PRINCETON - The students of Princeton University have chosen Dr. Anthony Fauci as their 2022 Class Day speaker.

Fauci will visit the campus on May 23, one day before the commencement ceremony. As speaker, he will also become an honorary class member.

Fauci serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has gained recognition as the nation's top infectious disease expert throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be the first in-person Class Day since the outset of the pandemic. Along with a guest speaker, the day is a chance for seniors to recognize their peers and reminisce on their time together at Princeton.

With the days' focus on Princeton University's students, it's up to each class to pick its own speaker. Class Day co-chairs Julia Chaffers, Sarah Lee, and Christian Potter explained the decision collectively in a video message.

“This year’s speaker is undoubtedly among the small handful of leaders who have had the largest global impact over the past few years. Few people better represent Princeton’s unofficial motto, ‘In the nation’s service and the service of humanity.’”

Speakers are almost always celebrities or politicians. Former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and several high-profile actors have been invited to act as Class Day speakers over the past two decades.

Class President Santiago Guiran called having Fauci as speaker an "honor."

“Listening to a leader who has been at the forefront of combatting the pandemic will be a cathartic moment for us given all we have been through,” Guiran said.

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In 2017, Gov. Phil Murphy won the election by 14.1 percentage points, a margin exceeding 303,000. His re-election was much closer, an 84,000-vote, 3.2-point victory. He and others talked about a ‘red wave’ of Republican voters in the electorate, and certified results show which counties turned red most.