Newark City Historian and Distinguished History Professor Clement Alexander Price received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and delivered the 2014 Commencement address at the 98th Commencement ceremony on May 20, 2014.
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) awarded 2,649 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees today at the 98th Commencement exercises at the Prudential Center in Newark.The ceremony featured speakers who advised the Class of 2014 to give back to the community and to celebrate the impressive diversity that never could have been imagined years ago.
Clement Alexander Price, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark, recalled his participation in the February 1968 civil rights march in support of students.
“On your watch, Newark continued to come back,” said Price, who was named the official city historian of Newark earlier this year. “On your watch, Newark continued to become a city of destiny. You are the best; comport yourselves accordingly.”
Price, who also serves as Director of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, said that he has remained true to the values of his forebears.
“I hope a quest for social justice consumes your lives as well,” Price said.
Price also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. In 2012, NJIT awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to his wife, Mary Sue Sweeney Price, former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Museum. Honorary degrees were also awarded to John M. Dionisio, Executive Chairman of AECOM, and Robert S. Dow ‘69, who was Managing Partner at Lord Abbett & Co. before retiring in 2012.
NJIT President Joel S. Bloom, who presided over the ceremony, encouraged graduates to continue to give back to the community.
“It is my sincerest hope that as NJIT graduates, who have much to offer, you will give back in the measure demanded by the challenges of making life better in the years ahead,” Bloom said. “Going forward as graduates, give back in the workplace by contributing your professional expertise to positive technological, social and economic change. Give back in your community by volunteering for activities that help people in need. The paradox of the electronic media always at our fingertips these days is that it both connects us to other people 24/7 while at the same time making our interaction less personal, and in too many instances less civil. Consider giving back through face-to-face connection.”
NJIT has a long tradition of commitment to fostering opportunities for students to share their skills, talents and enthusiasm through community service. For the fifth year, NJIT was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, one of the highest recognitions a university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. NJIT students helped New Jersey recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, provided the people of Haiti with safe drinking water, and helped build housing and improve health in the Dominican Republic.
“NJIT has no one ideal place, no typical student,” said Johnathan A. Weiss ‘14, who addressed the Class of 2014 and received a BS degree in chemical engineering. “The thing that is common to all of us is determination. We had the determination to get through classes much harder than other universities, it was determination that brought us to NJIT, and it will be determination that will help us to make an impact on our society.”