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A Year Like No Other

March 26, 2020
Dean Karen Richardson

Later today we will release decisions for applicants to Princeton’s Class of 2024.

This year has been like no other. Aside from it being my first year as dean of admission here at my alma mater, the world wide pandemic has uprooted life as we know it. Just a few weeks ago, the community was bustling with students, prospective students, faculty and staff. Now it’s a lot quieter, our students had to adjust their spring semester and vacate campus to allow for the safety of all.

Our team also retreated to our separate corners of the greater Princeton area where we continued to read and assess the voices that came through the thousands of applications we received. We are thankful to have finished our committee meetings and to have had the chance to discuss the amazing talent we found in the applicant pool.

Now it’s time to share the decisions we’ve made with the students, families and school counselors whom have anxiously awaited this day. My advice at this angst driven time is to stop, breathe, and recognize that no matter what decision you receive, it’s not a judgement on who you are or what you will accomplish. My guess is that during the course of these past few weeks you have received some good news, some not so good news and some news that you don’t quite know what to do with. That’s okay. We’ve all been there. What’s important is to put it all into perspective, evaluate your choices and make your own decision about where to spend the next four years of your life.

Being back here at Princeton has been a blast for me. And it’s not just because it’s the place where I’ve made lifelong memories and discovered who I am in this world. It’s also about the people—an amazing admission team as well as the applicants who place their trust in us by sharing their stories through essays and interviews. Please know that, if you are an applicant, no matter what decision you receive later today, we are thankful for the pleasure of getting to know you.

Stay well, friends. And best wishes as you make your own decisions over the next few weeks.

Karen Richardson ‘93

Dean of Admission