A Montrealer Is Princeton's First Black Valedictorian & Michelle Obama Sent Him Some Love

Nicholas Johnson went to Marianopolis College.
Senior Editor
A Montrealer Is Princeton's First Black Valedictorian & Michelle Obama Sent Him Some Love

Montrealers have reason to be proud of one former resident today. Nicholas Johnson, a Montreal native and graduate of Marianopolis College, has been named Princeton University class of 2020 valedictorian. He "is the first black valedictorian in Princeton’s history," according to a statement.

"Thank you everyone for the warm regards!" Johnson wrote in a Twitter post on Friday.

"My journey has only been possible because of the countless people who have supported and inspired me along the way. Looking forward to sharing my speech as Princeton's 2020 Valedictorian on May 31st!"

The post earned a retweet from fellow Princeton grad and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

"This Princeton alum is so proud of you, Nick!" she wrote.

"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."

Johnson's eye-catching résumé won't stop there.

He's set to pursue a Ph.D. in operations research at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

His degree from Princeton includes a dizzyingly impressive mix of studies and certificates in operations research, financial engineering, statistics and machine learning, applied and computational mathematics, and applications of computing.

He has also worked for Google and interned at Oxford.

“My favorite memories of my time at Princeton are memories of time spent with close friends and classmates engaging in stimulating discussions — often late at night — about our beliefs, the cultures and environments in which we were raised, the state of the world, and how we plan on contributing positively to it in our own unique way,” Johnson said in the statement posted to the university website.

If Montrealers are lucky enough, this leader will one day return to the city to offer his expertise.

If not, we can at least be proud that he has called the metropolis home.

Stay tuned for more news.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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