Class Day Honor Marks its 25th Year

Monday, Jun 5, 2017
by Gwen McNamara, Communications Coordinator

On Monday, June 5, Daniel Rounds, a graduating senior from Media, Pennsylvania became the 25th recipient of the Priscilla Glickman ’92 Memorial Prize at Princeton University. 

The Glickman Prize honors the memory of Priscilla Glickman ’92. During her life, Priscilla inspired those who knew her with her contagious sense of adventure, her unfailing ability to reach out and give to others, her fiery wit, out of the box thinking, and her determination to excel and make a difference in the world. Awarded annually on Class Day, the prize goes to a Princeton senior who has shown independence and imagination in the area of community service, seeking knowledge and purposeful adventure in unfamiliar cultures as a complement to strong academic work. 

Rounds, a Spanish and Portuguese major with a certificate in Latino Studies, was recognized for his commitment to helping youth and communities both in the local area and afar. Across all four years at Princeton he served as a volunteer and leader with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Community House program, where he became a trusted mentor and friend to local middle school students and their families. He actively sought to connect service and a path to medicine, engaging in two International Internship Program experiences, while consistently maintaining the highest standards for his service and academic work. 

“Dan has proven himself to be deeply committed to not only issues of community service, youth advocacy and social justice, but also to taking time to explore the role that both will play in his life and career beyond his time at Princeton University,” said Charlotte Collins, Pace Center Associate Director and staff advisor to Community House. “He sees clear connections between his passion for youth advocacy and his passion for medicine, and has thought critically about how those two areas will speak to and inform each other in his role as a doctor.”

As Kimberly de los Santos, the John C. Bogle ’51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Executive Director of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement noted in her Class Day remarks: “On a recent medical mission to Ecuador, a faculty member who was on the trip remarked ‘Daniel shows a special skill to work with different cultures and with people from very different backgrounds. He owns the ability to get close to other’s lives, to move to their point of view and look from there.’ Dan, you have demonstrated excellence in academics and excellence in service. Those experiences together have formed your journey at Princeton, and very much honor the memory of Priscilla Glickman.”

Reflecting & Connecting

On Saturday, June 3, the Pace Center hosted a special gathering with Gretchen Long, mother of Priscilla Glickman, Pace Center staff and past Glickman Prize recipients. 

Attendees included Delphine Hirsh ’92, Priscilla’s best friend and the first recipient of the prize, Crystal Moore ’96, Stephanie B. Levey ’97, Misha Simmonds ’97, Renu Boatright ’02, Michael S. Fletcher, II ’03, Bryan Locascio ’11, Alexandra H. Gecker ’12, Marlene Morgan ’13, Claire Nuchtern ’15, Rounds, de los Santos, and Pace Center Assistant Director David Brown.

The breakfast began with Long and Hirsh sharing about Priscilla and her personal qualities that inform the Glickman Prize. Both described Priscilla as a young woman who was kind and curious and not only set out to make a difference, but set out on a different path. Her curiosity lead her to cross borders and cultures and she usually had fun doing so. In particular, Long spoke very specifically about the hope that the honor and funds that come with this Prize might be enough to encourage the recipient to make the more interesting choice and, in fact, inspire the class to consider the same approach. 

The awardees in attendance were thankful to have received the prize and shared from their heart what it meant to them.  

“In my particular case, it was being friends with Priscilla that shaped my path more than the Prize in particular,” said Hirsh ’92, Priscilla’s friend and the first recipient of the Glickman Prize. “The memory of her glowing vitality, her fierce mind and her generous heart inspires me to be better, to do better, to think big and to love bigger. … The legacy of the Prize for me is about staying engaged, about struggling to figure out what the right thing is, about messiness and humility, and about looking for what unites us.”

Most referenced that to be honored on that stage in front of their entire class validated not just them, but this work in a way that does not happen too often.  They spoke about their past projects and it was clear how as the years progressed projects and the students running them have been better supported.   

“I am most thankful that the Glickman Prize highlights and acknowledges the importance of community service,” said Fletcher ’03. “We often see individuals awarded for academic successes and athletic achievements, but this prize celebrates the often unsung heroes who dedicate themselves to the work improving the lives of others on the daily basis. The Glickman Prize is a constant reminder that community service is valued, appreciated, and necessary.”

Attendees also shared about how when they volunteered as undergraduates they would often wrestle with how effective they were and the systemic issues involved. And while what they bring to service has improved, teacher to pediatrician, they all are still wrestling with the questions of how to do this well. 

“I probably most appreciate how the award so perfectly articulated what drove me in college, and how it continues to serve as a guide for my career,” said Locascio ’11. “Not just community service, but ‘independence and imagination in the area of community service’—thinking about how the systems in the world can work better for the communities of today and for the communities of tomorrow. It sounds corny, but that exact phrase has honestly served as a north star for me and provided definition for what I want to do in my work, particularly when I struggled to figure out what to do after college and when I made the decision to change careers.”

Education in particular was a common theme for prize recipients, with several having worked or currently working in the field. Moore ’96 shared her experience and how the prize helped guide her on a path to education.

“I used the Glickman Prize to spend the summer in Washington, DC reading more about child development, poverty, and policy options,” she said. “I then moved to Philadelphia, where I eventually became an elementary school teacher. For the last ten years, I have been working in teacher and school leader professional development, focused on school turnaround work in urban, public school systems.”

For Rounds, the event was inspirational. “I am more motivated than ever to pursue my P55 fellowship and later attend medical school with the hope of working with underserved and immigrant populations as a physician,” he said. “I am most thankful for the opportunity to join a larger cohort of Glickman winners who have committed themselves to service in a number of different ways. It is an honor to join a group of Princetonians who have made enormous contributions in the realm of service and I am inspired by their stories.”

Additional Class Day Honors

The Allen Macy Dulles ’51 Award was awarded to Becca Keener ’17. The award is given to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Keener was recognized for her commitment to service with the Pace Center’s Community House and Breakout Princeton programs. She also served as a PICS (Princeton Internships in Civic Service) program assistant helping grow the program; co-president of Pace Center student organization Princeton Against Sex Trafficking; was one of the founders of the Princeton Hidden Minority Council; and interned with Amnesty International, as well as Peer Advisor in Rockefeller College.

The Class of 1901 Medal was given to Aleksandra Czulak '17. The medal recognizes the senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for Princeton. Czulak served as president of the Undergraduate Student Government, where she previously held positions as vice president and executive secretary. Czulak was also a residential college adviser in Whitman College, a Peer Health adviser, director of recruitment of Pace Center student organization Students for Education Reform and logistics coordinator for the Ivy Policy Conference Team. She held an internship at the National Economic Council at the White House, where she was a member of the Health Care, Veterans Affairs, and Energy and Youth Economic Policy Portfolios. She also coordinated the White House Organ Summit and researched Medicare payment reforms.

Special thanks to David Brown, Pace Center Assistant Director, for his contributions to this story.