Last week, Montclair State University announced that May’s undergraduate commencement ceremony is still lacking one major component: a key note speaker. Former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was the university’s initial pick, but as a result of a “miscommunication,” the Paterson native will not be delivering the commencement address.
The Montclarion reported last week that Cruz’s recent release from the Giants caused a schedule change that did not allow him to keep his commitment to Montclair State University. However, Cruz explained in a recent social media statement that he had never confirmed to speak at the May 25 commencement.
Daniela Maffei, a senior set to graduate in May, expressed her frustration on one of Cruz’s recent Instagram posts, commenting, “Just wanted to say I am terribly disappointed that you flaked on speaking at my Montclair State commencement ceremony…I’m a first generation American, one of the first of my family to be graduating from college, and my family will be coming to a graduation with no speaker. It’s pretty unfortunate and unprofessional if you ask me.”
Cruz responded to her comment quickly with the following statement: “Flaking is agreeing to do something and then choosing not to perform that responsibility right before the event ensues. I never confirmed to speak at the ceremony as it did not fit in my schedule so [while] I agree it is unfortunate, but unprofessional is the wrong word. Hopefully I’ll be able to come to your school on a separate event and make it happen. I’m sorry to disappoint.”
A spokesperson from the university confirmed that Cruz was not to blame for the mix up, and that discussions are still underway in order to make the ceremony memorable for the class of 2017.
“It was the university’s understanding that Mr. Cruz would be able to participate in this year’s commencement ceremony,” said John T. Shannon, Jr., vice president for university advancement. “Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication in that regard. Mr. Cruz and his representatives have been nothing but gracious throughout this process, and we would welcome the opportunity to host him on campus at a future date.”
The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be on Thursday, May 25 at 9 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.