Chris Christie chosen as Winter Commencement speaker
N.J. governor and 1984 alumnus to address grads Jan. 9
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 00:12
New Jersey governor and 1984 alumnus Chris Christie will serve as the university's Winter Commencement speaker, university officials announced Tuesday.
The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Bob Carpenter Center.
"Governor Christie's long record of public service and his abiding love of his alma mater make him an excellent person to speak to our newest graduates," University Secretary Pete Hayward said in a statement.
Christie was born in Newark, N.J. and has spent his entire life, aside from his time at the university, living in the same state where he would eventually be elected to public office. After completing his undergraduate degree, he attended Seton Hall University School of Law and graduated in 1987.
Christie was sworn in as governor Jan. 19 after working as a lawyer for several years and serving as a U.S. Attorney.
During his first year in office, Christie's administration has created thousands of new jobs across the state and aims to create many more in the next year. However, Christie has also faced criticism for his decision to cut millions of dollars in state aid for public schools in order to close the state's growing budget deficit.
Christie's political aspirations were sparked during his college career. As a senior, he was elected president of the Delaware Undergraduate Student Congress, a role in which he helped institute policies that allowed commuting students to purchase meal plans and created bus routes that traveled to nearby apartment complexes for students who lived off-campus.
His administration was also responsible for introducing the university's first instructor evaluations after fighting a year-long battle with the Faculty Senate.
"He was interested in making a difference on campus," political science professor James Magee told The Review after Christie's 2009 gubernatorial win. "I know that [then-university] President Trabant respected him, my faculty respected him, and I thought he was a very, very good student."
The selection of Christie as commencement speaker follows a long-standing tradition of inviting an alumnus to speak at Winter Commencement. Last year's ceremony featured second lady Jill Biden, a 1975 alumna.
Due to limited seating, admission to Winter Commencement is by ticket only. Each degree candidate is entitled to a maximum of eight guest tickets, which will be distributed from 9 a.m. To noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from now through Friday at the ID Office in the Student Services Building.