Joseph Freeman ’97

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017
by jfaires

Meet FSI Alum Joseph Freeman ’97!

Joseph Freeman ’97 grew up not too far away from campus in Newark, NJ, and South Orange, NJ. At Princeton, Joseph majored in Chemical Engineering with a focus on Biomedical Engineering with the goal of eventually pursuing a graduate degree. He chose Princeton not only because he loved the campus, but because he also felt it had a strong and solid engineering program.

As an incoming freshman, Joseph participated in the Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI), then called FSOP (Freshman Summer Orientation Program). Back in those days, he met fellow students from similar backgrounds, and learned how to navigate Princeton before stepping foot into his courses. Joseph’s favorite FSI memories involve the relationships formed with other students both his year and older that he met that summer.

While at Princeton, Joseph lived in Butler College. He was also president of the Organization for Black Unity (a precursor to the Black Student Union), a member of the Third World Center (now the Carl A. Fields Center) governing board, and an intramural basketball player. Through these activities, he met like-minded people, developed his leadership qualities and potential, and found an outlet to relieve stress and have fun.

Joseph met his best friends at Princeton, the highlight of his Princeton experience. He enjoyed being surrounded by amazing, intelligent, fun, high-achieving people, as he believes that there aren’t many times in your life when you are going to be surrounded by that much concentrated intelligence and achievement, as well as people that have similar interests and drives but perhaps different backgrounds.

The most important thing he thinks Princeton taught him was how to work hard and work smart. Joseph learned the importance of organizing his time and came to understand a key life lesson: even though rewards may be slow to come, they do come eventually. When he entered graduate school at Rutgers University and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), he flourished because he had already learned how to study and organize his time at Princeton.

If Joseph could change something about Princeton, he would make it a more inclusive and less elitist place. He would like for admissions to have a more diverse population and have a more diverse faculty. He recommends that students find a balance between work and fun because, while it is important to do as well as possible academically, one should also take opportunities to grow as a person, as a citizen, and as a leader.

At A Glance: Joseph Freeman ’97

Major: Chemical Engineering

Residential College: Butler College

Favorite Activity: Playing basketball and hanging with friends

If you could be any building on campus, which building would you be and why: Wu Hall in Butler College, because he spent a lot of time there eating, laughing, and studying. He has many fond memories of hanging out in the lounge in the basement watching basketball games, playing cards, and joking around.

You can contact Joseph at: