Gov. Tom Kean Will Speak at May 18 Commencement

May 5, 2014 

Dear Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick/RBHS Community:

I am pleased to announce that former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean will deliver the commencement address to the Rutgers University–New Brunswick/Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Class of 2014 on Sunday, May 18. He replaces Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who announced on May 3 that she would not participate in the commencement.

Gov. Kean’s career as a public servant, educator, and statesman speaks to the civility, integrity, and vision that we hope will guide our graduates as they pursue their careers or further their studies. He is a national role model as a statesman who built bridges across partisan, racial, ethnic, and ideological divides for the sole purpose of improving the quality of life for the people he served.  We are honored that he has accepted our invitation to address our graduates.

Tom Kean served as Governor of New Jersey from 1982 until 1990. During that time, New Jersey became a national leader on economic, environmental, and social issues. The education reforms enacted by Gov. Kean became national models for improving student outcomes, and his strong support of state investment in higher education helped Rutgers make significant advances as a public research university. Newsweek rated Gov. Kean as among the most effective state leaders in the nation.

President George W. Bush named Gov. Kean to co-chair the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. His leadership of the bi-partisan commission led to the publication of the national bestseller The 9/11 Commission Report and spurred the most sweeping intelligence reforms in the nation’s history.

In 2010 Gov. Chris Christie called upon Gov. Kean to lead the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education. The task force made substantial recommendations for improving higher education that led to the integration of the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers University.   

From 1990 until 2005, Gov. Kean served as the president of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. During his tenure as president, he focused on shaping Drew into one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts colleges.

Gov. Kean, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Rutgers in 1982, will not accept a speaking fee for his remarks.

I look forward to a day of joy and celebration for our graduating students and their families, and I am glad that Gov. Kean will be able to share his wisdom with our Class of 2014.


Bob Barchi