Little Steven Van Zandt Is Rutgers University’s 2017 Speaker For $35KBy Amanda Foster, UniversityHerald Reporter
Musician Steven Van Zandt is recently revealed to be Rutgers University's 2017 commencement address speaker. During this year's graduation ceremony, he is going to follow the footsteps of so many celebrities and notable personalities who had spoken before him. Last year's 2016 commencement address speaker was former United States President Barack Obama.
After receiving various nominations, Van Zandt is the number one choice. According to Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, he is the student's choice as well as the committee's choice. He expects that the student body will receive him positively.
But he is not going to speak for free. Rutgers is set to pay him $35,000 as a speaking fee. But Karen Smith, the university's spokeswoman, says the fee will not be paid from Rutger's state funding, as reported by NJ.com.
In Rutger's official website, Van Zandt is not only going to deliver this year's graduation rites but will also receive an honorary degree as a Doctor of Fine Arts, along with LGBTQ and HIV health care advocate, Harvey J. Makadon. Makadon will also receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. The graduation is happening on May 14 at the High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway.
Steven Van Zandt may be known for being a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and for his role as Silvio Dante in HBO's "The Soprano's." He uses his voice to address multiple causes and established organizations in the name of music such as the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation which helps raise awareness and provide materials and resources for middle and high school teachers.
Aside from Steven Van Zandt and Makadon, Carla Hayden, the first woman to serve as U.S. Librarian of Congress, is set to deliver the keynote address at Rutgers University, as reported by the Killeen Daily Herald News.
Check out the clip below of Van Zandt nervously directing Bruce Springsteen: