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President Gitenstein receives honorary degree from Princeton University

President Gitenstein was among five honorary degree recipients at the 2018 Princeton University commencement exercises. (Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite)

TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Princeton University for her contributions to education.

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber conferred the degree during the university’s 271st commencement ceremony on the lawn of Nassau Hall on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

President Gitenstein was lauded for her determination to provide students with a high-caliber academic experience and leading transformative efforts to improve TCNJ’s four-year graduation rate, which now ranks among the highest in the nation for public colleges and universities.

In his address to the Class of 2018, Eisgruber pointed to Gitenstein as an exemplar of higher education advocacy, and encouraged graduates themselves to help others to achieve in the future what they’ve achieved—earning their degrees.

“By raising TCNJ’s graduation rate, President Gitenstein has improved the lives of thousands of students who might have left school with debt but no degree,” said Eisgruber. “Be an advocate for higher education leaders like Bobby Gitenstein, and for colleges like TCNJ that commit to improving completion rates.”

The honor comes at a most fitting time, with this month marking the end of Gitenstein’s near 20-year tenure as president of TCNJ, the third longest in the college’s 162-year history. She is the first woman to serve as president.

Emily W. Dodd ’03