Education

President Obama to Class of 2016: 'It's Your Turn Now to Shape Your Nation's Destiny'

14053b30e4ed46a03507_IMG_0382_cropped.jpg
President Obama to Class of 2016: 'It's Your Turn Now to Shape Your Nation's Destiny' Credits: Carl Patterson - TAP into Piscataway
3a7f68bdbeab7dd7b563_IMG_0168.JPG
Credits: Carl Patterson - TAP into Piscataway
9a13b15021f5ac268375_IMG_0370.JPG
Credits: Carl Patterson - TAP into Piscataway
d847fb8022990edbf611_IMG_0297.JPG
Credits: Carl Patterson - TAP into Piscataway
14053b30e4ed46a03507_IMG_0382_cropped.jpg

PISCATAWAY, NJ - President Barack Obama told the Rutgers University Class of 2016 that ignorance is not a virtue and urged them to have faith in democracy.

“You’ve got to be a citizen full time, all the time,” Obama told the more than 50,000 who gathered at Highpoint Solutions Stadium for the university's historic 250th commencement.

The first sitting president to speak at Rutgers told students and their families that the world is more interconnected than ever before and we need to work globally to solve problems, not build walls.

Sign Up for E-News

“The biggest challenges we face cannot be solved in isolation,” he said. “When overseas states start falling apart, they become breeding grounds for terrorists and ideologies and nihilism and despair that ultimately can reach our shores,” Obama said.

Before Obama spoke to the packed stadium, President Robert Barchi bestowed a Doctor of Laws upon him and journalist Bill Moyers. S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist, received an honorary Doctor of Science.

Barchi told the 250th commencement class to take the anniversary milestone to heart. “Be revolutionary, challenge the status quo. Change your communities, change lives,” Barchi said. “Don’t just go out and make a fortune, make a difference.”

Obama’s commencement remarks were among the last of his eight-year presidency. He told students he decided to speak at Rutgers, the nation’s eighth oldest university, because it was the only university to launch a three-year campaign to try and convince him to come to New Jersey.

“Emails, letters, tweets, YouTube videos – I even got three notes from the grandmother of your student body president,” Obama said. “I have to say, that really sealed the deal.”

The president told students that progress takes time, personally and politically. He insisted that the system isn’t as rigged or broken as many people think. The key, he said, is to vote and defy statistics that have resulted in only one in five young people going to the polls and voting.

“If you vote and elect a majority that represents your views you will get what you want,” Obama told the students. “It is that simple. It is not that complicated.”

Despite the heavy security that comes with a presidential visit, long lines and overcast skies, most students agreed that Obama’s commencement speech was worth the trouble.

John Lato, who graduated from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy, found the president's speech inclusive, comprehensive and humorous.

"To me, being involved is an important part of democracy," said Lato of Franklin in Somerset County. "You can't let other people do it for you. "

Matthew Panconi, president of Rutgers University Student Assembly, whose grandmother sent the letters the president mentioned, said Rutgers is a big, challenging, diverse university and he is leaving as a more confident, strong leader and a better person. “It has made us all of us better,” he said.

President Obama urged the students – who gave the president several standing ovations – to gear themselves for the long haul, not rush their success and endure any setbacks that may arise.

“You will not always get what you want, at least not as fast as you want it,” Obama said. “You have to stick with it. You have to be persistent. Don’t lose hope, don’t let resistance make you cynical.”

Recognizing student accomplishments, Obama spotlighted Rutgers graduates who have already made a difference, including Yasmin Ramadan, a School of Arts and Sciences graduate, who is an anti-bullying advocate and heads the Muslim Public Relations Council, and Madison Little, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences graduate, who presented research findings at an international AIDS conference.

“Is it any wonder that I’m optimistic?” Obama said as he urged students to go into business, nonprofit organizations, government, education and the arts and make their mark.

“It is your turn now to shape our nation’s destiny as well as your own, so get to work,” he said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2d432cc950f356da2c6b_f60eae2b69ee186ab2c9_f5f3362648b4a25a99d4_screen_shot_2018-04-22_at_1.02.36_pm

Sat, April 28, 3:00 PM

Abraham Clark High School - Auditorium, Roselle

Roselle's First Circle of Sisters Expo Community ...

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield Township

YP Honors: The Royal Ball 2018

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back Other

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant seeking a Temporary Skilled Laborer

April 20, 2018

ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - The Roselle/Linden Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant is seeking a Temporary Skilled Laborer.

Position preference is given to residents of Linden and Roselle. Application and description for this position is available online at www.lrsanj.org. 

E-mail your application to: dbrown@lrsanj.org or mail to LRSA, P.O. Box 4118, Linden, NJ  07036, ...

Washington School to Hold “My School Color Run” Fundraiser Event

ROSELLE, NJ - The Washington School will be holding the towns first ever Color Run as a fundraiser for the schools Drama Club.

The event presented by Mayor Dansereau, Borough Council, Dept. of Recreation, Roselle Board fo Education, and Washington School, hopes to raise enough money to take the students to Broadway to see the Lion King. The money will also help with ...

Register Now for the Roselle Summer Fun Camp

ROSELLE, NJ - Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Roselle Summer Fun Camp by the Roselle Department of Recreation. 

Applications are available at Roselle Borough Hall, 210 Chestnut St., from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or you can register online at www.boroughofroselle.com.

Onsite in-person registration will be available at the Anthony Amalfe Community Center, 1268 Shaffer Ave., ...

Countywide Free Scrap Metal Recycling Event to be Held in Rahway and Cranford

UNION COUNTY, NJ - A free Countywide scrap metal recycling event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 21 in Rahway and Cranford.  

A wide variety of metal goods, from household appliances to gutters and sheds, are included in the program.

“This countywide program helps to fill a service gap in some Union County municipalities that currently have no pickup for scrap ...

Elizabeth Man Sentenced to Eight Years for Distributing Child Pornography on Internet

April 20, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - An Elizabeth man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted for using file-sharing software to share child pornography from his computer devices, which contained approximately 2,900 images and videos of child pornography.  

Jerrel D. Harris, 32, of Elizabeth was sentenced to eight years in state prison, including five years of parole ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

April 17, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Paterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. The April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude that ...

Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council hosts Know Your Neighbor Event in Rahway

April 24, 2018

Recognizing the great divide that exists in the nation today, including fear of those who do not look like us, the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council recently held a Know Your Neighbor event to foster greater familiarity of and friendship with others within the community. The event was held at the Rahway Family Success Center at JFK Community Center in Rahway.

The Know Your Neighbor ...

Good Gum Health = Good Whole-Body Health

If you are battling gum disease, gingivitis or periodontitis – you are not alone. Come join us at Roselle Park Dental in the fight against gum disease!

Inflammation caused by this disease puts patients at a greater risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Gum disease can also worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of pneumonia, bronchitis, and ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...