NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The Rutgers Board of Governors voted on Thursday to bestow an honorary degree to award-winning author and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey when she addresses graduates at the 255th anniversary commencement of Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences on May 16.

The board also voted to award scientist and politician, Rush D. Holt Jr., an honorary doctor of laws degree; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Laurie Garrett, an honorary doctor of science degree; and comics writer, essayist and journalist, G. Willow Wilson, an honorary doctor of letters degree at the ceremony.

Wendell Pierce – actor, author, radio personality and humanitarian – will deliver remarks at Rutgers University-Newark’s virtual commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16, at 6 p.m. The board also voted to award Pierce an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.

An honorary doctor of laws degree from Rutgers-Newark will also be conferred upon MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner and civil rights hero Robert Parris Moses. An honorary doctor of fine arts also will be conferred on rap music pioneer and radio personality Angela “Angie” Martinez, who was the May 2020 commencement speaker at Rutgers-Newark.

Rutgers-Camden will bestow honorary degrees to New Brunswick native Judith Persichilli, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, and Nikole Hannah-Jones, architect and lead author of The New York Times’ landmark 1619 Project, at an in-person ceremony at a later date.

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