James McGreevey, democratic candidate for New Jersey Governor, made a surprise appearance at the 2001 MSU Commencement ceremonies today. Congratulating this year's graduating class, McGreevey said, "You are America's next greatest generation."
McGreevey went on to say, "It's not material acquisition or academic prowess that matters. What matters is what we give back to this great nation."
Congressman William J. Pascrell, Jr., of the 8th Congressional District (D-NJ) brought greetings from the US House of Representatives. Pascrell is the author of the New Jersey Class Act, which has made it easier for hundreds of middle class families to afford college. Said Pacrell, "Commencement is a time to stop and think about the past, celebrate this great moment and think about the future."
The class of 2001 is the largest graduating class thus far for MSU with 2,446 students receiving bachelor's and master's degrees. Graduates, their families and friends, gathered at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford to celebrate the class of 2001.
Honorary doctoral degrees were awarded to Gordon Bethune, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines; Raymond G. Chambers, philanthropist and chairman of the New Jersey Devils hockey team; and Emily "Cissy" Houston, two-time Grammy award winner.