Rutgers president Robert Barchi and Steven Van Zandt


Nick Romanenko

Van Zandt Gives Address at University Commencement
Humanitarian and philanthropist Steven Van Zandt—well known for his roles as a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and as the character Silvio Dante in The Sopranos—was the commencement speaker during the 251st Anniversary Commencement on May 14. “Greatness isn’t born; it’s developed,’’ Van Zandt told the crowd of roughly 45,000 at High Point Solutions Stadium during the ceremony for students graduating from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). (The schools at Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS held their convocations on dates leading up to and following commencement.) “Greatness is a decision that you make,” said Van Zandt, “and you make that decision every single day in everything you do, no matter how small.’’  

Rutgers president Robert Barchi, who presented Van Zandt with an honorary doctor of fine arts degree, spoke to the graduating class about the value of diversity. “This diversity has made you stronger,” he said. “You know what it means to come from very different backgrounds, and to hold different points of view, and yet to recognize in each other the dignity that each and every individual in the community deserves.’’

Harvey J. Makadon, an LGBTQ and HIV health care advocate, received an honorary doctor of science degree.


Carla D. Hayden, pictured being hooded by Rutgers University–Camden provost Michael Palis and Kriste Lindenmeyer


Grad Images

Rutgers University–Camden
Carla D. Hayden, pictured being hooded by Rutgers University–Camden provost Michael Palis and Kriste Lindenmeyer, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, was the keynote speaker on May 17 during the commencement for the Camden College of Arts and Sciences and University College. Hayden is the first woman and the first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress. Earlier in the day, Sherman Leis CCAS’63, a professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, addressed the Graduate School–Camden. The School of Nursing–Camden, Rutgers Law School, and the School of Business–Camden held ceremonies on May 18. All of the events took place at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden.


Eboo Patel the  chief executive officer of  Interfaith Youth Core


Anthony Alvarez

Rutgers University–Newark
Eboo Patel, pictured, the chief executive officer of Interfaith Youth Core, was the keynote speaker at Rutgers University–Newark’s commencement, which took place on May 17 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Patty Shwartz RC’83, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, addressed graduates of the Rutgers Law School on May 26. Steve Forbes, the chair of Forbes Media, spoke to students receiving advanced degrees from Rutgers Business School on May 19 during a ceremony held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center  in Newark.