Gov. Phil Murphy will give the keynote address at William Paterson University’s 2023 undergraduate commencement ceremony May 31 – to be held at 9 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.
“We are thrilled that Gov. Murphy will join the William Paterson community to celebrate with us on this most special day for our graduates, their families, and friends,” University President Richard Helldobler said.
“William Paterson is one of New Jersey’s great public universities, and our students are changing the social fabric of our State and our nation thanks, in many ways, to the leadership of Gov. Murphy.
“It will be especially meaningful for our graduates to hear from Governor Murphy, who, through innovative programs like the Garden State Guarantee and additional support for tuition aid grants, continues to demonstrate his commitment to increasing educational attainment across the state, including putting more life-changing degrees into the hands of New Jersey residents.”
William Paterson, founded in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School, is one of the oldest universities in the country – and third oldest in the state, trailing only Princeton (1746) and Rutgers (1766).
William Paterson University is a leading public university located in suburban Wayne, with nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 82,000 alumni.
The third most diverse public institution in the state, the University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution, and nearly half of its students are the first in their families to attend college.
WPU also ranks in the top 5 percent of institutions in the country in the 2022 Social Mobility Index, created by CollegeNet to measure the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs.
This year will mark the university’s 200th commencement ceremonies. More than 2,500 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree candidates are expected to be recognized.
Alumni from the Class of 1973 will be present at the undergraduate ceremony along with members of the Pioneer Society, which consists of alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago.
Helldobler said Murphy is a “true champion of public higher education” and the role it must play in building a stronger New Jersey.
“We cannot wait to hear at our commencement his words of encouragement for the next generation of graduates, who will deliver on that promise,” he said.