Derek DiGregorio Named Honorary Member of Princeton University’s Class of 2012

Derek in his Tiger bow tie shakes hands with senior John Monagle at Princeton University's Class Day. Photo Credit: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite.

The members of the Princeton University Class of 2012 cheered as they honored John Witherspoon Middle School student Derek DiGregorio at the annual Class Day ceremony this morning and welcomed him to the Class of 2012.

DiGregorio has a rare genetic disease called Ataxia Telangiectasia, which affects three people out of every million.The disease makes normal day-to-day life difficult. A non-profit named Derek’s Dreams raises money to support Derek, spreads awareness about the disease and raises funds for research.

Derek’s dream is to live as long and happy a life as possible, surrounded by friends and family, a life where he can pursue his education, goals and hobbies. He is doing just that.

The sports lover  and gold medal winner in bowling in the Special Olympics is a fixture at Princeton University athletics events, where he can always be seen rooting for the Tigers.

“Derek has been a great supporter of the class,” said senior John Monagle as he presented DiGregorio with his white Class of 2012 jacket, making him an honorary class member as the class of 2012 gave him one more round of applause.