As more than 1,700 students at Rutgers-Camden graduated Thursday, Jon Bon Jovi encouraged them — in song — to “touch the sky.”

Bon Jovi, underscored that message with remarks about his philanthropy — focused on homelessness and food security, including in Camden and Philadelphia — and performing “Reunion,” a song he wrote especially for the 1,749 students in the Rutgers-Camden Class of 2015 at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Thursday.

“Love your life / learn to laugh / dare to dance / touch the sky,” Bon Jovi sang. “Take pictures each step of the way / Make this the best of the rest of your days / Go start your revolution / And I’ll see you at the reunion.”

Bon Jovi received an honorary doctor of letters degree for his work his Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

The musician’s philanthropic work in Camden has included supporting the Joseph’s House homeless shelter and other groups. In Red Bank, Monmouth County, his foundation opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen.

“Life is a long, bumpy road,” he said. “That makes for an exciting ride. Choose a direction, and if the road turns, turn. … It’s OK to map out your future, but do it in pencil.”

Watch Jon Bon Jovi singing his new song "Reunion" at the Rutgers-Camden Commencement...