Dean of Engineering Andrea Goldsmith welcomed students back to campus at events Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, celebrating the joy of reopening after more than a year of remote education.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be seeing you all in person,” Goldsmith, the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, told students gathered in the Friend Center courtyard. “It’s just so joyful to me and everybody here at Princeton. We’re so delighted that you are here.”

students at welcoming ceremony

Frank Wojciechowski

With 343 first-year undergraduates, engineering students represent about 21% of the entering Class of 2025. In her welcoming address, Goldsmith urged the students to take advantage of Princeton not only as a top engineering school but also as a world-class liberal arts university.

“I can tell you based on my own experiences that having a unique and broad perspective through a liberal arts education allows you to see the future of technology” in ways that a purely technical education cannot, she said. “It also allows you to apply technology to solve the greatest problems facing humanity.”

She also welcomed new and returning graduate students at year-opening barbecue, urging them to take advantage of serendipitous interactions made possible again by the return to campus.

dean addresses graduate students

Dean of Engineering Andrea Goldsmith speaks to new and returning graduate students in the Friend Center courtyard.

Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy

Goldsmith noted that the engineering school will grow during the new students’ time at Princeton. She said the school is undertaking an expansion of the faculty by 30 to 40 positions and is focusing its efforts on areas of study including bioengineering, robotics, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the future of cities.

students at welcoming ceremony

David Kelly Crow

At the Sept. 2 event, Peter Bogucki, the associate dean for undergraduate affairs, introduced faculty representatives of the school’s engineering departments, who provided brief introductions to the departments and the opportunities they offer. The faculty members were followed by representatives of engineering student organizations.

students at welcoming ceremony

David Kelly Crow

Goldsmith closed her address to undergraduates by urging students to follow their interests and passion for learning.

“Explore your interests even if it is not clear that this is going to have anything at all to do with your degree or your ultimate career,” she said. “If it is something inspiring and interesting and captures your attention, you may use it five, 10 or 20 years down the road.”