A Great, Historic Day for Rutgers

President Obama speaks at Rutgers 250th Anniversary CommencementMay 16, 2016

Members of the Rutgers Community:

Wow—what a historic day for Rutgers! University Commencement was a glorious moment to rejoice in our graduating students’ achievements, celebrate our institution’s 250-year history, and have the honor of welcoming the President of the United States to our campus. I know you share the pride we all felt in having President Obama take part in our ceremony, and his commencement address made clear that he understands what makes us such an important part of the fabric of American higher education.  As he put it, “America converges here.”

To all those involved in the campaign (beginning in 2013!) to encourage President Obama to come, and to all the students, staff, faculty, and alumni who worked so hard and dedicated so many hours over the past several weeks to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime event, I offer my heartfelt thanks. Your professionalism, your collegial spirit, and your attention to detail enabled us to work out all the complexities associated with the President’s visit, allowing a record Commencement crowd to witness the occasion at the stadium and the larger Rutgers community to watch on the web and at the viewing sites established across our campuses. Many hundreds of you contributed your time and talent, and I especially want to applaud Tony Calcado and Kim Pastva for leading our Commencement team so well.

In conversation with our team last week, a representative of the White House stated that no university has been as well-prepared for a Presidential visit as Rutgers was. That’s a great credit to your hard work, and I am deeply grateful. University Commencement was an extraordinary event worthy of our standing as one of the finest universities in the nation.


Bob Barchi