first Black Valedictorian holds special significance to me particularly given Princeton's historical ties to the institution of slavery," Johnson told CNN via Facebook message. "I hope that this achievement motivates and inspires younger black students, particularly those interested in STEM fields."

In a period where much attention is focused on the discrimination faced by black people in the US, this serves as a potent reminder of the fact that black people all over the world are a resilient people. Against all odds, they still make it to the cream of academia, and also other domains of society. It took 274 years for Princeton to announce a black valedictorian and may require many more years for the black people and minority groups in the US to achieve a semblance of equality with the dominant white population, but black people should never give up. It is nevertheless possible! Johnson comes to add to the alumni of Princeton that includes various renowned achievers like former first Lady Michelle Obama and Jeff Bezos, CEO, and president of Amazon.

Princeton College Campus

About Princeton University

Princeton University is an Ivy League University, a term used to refer to the eight schools that make up the Ivy League Athletic conference that includes schools like Harvard, Yale and Columbia University. These represent extremely selective private colleges. Princeton currently ranks first among Us Institutions of higher learning.

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