Five Senior Student-Athletes Named Finalists for Class of 1916 Cup

Five Princeton student-athletes have been named finalists for the Class of 1916 Cup, which is presented annually to the Princeton varsity letterwinner who has achieved the highest academic standing at graduation. The award was given by the Class of 1916 on the occasion of its 50th reunion.

The Class of 1916 Cup will be presented at the Gary Walters ’67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 25th. For more information on the 2023 banquet, click here.

Meet the 2023 finalists!


Ella Gantman is a goalkeeper and Academic All-Ivy honoree for Princeton women’s soccer. She made seven starts this past season, yielding less than two goals per game during her time between the posts.

Gantman was recently awarded the University’s Pyne Prize, Princeton’s top undergraduate honor, which recognizes scholarship, character and leadership. Additionally, she has been honored with early induction into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and earned the James D. Zirin and Marlene Hess Scholar in the Nation’s Service award. During her time on campus, she has been active with the Princeton Writing Center, Annual Giving, Vote100 and Athlete Ally.

Gantman is also a finalist for the Department of Athletics’ Art Lane ’34 Award for contributions to sport and society (click here). From Washington D.C., Gantman is studying in the School of Public and International Affairs, while pursuing a certificate in Spanish Language and Culture.


Madeleine Polubinski is an IRA All-Academic honoree for Princeton women’s lightweight rowing. In 2022, she paced the varsity four to a bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints and fourth place finish at the IRA Championships, helping the Tigers to the IRA women’s lightweight national team title for the first time in program history. This year’s varsity four captured gold at Eastern Sprints for the first time since 2010.

Off the water, Polubinski serves on the Princeton Disability Awareness Council. In this role, she helps organize campus events to promote awareness, education and inclusion for children living with physical and intellectual disabilities. She also volunteers with the Special Olympics of New Jersey and previously served as Vice President for the Princeton Undergraduate Law Journal.

Polubinski is a politics major from New York, N.Y.


Griffen Rakower shared duties in goal this past season, one that saw Princeton men’s lacrosse capture the Ivy League Tournament Championship and earn their second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2022, the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Final Four, their first trip to the national semifinals since 2004.

Rakower was honored with the NCAA Elite 90 Award for having the highest GPA among all athletes at the Final Four.

On campus, Rakower is a member of the Princeton Corporate Finance Club and serves as a Student Associate for the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance. He was previously awarded the Shapiro Prize, which recognizes the top three percent of underclassmen for academic excellence.

From Pleasantville, N.Y., Rakower is a economics major pursuing a certificate in finance.


Harry Saunders is a two-time IRCA Scholar-Athlete nominee who has rowed in the third varsity, fourth varsity and fifth varsity boats throughout his career with the Princeton men’s heavyweight program. The Tigers recently finished tied for second in the Rowe Cup standings at this Year’s Eastern Sprint Championships.

Saunders is a past recipient of the University’s Shapiro Prize for Academic Achievement. He also serves as an undergraduate research fellow and research assistant in the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, where he recently conducted research on the origins of the United Nations and its Collective Security to analyze a new theory on rules-based military cooperation.

Saunders is a native of North Garden, Va. majoring in history.


Olivia Schewe is a captain and Academic All-Ivy honoree for Princeton women’s volleyball. Starting nearly 40 career matches as a middle blocker, Schewe helped the Tigers to Ivy League championships in 2019 and 2022. She received the program’s Bayley S. Dixon Women’s Volleyball Award for outstanding achievement and sportsmanship.

Off the court, she serves as Vice President of Operations of Pi Beta Phi and is a member of the Tiger Investments Club. She is also Director of Content for the Women in Economics and Policy group, and President of the Princeton chapter of Redefine Her Street, an organization dedicated to supporting women interested in careers within the financial services.

From Encinitas, Calif., Shewe is majoring in economics with a certificate in finance.