Van Zandt urges grads to stay true to their New Jersey roots

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt is urging Rutgers University graduates to stay true to their Garden State roots.

Van Zandt, wearing his signature head scarf, gave the address at the New Jersey school’s commencement ceremony Sunday. He’s known for being a longtime member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and for his acting work in “The Sopranos.”

He also received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. reports ( ) Van Zandt told graduates they are in the “Jersey family” now and that “authenticity worked for Bruce.”

Van Zandt was born in Boston but grew up in Middle Township, New Jersey.

University officials say Rutgers’ largest class ever graduated this year.

President Barack Obama gave the commencement address last year during the school’s 250th anniversary.