The President’s Awards were among the honors bestowed upon 64 graduating seniors at the annual Rider University Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 1, in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.
Dr. Tony Campbell, associate vice president for Student Affairs, thanked the students for their commitment to achievement during their time at the University, and reminded them that what they have learned at Rider should always fuel their ambitions. “Thank you for sharing your talents with us. You’ve made us a better university,” Campbell said. “Over the last four years, we have lived and learned together, and now, we need your talents to shape the future.”
President Mordechai Rozanski brought the evening of recognition for undergraduate academic achievement to a high point when he presented the President’s Awards to Heather Fischler and Kenneth Jacobs. They joined Ryan LaBoy, president of the Westminster Choir College Student Government Association, who was first presented his award in April at the Spring Convocation on the Princeton campus.
Fischler, a senior Elementary Education and Psychology and Special Education major, is perhaps best known on the Lawrenceville campus for spearheading the enormously successful Relay for Life campaign at Rider, which raised in excess of $50,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) in each of the past two springs. The Rider Relay for Life was recently recognized by the ACS as its top-performing college fundraising event in all of New Jersey, and has been adopted into the Rider constitution as an annual event.
An organizational-affairs team leader and Spirits and Traditions chair for the Lawrenceville SGA, Fischler was grateful to earn the President’s Award. “It’s such an honor; I thank Rider with all my heart,” said the Manalapan, N.J., resident. “Rider has made me the person I am today, and I hope I’ve given the University as much as it’s given me.”
Jacobs, a Journalism and Public Relations major from Upper Marlboro, Md., was equally honored to receive the prestigious award. “It’s very exciting,” said Jacobs, a member of the University Democrats and president of the Protestant Campus Ministry. “I thought it might go to someone else, but it’s very rewarding to be recognized for what we do on campus.”
LaBoy has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as well as in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center Verizon Hall, with the Westminster Symphonic Choir during critically acclaimed productions of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the “Symphony of Thousands.” The Gardiner, N.Y., resident was required to leave the Awards Banquet early for yet another performance.
Rozanski urged the students in attendance not to overlook the contributions of their family members who supported them throughout their Rider education. “We have to congratulate another group of people who made this day possible,” he said, gesturing toward tables of parents, sitting with their sons and daughters. “The ones who provided the genetic basis for all this achievement are with us today, too.”