The Rutgers University Board of Governors announced iconic Hip-Hop journalist Angie Martinez will be the keynote speaker at the Newark Commencement Ceremony on May 20 at Prudential Center. Martinez will also receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Martinez is described as one of the most influential personalities in popular culture and media. She will be celebrated for her 25 years of radio and television hosting experience, along with a diverse portfolio of entrepreneurial endeavors. She is also considered a pioneer in popularizing hip-hop music.

“We are particularly moved by the way that Martinez has resonated with the work that Rutgers-Newark students have been doing collaboratively with Newark Public Schools students to aid recovery efforts in post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico,” Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor said.

“Martinez not only traveled with our students to install the ‘solar suitcases’ in Puerto Rico,” Cantor pointed out, “but she created and released a documentary film about this initiative titled Be the Light, which has garnered thousands of views (, including a mechanism for viewers to donate to continue this kind of work. Ms. Martinez knows our students, loves our students, and inspires—and is inspired by—our students. She is an ideal commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient from Rutgers-Newark.”