Information for Families page

Dear Whitman Families,

Greetings from Princeton! I am writing to welcome you and your family to Whitman College and the great Princeton Class of 2027!  

Whitman College is a welcoming, diverse, supportive, and thriving community. Approximately 220 first-year students, about 220 sophomores, and 100 junior and senior students reside in the college. These students join our Residential College Advisers (RCAs), Resident Graduate Students (RGSs), and Peer Academic Advisers (PAAs) in calling Whitman College, a beautiful complex of residential halls, lounges, courtyards, and Community Hall, our dining area we share with Butler College, home.

Whitman is a hub for many enriching experiences outside the classroom. This means that we regularly sponsor lectures and discussions, service and community outreach opportunities, readings and performances, intramural sports, outings to theater performances and movies, and club meetings.  Many college activities are organized by the undergraduates themselves, and the Whitman College Council (WCC) takes the lead in programming a wide range of cultural, social and academic events.  First-year students are welcome to join the WCC!

Particularly central to the lives of incoming students are our RCAs, those specially selected and trained juniors and seniors who live in the residence halls alongside the first-year students, and offer information, guidance, activities and encouragement from Orientation onward. Nine RGSs from several academic disciplines also live in Whitman; they collaborate with the WCC, RCAs, and college staff in creating intellectual and social activities, while serving as experienced role models for our students. Our PAAs, each of whom is paired with an RCA and RGS, round out the student advising team, and provide an important perspective on Princeton’s academic opportunities.

Our Faculty and Staff Fellows make important contributions to everyday Whitman life, as well. They lead special trips and discussions, and provide opportunities for students to interact informally with University faculty and staff beyond the classroom and laboratory.

I am the Head of Whitman College; I am also a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I have been an advisor to first-year B.S.E. students for many years, and my favorite classes to teach are first-year classes.  Having participated fully in Princeton’s academic and organizational endeavor for many years, I am convinced not only of the high quality of Princeton’s liberal arts education, but also of the power in the individual attention given to each student.  

During Orientation, I will talk a bit more about the Princeton experience. For now, let me simply emphasize how much I look forward to connecting personally with your student—and all of our newest “Whitmanites” of the great class of 2027. Throughout the school year I will be meeting your student over lunches and dinners in our beautiful Community Hall, through conversations at office hours, and at small group dinners at the Head of College house. 

I am especially proud of the wonderful colleagues who work with me in the Whitman College Office. Our Dean, Assistant Dean for Studies, Assistant Dean for Student Life, Program Administrator, College Coordinator, and Residential Life Coordinator all join me in welcoming your student into the Whitman community. Together, and in partnership with our student leaders, we work to ensure that Whitman is a safe, congenial, stimulating and inclusive environment for everyone.  Please encourage your student to fully engage in opportunities to get to know college staff in person and to reach out to me to tell me about their first-year experience and with any questions, thoughts, or ideas they might have.

Please feel free to visit our website to learn more about Whitman College; its people, and upcoming events; we will make regular updates to the page throughout the summer. You can also keep abreast of activities at Whitman if you follow us on Instagram or "like" us on Facebook.

In closing, let me reiterate: I very much look forward to welcoming you and your family to Whitman College!  I hope to meet you at move-in; in the meantime, the entire staff joins me in wishing you a safe and healthy summer.

With my best regards,

Image removed.

Claire Gmachl
Head of Whitman College
Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Interim Director ACEE