By definition, commencement means "to begin to be." As the members of the Class of 2012 begin to be, we wish them every success, confident that they have been well prepared for a life of contribution in the 21st century, to meet its challenges and embrace its myriad opportunities.
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The New Jersey Institute of Technology that we know today has a rich history with its beginnings developing from the industrial age. The first class, mostly evening students, attended classes in a rented building at 21 West Park Street. Soon the facility became inadequate to house an expanding student body. To meet the needs of the growing school, a second fundraiser; the institution's first capital campaign, was launched to support the construction of a dedicated building for Newark Technical School. The college awarded its first bachelor's degrees in 1923; a total of three in chemical engineering, three in electrical engineering, and four in mechanical engineering.
Today, with its four-pronged mission of education, research, service and economic development, the university plays a critical role in shaping New Jersey's future. As a major public technological university, NJIT is an important conduit through which technology flows into society. University researchers seek new knowledge to improve processes and products for industry. Through public and private partnerships and economic development efforts, the university helps to grow new business ventures that fuel the economy. NJIT's research program is among the fastest-growing in the nation and ranks among the top ten technological universities in the nation for research expenditures.