Paul Robeson Class of 1919


Rutgers University Archives/Special Collections

Next year marks 100 years since Paul Robeson gave a commencement address to his Class of 1919 and embarked on a career without parallel. A distinguished scholar and athlete, Robeson RC’19 achieved worldwide acclaim as a concert vocalist and stage and screen actor. He used his fame to highlight African Americans’ struggles for civil and political rights and economic justice, and he advocated for disenfranchised laborers worldwide and for international peace. In January, Rutgers launches the Robeson Centennial, a yearlong celebration of his life with lectures, performances, and exhibitions. Construction of the Paul Robeson Plaza, a gift from the Class of 1971, is underway at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, with a dedication scheduled for April. Learn more about the celebration at