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Rutgers Graduation: A lot to be proud of, sports fans!

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Forget sports for a day. Rutgers graduated some 16,000 students - including Eric LeGrand and Alexi Lalas - and it's time to celebrate the "other" side of RU

Sunday, May 18. It's Rutgers' commencement.  Eric LeGrand is killing it at HSS with Tom Kean as his sidekick.

I'm at the Political Science convocation for my niece's graduation, along with a few hundred parents, friends, and of course the graduates.  And I'm listening to the department chair speak, as well as the featured graduate.  And she's pretty impressive in her remarks as well as her accomplishments.  And as I listened to them, I heard a tremendous pride coming from both the student and the faculty member.

Obviously neither of them read a certain north Jersey newspaper...or its online presence.  If they did they would be depressed about Rutgers.  Or wouldn't know anything about Rutgers.

But they were proud of their work, proud of their school, proud of who they are and where they are from.  From Rutgers.  And as an alum, I felt pretty good, too.

And it made me wonder why others - both in athletics and outside - don't "get it" about Rutgers.  Why...why....why don't they know:

  • 26 Rutgers students earned Fulbright Scholarships in 2013-2014, making Rutgers third in the nation among all research universities.  Third! And ahead of every B1G school except Michigan.
  • Three Rutgers faculty recently earned the world's top awards for research in fields where Nobel Prizes are not given; J. Frederick Grassle, Japan Prize 2013 (Marine Sciences); Joachim Messing, Wolf Prize 2013 (Agriculture - yes, B1G fans, AGRICULTURE); Endre Szemerédi, Abel Prize 2012 (Mathematics)
  • That three departments are ranked at #3 in the nation....or the world: School of Arts and Sciences Philosophy faculty - #3 in the English-speaking world; Rutgers Business School #3 in the nation (Wall Street Journal); Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy #3 in the nation
  • For the second year in a row, Rutgers leads U.S. universities in federal funding for chemistry research and development at $33.2 million, according to Chemical and Engineering News
  • Rutgers has Top 25 Graduate programs in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report: School of Law-Newark, Return on Investment #9, U.S. History #14, English #17, History #20, Mathematics #20, Industrial Engineering #21, Public Affairs #23
  • Based on various ranking sources, Rutgers has Top 10 programs in: African-American History, Criminology, Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics, Gender and Literature, Library and Information Studies, Logic, Oceanography, Physician Assistant, Printmaking, Public Management Administration, Quantitative Finance, Sociology of Culture, Supply Chain Management, Women's History
  • Rutgers has more faculty than any New York metro area institution and ties for fifth most in the world in the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research
  • Rutgers is second in the nation in number of active National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships. "The IGERT is the National Science Foundation's flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers."-NSF
  • Two Rutgers-based technologies made R&D Magazine's 2013 R&D 100 list.
  • Four 2013 MacArthur "genius grant" winners are from Rutgers: professor Julie Livingston, alumni Craig Fennie and Jeffrey Brenner, visiting teacher Karen Russell
  • Rutgers ranks fifth in the world in the number of mathematicians in the inaugural class of Fellows of the prestigious American Mathematical Society.

But in New Jersey, you have to work to find all that out.  You definitely don't find that by reading certain newspapers.  But I'm happy to help you out.  Listening to those convocation speeches, it made me proud to be from Rutgers.