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Acclaimed Historian, NJ Native Lonnie Bunch Addresses Graduates May 22

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Rutgers-Newark Anticipates Largest-ever Graduating Class

Rutgers University, Newark, is on track to graduate its largest-ever class.  Rutgers-Newark - which traces its roots to 1908, when the New Jersey Law School, now the Rutgers Law School-Newark, opened its doors – expects to award  nearly 3,300 degrees during a total of seven ceremonies in May. Rutgers-Newark also expects to confer a record number of doctoral degrees, 78, through the Graduate School-Newark.

At the campus’s largest ceremony, the joint convocation for the Newark College of Arts and Sciences and the University College,  the Class of 2013 will hear an address by nationally renowned historian Lonnie Bunch III.  Bunch will speak May 22, three days after Rutgers University awards him an honorary Doctor of Letters in a separate ceremony. Bagpipers will lead the graduation processions to all but one of the ceremonies.

Bunch is only one of seven distinguished speakers who will address graduates and their guests during the week of May 20; a full list of speakers and convocation dates is below.

Bunch, one of the nation’s preeminent museum directors, curators, and historians, is founding director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in 2015 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since his appointment in 2005, Bunch has overseen the museum’s design, as well as fundraising efforts, development of collections and creation of high-profile traveling exhibitions and public events, to establish an institution that celebrates the richness and depth of the African-American experience.

Bunch is no stranger to Rutgers University or to Newark.  A native of the Newark area, he delivered scholarly talks at R-N’s Marion Thompson Wright lecture series in 2010 and 2004, at the request of Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History Clement A. Price. Price, who nominated Bunch to receive the honorary degree, notes that “Lonnie Bunch is at the helm of an extraordinary effort that in two years will place on the National Mall a museum that will manifest the centrality of the African American story in the larger story of the American Republic.”  He adds, “Lonnie is already one of New Jersey's most prominent native sons. I am delighted that Rutgers is acknowledging that fact.”

Bunch received undergraduate and graduate degrees in African American and American history from American University in Washington, D.C., where he also taught.

 

2013 CONVOCATION CEREMONIES FOR RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEWARK

NEWARK COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES AND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE-NEWARK, May 22, 10 a.m., New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), 1 Center St. SPEAKER: Lonnie Bunch III

SCHOOL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, May 20, 10 a.m., Golden Dome Athletic Center, 42 Warren St., Newark
SPEAKER:  Laurie O. Robinson, professor of criminology, law & society at George Mason University. Robinson has been involved in national criminal justice policy for more than three decades; her 10 years as the assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the research, statistics and criminal justice assistance arm of the department, make her the longest serving head of the agency in its 45-year history.

RUTGERS BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNDERGRADUATE, May 22, 2 p.m., NJPAC

SPEAKER:  R. Donohue Peebles, founder, chairman & CEO, the Peebles Corporation, one of the country's largest African American real estate development companies. In August 2010, Black Enterprise named him among 40 “Business Titans who shaped our world;” his accomplishments have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Ebony.

RUTGERS BUSINESS SCHOOL, GRADUATE, May 22, 6 p.m., NJPAC
SPEAKER: Kevin Cummings, president and chief executive officer of Investors Bank, and Rutgers Business School (MBA) 1977. In his role at Investors Bank, he has helped to guide the bank’s strategic expansion and evolution into a full-service community and commercial bank.

RUTGERS COLLEGE OF NURSING, May 23, 10 a.m., Golden Dome Athletic Center
SPEAKER: the Honorable Cory A. Booker, mayor of the City of Newark. Elected with a clear mandate for change, Booker began work on realizing a bold vision for the city. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshaling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.  Booker is serving his second term as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city.

RUTGERS GRADUATE SCHOOL/SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND ADMINISTRATION, May 23, 2 p.m., Golden Dome Athletic Center
SPEAKER: Gregory F. Ball, vice dean for science and research infrastructure, Johns Hopkins University, School of Arts and Sciences.  Ball’s address marks a homecoming of sorts for the director of Hopkins’ undergraduate neuroscience program. Ball earned the Ph.D. in psychology at Rutgers University in Newark.  A highly accomplished scientist, his research concerns the interrelation of hormones, the brain, and reproductive behavior.

RUTGERS SCHOOL OF LAW-NEWARK, May 24, 10 a.m., NJPAC
SPEAKER: Vincent Warren, Rutgers School of Law-Newark, Class of 1993, is executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the recipient of the law school's 2012 Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service. As executive director, Warren oversees the groundbreaking litigation and advocacy matters of CCR, a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the constitutional rights of individuals. Previously Warren was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where his civil rights litigation focused on affirmative action, racial profiling, and criminal justice reform.

Media contact: Carla Capizzi, capizzi@rutgers.edu