Did you know that Princeton University had its first African American valedictorian in the class of 2020? Nicholas Johnson became the university’s first Black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year history. Of course, due to COVID-19 Princeton was scheduled to hold a virtual commencement at the end of May and an in-person ceremony in 2021.
Johnson told the New York Times, “Begin Princeton’s first Black valedictorian is very empowering, especially given its historical ties to the institution of slavery….I hope this achievement serves as an inspiration to Black students coming up behind me.”
Johnson even managed to gain recognition from former First Lady Michelle Obama who congratulated him on his achievements via Twitter.
This Princeton alum is so proud of you, Nick! Congratulations on becoming valedictorian—and making history. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for you, and I cannot wait to see everything you continue to achieve. https://t.co/b9IVCg05SP
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 11, 2020
The Former First Lady attended Princeton University and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in sociology back in 1985 before attending Havard’s Law School. Johnson who majored in operations research and financial engineering has a lot to look forward to in the future. Congratulations!
By Monique Petty-Ashmeade, Senior, Brooks College Prep