PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers Athletics celebrated the achievements of its approximately 134 student-athletes who will earn degrees in 2017 at the University’s annual convocation ceremony, held Sunday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Actor and musician Steven Van Zandt served as the keynote speaker for Rutgers' largest-ever graduating class. He was bestowed an honorary doctorate for his many and varied accomplishments, which include his work with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, his role on "The Sopranos" and his activist work fighting apartheid in South Africa and injustice in other parts of the world.
"Embrace your Jersey roots and authenticity. Jersey strong," Van Zandt said. "It doesn't matter where you're from. You're in the Jersey family now."
An estimated 17,729 graduates earned degrees from Rutgers this year. The graduates included about 11,420 who received baccalaureate degrees, 4,555 who got master’s degrees and 1,750 who earned doctorates.
It signaled the 251st commencement “On the Banks.” The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers is the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of only nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution.