NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver remarks to more than 12,000 graduating students and 40,000 guests at the university’s 250th anniversary commencement ceremony May 15 on the New Brunswick Campus.
“We are delighted that President Obama has chosen to address our graduates at this year’s historic commencement,” said Rutgers University President Robert Barchi.
“This is the first time in Rutgers University’s history that a sitting president has agreed to speak at commencement,” said Barchi. “President Obama’s decision is a testament to the enthusiastic efforts of Rutgers students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, who sent numerous messages to the White House urging the president to join our 250th anniversary graduation ceremony,” he added.
President Obama will deliver his remarks during the Rutgers University-New Brunswick Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15, at 12:30 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway.
"The university has been trying to bring the President to the campus for some time. This strengthens Rutgers on a national scope," said Scotch Plains resident Jonathan Jaffe, a 1993 graduate and a former journalism adjunct at the school. "It is the perfect way that Rutgers can honor its 250th year. As an alumnus, I'm glad the President has chosen to come to Rutgers."
More than 12,000 graduates, representing 22 academic units from Rutgers-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, are scheduled to receive their academic degrees. More than 52,000 are expected to attend the ceremony, rain or shine. Since granting its first degree in 1774, Rutgers has awarded more than 550,000 academic degrees.
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities, enrolling more than 67,000 students each year and serving people throughout New Jersey. Rutgers University-New Brunswick is the only public institution in New Jersey represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers is also a member of the Big Ten Conference and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation – a consortium of 15 world-class research universities.
Next month’s commencement ceremony is part of Rutgers 250, a year-long celebration that culminates on Nov. 10, 2016 – the 250th anniversary of the birth of Queen’s College. That colonial institution became Rutgers College in 1825. In 1924, Rutgers College assumed university status. By 1956, acts by the New Jersey State Legislature designated all of Rutgers’ divisions as The State University of New Jersey.