Princeton University has named its first black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year- history, and the student receiving the title called it “empowering.”
Nicholas Johnson was named the school’s valedictorian in a news release from Princeton. Johnson is a student from Montreal, Canada, who will be graduating with a major in operations research and financial engineering, according to CNN.
“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. “I hope that this achievement motivates and inspires younger black students, particularly those interested in STEM fields.”
During his time at Princeton, Johnson was part of the school’s Engineers Without Borders and worked as a software engineer at Google’s California campus.