Gov. Jon Corzine will be the keynote speaker at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) 2006 Commencement to be held at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford on May 18, 2006 at 9 a.m.
NJIT will bestow an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Corzine for his public service to the nation as a U.S. senator and to the state as governor.
NJIT will award more than 2,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during the ceremony, which will take place on the University’s 125th anniversary year.
Corzine, born Jan. 1, 1947, grew up on a small family farm in central Illinois. His father farmed and sold insurance; his mother was a public school teacher. After he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He remained in the reserves until 1975, rising to the rank of Sergeant in his infantry unit. After his duty in the Marine Corps, he began his career in finance, working as a portfolio analyst at the Continental Illinois National Bank in Chicago. He enrolled in the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1970. He received his MBA in 1973, and went to work at Bank Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1975, he was recruited by Goldman Sachs, the New York investment firm. He was named a partner at Goldman Sachs in 1980, and became chairman and chief executive officer in 1994. He left Goldman Sachs in May 1999 after converting the investment firm from a private partnership to a public company.
As the chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs, Corzine expanded the company's community outreach and philanthropic programs. Also in 1997, he was the chairman of a presidential commission to study capital budgeting as a means of increasing federal investment in schools, technology, and infrastructure.
Corzine was elected to the U.S. Senate in November of 2000. As senator, he sought new federal investments in New Jersey’s transportation network, pursued new safeguards to protect chemical facilities against terrorist attack, introduced legislation to increase access to education and healthcare, fought for stronger environmental policies and led an effort in Congress to reduce corporate abuse. The Senate adopted his resolution calling for new safeguards at the nation’s vulnerable chemical plants. He secured federal funding toward the construction of a second railroad tunnel underneath the Hudson River, and he won federal support for community and economic development projects in the state. He also fought to prevent any oil or gas drilling off the coastline.
On January 17th, 2006, Corzine was sworn in as New Jersey’s 54th governor. In his inaugural address he promised to bring accountability and efficiency to government.