Here’s how most Rutgers paid for Obama’s derivation visit

February 24, 2017 - garden totes

NEW BRUNSWICK — A revisit from a President of a United States doesn’t come cheap. 

Rutgers University spent scarcely $1.43 million on a commencement rite headlined by President Barack Obama last spring, according to a final accounting by a state university. 

That is 58 percent — or nearly $523,000 — some-more than Rutgers spent on a 2015 derivation when Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was a featured speaker. 

The additional income was spent on additional military officers, a trade reserve consultant to coordinate highway closures, extra chair rentals and food for an army of volunteers, according to a final accounting requested by NJ Advance Media that gives a singular glance into a cost of a presidential visit.

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Obama’s revisit drew inhabitant media courtesy and his revisit helped Rutgers in countless ways, pronounced Karen Smith, a Rutgers spokeswoman.

“President Obama came to Rutgers and told a universe that America converges here. We couldn’t be some-more unapproachable of his visit. His derivation residence — a initial in Rutgers story by a sitting boss – was a singular eventuality for a university to showcase itself on a inhabitant stage,” Smith said.

The record throng that packaged Rutgers’ football track in Piscataway helped expostulate adult a cost of a graduation ceremony, Smith said.

“In 2016, about 52,000 people – scarcely 50 percent some-more than a prior year – attended a event,” Smith said. “The disproportion in costs reflects additional expenses to accommodate a crowd, trimming from additional buses to additional let chairs and programs.” 

The additional money to compensate for a derivation came from a university’s ubiquitous fund, that includes price income and state funding, Smith said. 

The $1.43 million check does not embody a cost of drifting Obama by helicopter to Piscataway or a cost of a Secret Service to strengthen him while during Rutgers. 

“Any requests from the U.S. Secret Service to yield insurance for President Obama were apart from a losses listed above and are being rubbed by the U.S. Secret Service,” Smith said. “Due to confidence concerns, we are incompetent to yield fact on those services or their costs.” 

Obama’s appearance was a prominence of Rutgers’ 250th anniversary year and one of a many high-profile events in a university’s history. Students petitioned a White House for years, sending videos and letters requesting a boss speak at a ancestral commencement. 

“I came here since we asked,” Obama told a graduates. “You are a initial to launch a three-year debate . . . we even got 3 records from a grandmother of your tyro physique president. And we have to say, that unequivocally hermetic a deal.”  

Rutgers paid dozens of outward vendors to assistance put on a event, including $450,975 to Pennsylvania-based Mountain Productions to theatre a event, $103,293 to Traffic Safety Services of South Plainfield for highway closure and parking formulation and apparatus and $131,042 to Academy Bus and First Transit to train a throng in and out of a ceremony. 

The university paid $164,351 for additional military officers from a State Police, Piscataway, New Brunswick and other area military forces. The propagandize also picked adult a $61,204 add-on to yield 3 days value of dishes for volunteers and move 32,000 bottles of H2O onto a stadium field. 

There were also dozens of smaller expenses, including $9,192 for an on-duty conveyor mechanic, $2,250 for palm sanitizing stations and $3,155 for save-the-date postcards. 

One of a smallest bills was from graduation dilettante Jostens, that charged $30 to imitation dual copies of a titular doctoral grade presented to Obama. 

Though Rutgers customarily pays a graduation speakers a $35,000 fee, Obama spoke for free. 

The final total for a Obama revisit comes as Rutgers is formulation a subsequent commencement. The university announced progressing this month that Steven Van Zandt, a long-time member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and one of a stars of “The Sopranos,” will be a speaker at a May 15 ceremony. 

Kelly Heyboer might be reached during kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her during KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.

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