U.S. Senator Cory Booker to Give William Paterson University Commencement Address on May 20 at The Prudential Center

A separate ceremony will be held for master’s degree candidates on Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in Shea Center on campus

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will give the keynote address at William Paterson University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2016. The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.

“Sen. Booker has long been a vocal supporter and friend of William Paterson University, recently commending our students on the volunteer work they did around the region on Martin Luther King Day,” says President Kathleen Waldron. “Sen. Booker delivered the commencement address in 2007 and received an honorary doctor of laws degree when he was mayor of Newark. We are delighted that he will return this year to give the graduating class and their families his perspective on the future of our state and nation from a national viewpoint.”

The commencement also will include a speech by a graduating bachelor’s degree candidate. A separate ceremony will be held for master’s degree candidates on Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in Shea Center on campus.  A total of more than 2,800 bachelor’s and master’s degrees are expected to be conferred on candidates who have completed their degree requirements between August 2015 and May 2016.

Alumni from the Class of 1966, who graduated when William Paterson was called Paterson State College, will be present at the undergraduate ceremony along with members of the Pioneer Society, those alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago. The Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Chapter will host a Senior Send-Off reception on Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. in the University Commons Ballroom on campus.

Booker holds a BA in political science and an MA in sociology from Stanford University. After completing his master's degree, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in United States history in 1994 as a member of The Queen's College. In 1997, he earned his JD from Yale Law School.

Following law school, Booker moved to Newark, where he started a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families and help tenants take on slumlords, improve living conditions, and stay in their homes.  He began his political career in 1998, when he was elected to the Newark City Council. Booker was elected mayor of Newark in 2006 and was reelected in 2010. In 2013, Booker was elected U.S. Senator, the first African American senator from New Jersey.  He recently authored his first book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, in which he calls for U.S. citizens to reorient the nation and its politics around the principles of compassion and solidarity.

William Paterson University, one of New Jersey’s leading public universities, offers undergraduate and graduate academic programs through five colleges: Arts and Communication, Cotsakos College of Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Health. Located on 370 hilltop acres in Wayne, the university enrolls more than 11,000 students and provides housing for nearly 2,700 students. The institution’s 411 full-time faculty are highly distinguished and diverse scholars and teachers, many of whom are recipients of prestigious awards and grants from the Fulbright Program, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

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