A Special Welcome to the First College Class of 2025 from Head of College, AnneMarie Luijendijk

Friday, Jul 9, 2021

Dear Members of the Great Class of 2025!

Welcome to First College, your Princeton home-base for the next years! We are a vibrant and diverse academic and social community, a place to study, live, and relax, develop friendships, and explore new ideas. I encourage you to become actively involved in the life of our residential college community, by joining the College Council, trying out our ceramics studio, performing in our BlackBox theater, studying in our Julian Street Library, and participating in the many other activities that take place in our college.  After this very difficult period of COVID crisis and accompanying restrictions, we will urge you and your fellow Firsties to help us renew what it means to live in community together.

I am a professor of Early Christianity in the Religion Department, working on texts written on papyrus (ancient writing material) that were discovered on an Egyptian trash heap. Another research project involves ancient fashion, footwear, and faith. Ask me about it so I can tell you more. I am excited to be teaching a Freshmen Seminar on The Lives of Early Christian Women this fall semester, in which I incorporate some of my own research. Born and raised in the Netherlands, I have lived and worked in America for 25 years, together with my husband Jan Willem van der Werff and our four children: Kees (21), Erik (16), and the twins Rosemarie and Annabel (8). Please come say hello to us in the dining hall and join us at our table. We always enjoy your company! I also look forward to hosting you and your zee-group for a special dinner at my house on Prospect Avenue.

First College has a wonderful staff that is eager to help you accomplish your goals and to help you access the vast array of resources Princeton offers.

Our Dean and Director of Studies will oversee your academic career from the time you enter Princeton until the time you graduate. During these years, you will have many advisers, but Dean Anne Caswell-Klein will retain oversight of your academic progress throughout. Dr. Johanna Rossi Wagner, the Director of Studies, has special responsibility for the academic orientation and progress of the freshman class.  Both are ready to offer whatever assistance you may need.

Our Director of Student Life, Garrett Meggs, works closely with the RCAs and the College Council to support programs that serve all First College students, from the first and second-year students in residence to the upper-class students who live elsewhere but remain part of our community. He also is responsible for coordinating support for students experiencing personal difficulties and takes the lead in our work to uphold community standards and respect for others.

College Program Administrator Dianne Spatafore is responsible for financial and operational management of the college, and College Office Coordinator Sue Giranda will help you navigate Princeton in so many ways.

Please see our College website to learn more about our First College community.

Enjoy your summer; we look forward to welcoming you soon!

With kind greetings,

Professor AnneMarie Luijendijk
Head of First College