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Rutgers University Grads Celebrate At Commencement

2011 Rutgers University Commencement

A student celebrates after receiving his degree during the 245th Rutgers University Commencement at Rutgers Stadium on May 15, 2011 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Intermittent rain didn’t stop thousands of Rutgers University graduates from celebrating the end of their college careers.

Roughly 28,000 people gathered Sunday at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway to watch university President Richard McCormick formally confer nearly 13,000 degrees. About 5,500 graduates attended the ceremony, where Nobel laureate Toni Morrison gave the keynote address.

The 245th anniversary commencement marked the first time since the 1960s that Rutgers held the event in its football stadium and invited all graduates to attend.

In recent years, the commencement was held on Voorhees Mall in New Brunswick, and only graduate students and selected undergraduates were invited to attend due to limited space.

Most graduates will receive their degrees at smaller convocations and departmental receptions that are being held throughout the month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)