051218_nws_stocktongrad

Gov. Phil Murphy gave the commencement address.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Newly seated U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew will give the commencement speech to Stockton University’s 2019 graduates, the college announced Friday.

Van Drew, D-2nd, who was elected to Congress in November to fill the seat vacated by longtime Rep. Frank LoBiondo, had represented South Jersey residents for many years as a state senator and assemblyman.

“We are honored that Congressman Van Drew has agreed to be our commencement speaker this year,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said. “He has a long history of public service to New Jersey and his constituents. We look forward to him sharing his insights with our graduating students.”

Van Drew, a dentist and resident of Dennis Township, took his seat in the House of Representatives last month and was named to the Agriculture and Natural Resources committees.

“It is such a great honor, and it truly is sincerely humbling,” Van Drew said of being asked to speak.

He said he hasn’t begun writing his speech but wants to leave the students with something meaningful and “not be too long.”

At its meeting next week, Stockton’s Board of Trustees will consider awarding Van Drew an honorary degree during the graduation ceremony May 10 at Boardwalk Hall.