NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University marks its 250th anniversary on Thursday with a celebration that stretches across all its campus and into New York.

The Empire State Building will be lit up in scarlet tonight along with the Old Queens building in New Brunswick, the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center in Piscataway, and the Gateway Pavilion in Camden.

As part of a “Day of Revolutionary Thinking,” 80 notable Rutgers graduates will speak including former Rutgers football player and motivational speaker Eric LeGrand, Fox News Washington correspondent Rich Edson, Camden Mayor Dana Redd, New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson, New Jersey Supreme Court Associate Justice Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina and Chris Christie political strategist Michael DuHaime.

The Old Queens bell on the New Brunswick campus will ring for 250 seconds at 2:50 p.m. along with bells across each campus and at several nearby churches. Two hundred and fifty all-star variety dogwood trees will be planted on the Old Queens lawn as well. Rutgers ROTC members will ceremoniously raise a commemorative American flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol as part of the ceremony.

Fireworks will light the sky over each campus at sunset.

“There is a great sense of pride that comes with recognizing that your institution is one of the oldest in the country and one of only a handful that predate our nation. And I feel even greater satisfaction in looking forward and seeing how Rutgers is empowering generations of students to become leaders in fields that our founders could never have even imagined," Rutgers President Robert Barchi said.

The year has been marked by new buildings open on every campus and President Barack Obama's commencement address to the Class of 2016 and the announcement of the new RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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