Governor Murphy to Speak at Commencement

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
gov murphy photo

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will deliver the commencement address at Raritan Valley Community College’s annual spring commencement, Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. Governor Murphy also will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, which will be held on the soccer field at the College’s Branchburg campus.

“I’m honored to deliver the commencement address at this year’s Raritan Valley Community College spring commencement,” said Governor Murphy. “RVCC has a long and proud history of educating students in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties and preparing them for jobs in the 21st-century economy. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of this year’s graduating class with students, their families, and the campus community.”

“We are honored that Governor Murphy will speak at the 50th anniversary of Raritan Valley Community College’s first commencement ceremony. Governor Murphy has been a leader in opening up access to higher education and strengthening the role community colleges play in transforming the lives of students of all ages and backgrounds,” said Dr. Michael McDonough, President of RVCC.

The College’s first commencement, held in May 1970, celebrated the achievements of 75 graduates from what was then known as Somerset County College. Approximately 1,100 students are expected to be awarded associate degrees or certificates from RVCC during this year’s ceremony.

Governor Phil Murphy, as he says, “grew up in a family that was middle class on a good day,” the youngest of four children with only one parent who graduated high school. His upbringing – where religion, a strong work ethic, education, and civic awareness were pillars of family life – shaped his values, his priorities, and the leader he is today.

Since taking office, Governor Murphy has focused on building a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family. He has signed legislation putting New Jersey on the path to a $15-an-hour minimum wage, enacted the nation’s strongest equal pay law to combat gender wage discrimination, ensured all workers have access to paid sick days, and expanded the state's Paid Family Leave provisions.

Governor Murphy has put a new emphasis on restoring the state’s dominance in the innovation economy by reinvesting in workforce development and supporting the growth of innovative and start-up companies.

He initiated innovative programs to allow thousands of eligible residents to work toward a tuition-free community college degree, and has proposed making the first two years at a four-year public college or university tuition-free, as well.

Under his leadership, New Jersey is also emerging as a leader in combatting climate change through the deployment of offshore-wind energy technologies and banning offshore fossil-fuel exploration and drilling, among other measures to spur growth in the clean and renewable energy sectors.

Governor Murphy has reversed prior years of budget cuts and increased funding for both New Jersey’s top-ranked public schools and NJ TRANSIT. And, he restored state funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health programs, including family planning services.

He has made New Jersey a national leader in tackling gun violence, and has expanded protections for the state’s immigrant and LGBTQ communities, and restored voting rights for New Jerseyans on parole or probation, among other actions.

Prior to taking office, Governor Murphy had long been deeply engaged in civic life and philanthropic pursuits. He has led and supported charities to lift up troubled teens and domestic abuse survivors. Nationally, he served proudly as New Jersey’s sole representative on the board of the NAACP, the world’s oldest civil rights organization, and as Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. The Governor has also led national and state task forces, respectively, on education and public employee pensions and benefits.

In 2009, he answered President Obama’s call to service and, following his confirmation by the United States Senate, became the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, where he served until 2013.

Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy live in Monmouth County and are the parents of Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.

A proud public-school product, Governor Murphy hold degrees from Harvard University and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ranked by and as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a 1,000-seat Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



March 3, 2020

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #95