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Bon Jovi Deliver Surprise Performance at College Graduation

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Bon Jovi added a little extra unannounced star power to this year’s graduation ceremony at Fairleigh Dickinson University, showing up to deliver a surprise performance after the school won a nationwide contest.

USA Today reports that frontman Jon Bon Jovi, who grew up in nearby Sayreville, also spoke to students at the commencement ceremony, which took place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Attendees were reportedly unaware that the band would be appearing until after they’d already entered the venue.

“Today marks the end of one chapter in your life and the start of another,” Bon Jovi told the crowd. “Enjoy the book; you’re the one writing it. Don’t take anything personally. Accept both praise and criticism equally, but take neither to heart. There are many surprises awaiting you on the journey.”

The contest, conducted by MTVU, promised the winning campus a graduation performance of the Bon Jovi song “Reunion,” which was first played at Rutgers’ commencement ceremony in 2015. That composition, which Jon Bon Jovi quipped had only been sung “for the chancellor in the back dressing room” prior to its public debut, has since been recorded; it appears on Bon Jovi’s most recent studio effort, This House Is Not for Sale.

While Fairleigh Dickinson’s students may have made enough social media noise to win the contest, it was clear not all attendees were Bon Jovi fans. “Our generation is one of the last generations that love Bon Jovi,” one member of the crowd told USA Today, while others suggested there might have been better choices for the event.

“I would have preferred Justin Bieber,” shrugged another student. “But it’s still cool.”

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