Published October 18, 2022

By Dory Devlin (Photo by John O'Boyle)

President Holloway shared his vision for the future of the 256-year-old university with hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, university board members and local, state and federal government officials.

In his first annual stakeholder address, President Jonathan Holloway reaffirmed Rutgers’ commitment to academic excellence while remaining accessible and affordable for all students and aspiring to a community grounded in mutual respect that recognizes that everyone plays an important role in service to the common good through health care, scholarly research and community outreach.

Holloway highlighted these “fundamental and sweeping truths about Rutgers that unite us all” as he shared his vision for the future of the 256-year-old university with hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, university board members and local, state and federal government officials who gathered at Kirkpatrick Chapel in New Brunswick and online.

“To all of you stakeholders gathered today – and, frankly, because of all of you – I am able to say with confidence that the state of Rutgers is strong and that our future, though not without significant challenges, is exhilarating,” Holloway said.

In the third year of his presidency, which began during the COVID-19 pandemic, Holloway said the university has come through difficult times in remarkably good shape, “thanks to the good will and resilience of our students, the flexibility of our faculty and staff, the generosity of our alumni and donors and the significant support of our partners in government at every level.”

Rutgers became a leader in new ways during the pandemic, as faculty and clinicians contributed to the development of COVID testing and vaccines that saved lives and as the decision to require vaccinations of students became a national model for universities, he said.

Holloway noted the significant progress being made by the university, including its rise in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings, the many awards and honors received by faculty and students, the university’s highly ranked academic programs and the more than $870 million in research grants bestowed last year.

Meanwhile, a Rutgers education has become more affordable for many students, through initiatives on all campuses to ensure that families with incomes below $65,000 do not have to pay tuition, the president said. And the Scarlet Promise Initiative, which grew out of a small grant program to provide need-based aid to students, is halfway to a three-year, $50 million goal that the president announced at his inauguration in November 2021 – thanks to the generosity of 9,750 individual donors that benefits thousands of students.Holloway highlighted the growing culture of public service at Rutgers. The first year of the Rutgers Summer Service Internship initiative, known as RSSI, placed nearly 100 students in nonprofit public service internships where they were exposed to worlds that are different, diverse and challenging. Next summer, the program will expand to 150 students and will add internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.

“At Rutgers, we believe in building a culture of respect for one another, one that embodies, reflects and appreciates the complexity of all our parts,” Holloway said. “We believe in active citizenship, in sustaining democracy, in engaging in the growing diversity of our society. As such, we instill in students a commitment to community through service and experiences that contribute to a greater understanding of themselves and of others.”

Watch the video to hear President Holloway’s full address.

Story originally appeared in Rutgers Today.

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