Meet the Rutgers Class of 2026: Activists and Achievers Working to Improve the World

Members of the Rutgers Class of 2026 have already built a resume of activism, achievement, and service before stepping into their first classroom or college lab.

They lobbied for gun safety measures, created a financial education business aimed at Gen Xers, and produced a film about immigrant travel to America. They organized a Jersey Shore beach cleanup and trained a 3-year-old with autism to speak his first words.

If positive changes are to occur in society, believes Abdon Andahur, they will start with his peers.

“Right now, our generation and millennials are the ones who are able to impact issues like these,” said the North Plainfield resident who will be studying music education at Rutgers. Mason Gross School of the Arts.

It’s a theme picked up by Jersey City’s Dylan Chong, who enters the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“There may not be another generation that can do what needs to be done,” said Chong, who says he was pushed to pursue environmental studies after his mother, who lived across from the World Trade Center on September 11, was diagnosed with cancer. .

Across the university, Rutgers is welcoming about 13,500 new students this fall.

President Jonathan Holloway, who hosted many members of the incoming class and their families during the move-in days, said he looked forward to continuing to meet students as they learn more about themselves and on the world at Rutgers.

“I am thrilled to welcome caring, curious and engaged new Rutgers students to our campuses, who are already bursting with energy and the promise of a fully dynamic academic year,” Holloway said.

“Nothing is more exciting than seeing all the new faces as 70,000 students from across the state and around the world return to Rutgers, full of hope and ambition and happy to be reunited with friends and faculty.” , he added.

Andahur and Chong are emblematic of the new class of freshmen and students transferring to Rutgers-New Brunswick, according to Courtney McAnuff, vice-chancellor of enrollment management at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

“This class is unprecedented in size, diversity and academic quality,” McAnuff said. “We got the crème de la crème of the state and the whole country.”

Kristen T. Prall