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January 27, 2017

Rutgers says Ellen can't speak at graduation despite huge push from students

Better luck next time?

Officials at Rutgers University said that comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres can't be the May 2017 commencement speaker despite a huge push from students, reported Friday.

Students at the school campaigned for DeGeneres to send them into the "real world" in a few short months through social media this week. That includes launching a Facebook page, a petition and a hashtag – #EllenatRU.  

There was a video, too, called "Ellen DeGeneres: Rutgers Wants You 2017" that shows a number of students giving reasons for why she should speak at the university's commencement.

"We're inviting you Ellen to be Rutgers' 2017 commencement speaker because you inspire us to be leaders, to be kind, to make a change," students say in the video.

However, officials at the New Jersey university said that DeGeneres wasn't one of the 24 names nominated to become the 2017 speaker, an online submission that closed last spring, reported.

"While we understand there has been a growing interest in Ellen DeGeneres being the speaker, Ms. DeGeneres was not nominated during the formal process," Karen Smith, a university spokesperson, told the news publication.

Rutgers is expected to secure a speaker in the coming weeks.

President Barack Obama was the university's 2016 graduation speaker.