Nicholas Johnson, a Jamaican-Canadian, made history by becoming Princeton University’s first black valedictorian. Johnson, a graduate of Marianopolis College in Montreal, is the valedictorian of the 2020 graduating class at Princeton.
Among those who congratulated Johnson on his achievement was the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, who is herself a Princeton graduate. In a written message to Johnson, Obama wrote on social media, “This Princeton alum is so proud of you, Nick! Congratulations on becoming valedictorian – and making history. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for you, and I cannot wait to see everything you continue to achieve.” Michelle Robinson Obama graduated with top honors from Princeton with a BA in sociology in 1985. She then went on to earn her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.
This Princeton alum is so proud of you, Nick! Congratulations on becoming valedictorian—and making history. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for you, and I cannot wait to see everything you continue to achieve. https://t.co/b9IVCg05SP
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 11, 2020
Johnson’s parents always knew he would achieve great success. His father, Dr. Dexter Johnson, is from the Bahamas and currently has a medical practice in Ottawa, Canada. He is a Harvard-trained doctor and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. His mother, Dr Anita Brown-Johnson, is a medical practitioner of Jamaican descent. She is an assistant professor of family medicine and director of a secondary care division. Nicholas Johnson’s sister Anastacia, is working on her Master of Fine Arts and has received four Grammy nominations.
The 22-year-old Johnson plans to pursue a Ph.D. in operational research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His degree from Princeton includes a combination of studies and certifications in operations research, financial engineering, statistics, and machine learning, applied and computational mathematics, and applications of computing. Johnson said he owed his achievements to the support of those who inspired and believed in him along his journey. He is looking forward to giving his valedictorian’s speech on May 31, 2020, at Princeton. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Princeton’s graduation will be held virtually this year.
Information and Photo Source: Nicholas Johnson Twitter, Princeton University