Princeton alumnus Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America and co-founder and CEO of Teach For All, has been chosen as the speaker for the University’s 2022 baccalaureate ceremony.
The baccalaureate, a year-end interfaith service that is one of Princeton’s oldest traditions, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.
The speaker was chosen by the Honorary Degrees Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. The invitation letter to Kopp read: “Your commitment to educational equity and social entrepreneurship makes you an exceptional role model for our students, especially since Teach For America grew out of your thesis. graduation ‘A plan and an argument for the creation of a National Teacher Corps.’ From Teach For America to Teach For All, you have truly embodied what it means to be “in the service of the nation and in the service of mankind.”
“It is a huge honor that Wendy Kopp ’89 is the Baccalaureate speaker for the Grande Classe 2022,” said senior class president Santiago Guiran. “Through his high-impact contributions to children’s education, Kopp has set himself the goal of trying to address the negative effects caused by structural inequalities. His effort to equalize education for those in need has never left me behind. leaves no doubt that it will serve as a successful emblem for social progress for senior graduates, and will be able to demonstrate how entrepreneurship and social impact go hand in hand. “
Kopp received her AB from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in 1989. Shortly after graduation, she founded Teach For America – a national body of recent college graduates who spent two years committed to teach in urban and rural public schools, and become permanent leaders in ensuring that all children thrive – placing 500 teachers in schools with large populations of disadvantaged students in the first year.
In 2007, Kopp responded to the interest of social entrepreneurs around the world who wanted to adapt the Teach For America approach to their local contexts by co-founding Teach For All, a global network that now includes 61 independent partner organizations that are similarly developing. leadership to ensure that all children have the opportunity to realize their potential.
“It gave us a huge sense of optimism, that we can really accelerate the pace of change if we can generate this kind of growing force from locally rooted leaders in countries around the world who are also globally informed,” exposed to what works and what works. possible in other places, ”Kopp told Princeton’s She roars podcast in 2019. “And that’s really what we’re working to develop through Teach For All. “
The Teach For All network partners collectively have more than 15,000 teachers currently in the midst of their initial two-year teaching commitments, reaching over one million students, with more than 89,000 alumni globally, including 75% continue to work to expand opportunities for children, in education and beyond.
Kopp is the author of “A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Provide an Excellent Education for All” (2011) and “One Day All Children: The Improbable Triumph of Education for America and what I have learned along the way ”(2000).
She holds honorary doctorates from 15 universities, including Princeton, and is the recipient of numerous awards including the McGraw Prize in Education (2006), the Presidential Citizens Medal (2008), the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2008) and the Schwab Foundation’s Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award (2003).
Kopp is the youngest person and the first woman to receive the Woodrow Wilson Prize from Princeton (1993), which is awarded annually to a former undergraduate or alumnus whose accomplishments epitomize the call to duty in Wilson’s speech, “Princeton in Service to the Nation.”
In 1994, TIME magazine recognized Kopp as one of the 40 Most Promising Leaders Under 40, and in 2008 again honored her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2006, US News & World Report named Kopp one of America’s top executives.
The Princeton Baccalaureate service focuses on members of the upper class. It includes prayers and readings from various religions and philosophical traditions. The first recorded baccalaureate speech – titled “Religion and the Public Spirit” – was given by the president of the university, Samuel Davies, to the 11 members of the class of 1760.
The seats in the chapel are reserved for members of the upper class and the procession of the faculty. Seniors receive two tickets to a simulcast site for family and guests.