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Former NJ governor to replace Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker

Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean served as governor from 1982 until 1990. He will replace Condoleezza Rice as this year's commencement speaker. – Photo by Getty Images

University President Robert L. Barchi announced today that former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean will deliver this year's commencement address in place of Condoleezza Rice.

Kean will not accept a speaking fee for his remarks. Rutgers awarded him with an honorary doctor of law in 1982. 

“Gov. Kean is a national role model as a statesman who built bridges across partisan, racial, ethnic and ideological divides for the sole purpose of improving the quality of life for the people he served. We are honored that he has accepted our invitation to address our graduates,” said Barchi, according to a press release. 

Kean served as governor from 1982 until 1990. According to a press release, he led the state in tackling economic, environmental and social issues, and Newsweek rated him among the most effective leaders in the country. 

He enacted education reforms that molded the national model for improving student outcomes. 

Former U.S. President George W. Bush named Kean to co-chair the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, which led to the publication of the national bestseller "9/11 Commission Report."

He also served on Gov. Chris Christie's Task Force on Higher Education, which helped influence the integration of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers University.

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