Commencement is a special time of  the school year, the capstone of all the hard work put in by Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students. This year, the university issued 17,729 diplomas, and students should be proud of their accomplishments.

This was the Year of Student Achievement, it appears. A group of business majors at Rutgers University–New Brunswick won the College Fed Challenge, a highly regarded national competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve System. The Rutgers University–Newark Debate Team won the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament and then the National Debate Tournament—only the second team in U.S.  collegiate debate history to do so in the same year.

A student team from Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick (RBS) won the CME Group Trading Challenge, the futures trading contest hosted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Other student teams from RBS captured the Gold Chapter Award, bestowed by the international business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma on its top chapter. RBS also took the health care case competition at Yale School of Management; the cybersecurity competition at North Carolina State University; and the regional phase of the prestigious Hult Prize Challenge. Among other honors, 15 Rutgers students and alumni received Fulbright grants this year, and there were 12 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Chelsie Riche SAS’17 was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, one of only 36 U.S. students. Viktor Krapivin, also at the School of Arts and Sciences, received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the top undergraduate award in the natural sciences, engineering, and math fields. Mussab Ali, a neurobiology and economics major, was anointed a Harry S. Truman Scholar, the first student at Rutgers University–Newark to receive the honor, which  recognizes leadership potential, public service  dedication, and academic skills.

Whether it’s these students or the thousands of others who received their degrees from Rutgers, it’s a good bet that they are bound for success as they chart their future course.