Profiles in Generosity - Call for Nominations

Nov. 22, 2022

President Eisgruber has said* that a key criteria by which Princeton students are selected for admission is their ability “to contribute to the education of their peers” (italics added).

Has a fellow student contributed to your learning simply out of kindness and generosity? Has a classmate, study group partner, friend or peer generously helped you understand or learn something simply out of a desire to be of assistance? Has a fellow student’s assistance or contribution enhanced your educational experience? This is your opportunity to express your thanks.

Because intellectual generosity is such a fundamental value in our everyday academic lives we may not recognize its significance to almost everything we do here at Princeton. The sharing of knowledge and expertise is at the core of every aspect of our educational institution: teaching, learning, inquiry, and scholarship depend upon the free and generous exchange of what we have come to know.

What We’re Looking For

A fellow student asks questions useful for all class members; a student recognizes, affirms, or praises another’s statement; a classmate makes contributions that move a precept/seminar forward; a student makes an effort to include others in the learning process; a study group partner or friend takes time to help another learn. All of these—and more—are acts of intellectual generosity we seek to highlight.

As part of their role, instructors, advisors, coaches, tutors, fellows, consultants and others share their knowledge—and many go above and beyond—yet we also benefit from those who are not in these roles and share their time, effort, insight, knowledge, and expertise simply out of a desire to be of help. While there are awards for outstanding instructors, advisors, and peer educators, your intellectually generous peers, while not unappreciated, may go unrecognized.

Our Purpose

This initiative is designed to provide for all of us a moment of reflection upon and contemplation of those for whom we are grateful because of what they have helped us learn. Our act of gratitude to them increases our appreciation for these individuals and strengthens our communal commitment to generosity while honoring those who have taken the time and made the effort to aid in our intellectual growth. Our gratitude, like their generosity, is mutually beneficial.

How It Works

In this spirit, we ask you to provide us with names of undergraduate students who have, through their generosity, contributed to your learning and understanding, and thus your educational experience.

Nominators simply enter students’ names and the McGraw Center will contact them to ask if they wish to be recognized. We’ll also ask for their thoughts on generosity to be included along with their photo in an online gallery comprised of other nominees.

  • Eligibility: All Princeton undergraduate students can be nominated by any campus community member.
  • Nominations: Provide the name of your nominee(s)—no self-nominations, please.
  • Deadline for Nominations: December 16th (Dean’s Date).


* President’s Letter, The State of the University, February 2019