NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University President Robert Barchi today announced that former New Jersey Gov. 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, 2014.
“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,” President Barchi said.
“Gov. Kean 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,” Barchi added.
Kean served as governor from 1982 until 1990. During that time, New Jersey became a national leader on economic, environmental and social issues. The education reforms enacted by Kean became national models for improving student outcomes. Newsweek rated Kean as among the most effective state leaders in the nation.
President George W. Bush named 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.
Gov. Chris Christie in 2010 called upon 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. The integration marked the most significant expansion of Rutgers University in more than 50 years.
From 1990 until 2005, Kean served as the president of Drew University in Madison, N.J. During his tenure as president, he focused on shaping Drew into one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts colleges.
Kean replaces Dr. Condoleezza Rice as the 2014 commencement speaker. Rice announced on May 3, 2014 that she would not participate in the commencement.
Kean will not accept a speaking fee for his remarks. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Rutgers University in 1982.