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2009 Commencement Honoree: Mayor Cory A. Booker

Mayor Cory A. BookerThe Honorable Cory A. Booker, JD
Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey

The Honorable Cory A. Booker took the oath of office as Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city on July 1, 2006 following a sweeping electoral victory. He is just the third person to govern Newark since 1970. A native of northern New Jersey, Booker’s passion for politics and justice was instilled at an early age by a family committed to change. Mayor Booker’s political career began in 1998, after serving as staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center in Newark. He rose to prominence as Newark’s Central Ward Councilman. During his four years of service from 1998-2002, then-Councilman Booker earned a reputation as a leader with innovative ideas and bold actions, from increasing security in public housing to building new playgrounds. This work was the foundation for his leadership as Mayor. 

Under Mayor Booker’s leadership, the City of Newark has committed to a $40 million transformation of the city’s parks and playgrounds through a groundbreaking public/private partnership. The Booker Administration has also doubled affordable housing production within the last two years. 

Reflecting his commitment to education, Mayor Booker is a member of numerous boards and advisory committees including Democrats for Education Reform, Columbia University Teachers’ College Board of Trustees and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. He has been recognized in numerous publications, including Time, Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (naming him as one of New Jersey’s top 40 under 40), Black Enterprise (naming him to the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players under 40) and The New York Times Magazine. He received his BA and MA from Stanford University, a BA in modern history at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed his law degree at Yale University.

In recognition of his outstanding career in public service as mayor of the City of Newark, New Jersey, New Jersey Institute of Technology is pleased to confer the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon Cory A. Booker.