Rutgers University students started a petition, got a hashtag to trend, and even shot a video asking Ellen DeGeneres to be the the 2017 commencement speaker. Despite that, the university officials have told students it won't happen.

Why? Nothing political, nothing homophobic - it's simply that no one officially nominated DeGeneres through the selection program.

Rutgers University accepted 24 names via online submission last spring, and DeGeneres was never officially submitted. University spokeswoman Karen Smith said, "While we understand there has been a growing interest in Ellen DeGeneres being the speaker, Ms. DeGeneres was not nominated during the formal process."

DeGeneres can be nominated for the 2018 ceremony, Smith added.

Last year, Rutgers landed President Barack Obama as commencement speaker. The speaker for 2017 has yet to be announced.

ellen degeneres
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