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Girls Prep Names Princeton University Dean Cecilia Rouse as 2017 Commencement Speaker

For Fifth Consecutive Year, Senior Female University Leader to Make Major Commencement Address to Next Generation of Girls Prep Alumnae

New York, NY (March 21, 2017): Girls Prep — the first all-girls public charter school founded in New York City — announced that Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will be its 2017 Commencement Speaker. In what has now become an annual tradition, Dean Rouse will be the fifth female university leader to provide a commencement address to graduating Girls Prep 8th grade scholars, following Presidents Dianne Lynch of Stephens College in 2013, Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College in 2014, Kathleen McCartney of Smith College in 2015, and Senior Director Diane Levitt of Cornell Tech in 2016.

This year marks a very special milestone in the history of Girls Prep, as it will be the first time in which both Girls Prep Lower East Side and Girls Prep Bronx Middle Schools graduate 8th grade scholars, and the year that the first cohort of Girls Prep scholars that graduated 8th grade in 2013 will be entering college. As a result, a new tradition will be created in which a unified ceremony will celebrate a procession of graduating 12th grade Girls Prep alumnae who announce their intent to enroll in private colleges, public universities, community colleges, technical programs, or other career endeavors. Moreover, graduating 8th grade scholars will receive their own recognition while being inspired to see their near-peer Girls Prep scholars announce their post-secondary plans and be reminded that high school is not an end, but merely the beginning.

Dean Rouse’s record of leadership as an economist, professor, member of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and as a Ph.D. recipient from Harvard University, will be an inspiration to Girls Prep scholars. In sum, Dean Rouse’s life accomplishments embody the Girls Prep core values of sisterhood, scholarship, responsibility and merit.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to deliver the Girls Prep 2017 Commencement Address,” said Dean Rouse. “A strong secondary education is imperative for future success. It is clear that the girls graduating from Girls Prep in June are the beneficiaries of a strong foundation on which to build upon as they take the next steps in their educational journeys.”

Committed to using its resources to attract the most talented students in the world, in 2001, Princeton became the first university in the country to launch a groundbreaking “no-loan” policy. This watershed initiative, which inspired major universities nationwide to launch similar no-loan programs, offers every Princeton student an aid package that ensures his or her financial need will be fully met and that replaces loans with grant aid that students do not pay back. With the help of its generous aid program, Princeton University has one of the best need-based financial aid programs in the country, reflecting its core value of equality of opportunity, regardless of a student's financial circumstances.

“The Woodrow Wilson School brings together world-class practitioners dedicated to the mission of public service, while also offering a world-class education to students who can be confident their financial need will be met and they will graduate with little or no debt,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep. “We are honored that Dean Rouse has chosen to bring the WOO spirit to Girls Prep.”

Girls Prep Lower East Side was founded in 2005 as the first and only all-girls public charter school in New York City; and Girls Prep Bronx was founded in 2009 to serve female scholars in the South Bronx. Girls Prep alumnae have now been accepted into some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges, including Yale University, Stephens College, St. John’s University and Howard University. Girls Prep alumnae in high school attend 33 of the top nationally ranked public high schools in NYC (by US News & World Report) and a range of top parochial, private and public high schools, including Bard Early College High School, Manhattan/Hunter Science School and Sacred Heart Academy. Girls Prep is part of Public Prep, the nation’s only non-profit network that exclusively develops exceptional, tuition-free PreK and single-sex elementary and middle public schools. We are determined to graduate 8th grade scholars who thrive in “right-fit,” high-performing public, private, or parochial high schools, and ultimately earn a degree from a four-year college or university.

Founded in 1930, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University is a major international center of advanced training and research in public affairs. The Woodrow Wilson School is an institution with the energy and strength to tackle the most serious issues of the present day, and the vision and experience to prepare the leaders who will shape the public policies of the future.