NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers' 253rd-anniversary commencement is scheduled to begin rain or shine at 10 a.m. on Sunday at Stadium on the Busch Campus in Piscataway.

University President Robert Barachi will confer graduate and undergraduate degrees at this ceremony.

Here are six interesting facts about the event:

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Two McCourtys are better than one

This will be the first time in school history that there will be two keynote speakers. Super Bowl LIII champions and Rutgers alumni Jason and Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots will be the keynote speakers and will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. The university is also honored to bestow an honorary doctor of laws degree upon Gov. Phil Murphy and recognize the honorary doctorate of humane letters degree bestowed on Paul Robeson in 1973.

The more, the merrier

There will be a total of 18,825 graduates, up from last year's total of 18,012. The 18,825 degrees include about 12,187 baccalaureate degrees, 4,926 master's degrees, 1,711 doctorates (including professional doctorates) and one specialist of education degree.

The legend of Leydt

A total of 598,874 academic degrees awarded by Rutgers since its founding in 1766 through the 2017-18 academic year. Matthew Leydt received the first degree, a Bachelor of Arts, from Queen's College in 1774. He was the sole graduate. According to the school, Leydt became licensed to enter the ministry of the Dutch Reform Church after graduation.

Catching the event

Can't make it to commencement? View it online from beginning at 9:30 a.m. A high-speed internet connection, such as cable or fiber-optic network, is recommended.

Be prepared

What can you bring into the stadium? There are some very specific rules. Only clutches and wallets no larger than 4.5 by 6.5 inches. Clear plastic bags no larger than one gallon. Cameras and binoculars (without accompanying bag), seat cushions, hats, sunscreen and ponchos.

What can't you bring in? Strollers, umbrellas, balloons, noisemakers, outside food, bottles and beverages, backpacks, camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size


Suzanne Link, president of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, will represent the Class of 2019. She was raised in Paramus and is graduating cum laude with a double major in human resource management and labor studies and employment relations with a concentration in law in the workplace. Link served as College Avenue Campus representative-at-large and legislative affairs chair before being elected assembly president. She is the second woman to serve in the role.