David Karp ’10 has been named this year’s valedictorian, and Marguerite Colson ’10 has been selected as Latin salutatorian, Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel announced at the faculty meeting on Monday.
A history major who has excelled at Latin during her time at the University, Colson is the highest-ranking senior in her department and is ranked 14th in her class overall with 22 A’s and A-pluses after seven terms. Upon learning about her selection as salutatorian, “I was totally shocked,” Colson said.
Colson’s family was thrilled to learn that she had received the honor, she said. “They were really excited, though some of them didn’t even know who the salutatorian was,” she noted, explaining that the confusion may have arisen because the title often refers to the student with the second-highest GPA in the class.
Colson attributed her success at the University to not putting excessive academic pressure on herself. “The idea of finding a balance — I can’t even pretend that I’ve spent every moment in a library,” she said. “I’ve had a ton of fun here; I have a great group of friends; I’m in an eating club. I guess these are all things that I feel like make me like the place as much as I do … If I went to a place that put a 100 percent emphasis on academics, I don’t think I would have thrived there.” Colson is a member of Ivy Club.
She was awarded the Quin Morton ’36 Writing Seminar Essay Prize and is a fellow at the Writing Center. For her senior thesis, Colson researched former secretary of state Edward Stettinius’s role in establishing the United Nations.
Classics professor Denis Feeney, who taught Colson in a course on Virgil’s “Aeneid,” described her as a valuable member of the class.
“I came to rely on her pointed and incisive interventions,” he said in a statement that Malkiel read at the faculty meeting. “She displayed a remarkable critical maturity; together with her highly impressive language skills, this marked her out as one of the very best Latin students it has been my pleasure to teach in 10 years at Princeton.”
Colson is also a Community House volunteer at the Princeton Nursery School and tutors English as a second language. After graduation she will work at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a Princeton Project 55 fellow.
Karp and Colson will speak at Commencement on June 1.