He Was There for Them: Jon Bon Jovi Crashes FDU Graduation
Following a nation-wide contest that received hundreds of entries, Jon Bon Jovi crashed Fairleigh Dickinson University’s 74th annual commencement ceremonies with a mini acoustic set and a speech that encouraged graduates to take control of their own stories. “Today marks the end of one chapter of your life and the start of another,” Bon Jovi said to the 2,600 graduates. “Enjoy the book. You’re the one writing it.”
Approximately a month prior, Bon Jovi partnered with MTVU to urge students similarly to shape their graduation by tweeting a photo of their favorite college moment with the hashtag #JBJReunionContest for the chance to win a Bon Jovi performance at their graduation. This move sets a new precedent for commencement planning by empowering students to mold the ceremony that celebrates their accomplishments as they—not college administrators—see fit.
“This moment is something we’ll always remember and talk about,” Miranda Dworak, one of the FDU students leading the effort to bring Bon Jovi to commencement, said. “We wanted Bon Jovi to come home to New Jersey to perform.”
“Our student response was amazing and thanks to their participation, FDU was the national winner!” FDU President Christopher Capuano said before bringing Bon Jovi to the college’s MetLife Stadium stage. Not only did the MTVU contest spur pre-graduation student engagement, but also in the hours that followed, FDU and its commencement were the subject of hundreds of posts on social media and more traditional outfits, garnering coverage on Good Morning America, Variety and the Huffington Post, among others.
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