Friday, September 14, 2012
Bright sunshine, abundant fun and a dash of history gave the Rider community cause to celebrate the beginning of the academic year at Cranberry Fest on Thursday, September 13.
An enthusiastic throng of students, many sporting popular “I Bleed Cranberry” T-shirts, flocked to the Campus Mall to enjoy cranberry-themed cuisine, listen to live music, play games and pay homage to Andrew J. Rider, the institution’s first president who was also a successful South Jersey cranberry farmer. Rider -- the famer -- earned the distinction of the "Cranberry King of New Jersey,” inadvertently providing a fun motif for the University’s modern-day celebration, held annually since 1979.
Andrew J. Rider himself – or at least a skilled imposter – held an audience with groups of students, who lined up amid the revelry to board a farm wagon and hear his tale, first-hand.
Cranberry Fest also featured the debut of the completely renovated Daly Dining Hall, which was transformed over the summer to more offer a wide range of food in a more open and inviting environment that actively engages students, according to Rider President Mordechai Rozanski.
“Nothing strengthens the bonds of family like sharing good food and pleasant conversation with people we enjoy,” said Rozanski of the University’s latest significant facilities upgrade -- and of Cranberry Fest.
Renovations to the always popular dining hall have created almost a dozen new stations and features, including the Salad Bar and Deli Stations, the Mongolian Grill, the Grill Station and Culinary Creations, the Deluxe Bistro, a Wok Bar, the Soup Station, Feature Station, Pasta Station and the Bakery.
Student Government Association President Lorelei Colbert ’14 agreed, calling the improved Daly’s a visible symbol of campus evolution.
“A friend told me not long ago that she enjoys seeing construction around campus, because it is a sign that we are constantly improving,” she said.
Shortly thereafter, Rozanski formally dedicated Hank and Bonnie Moore Hall, transforming what had been known as the New Residence Hall since its construction in 2005. The dedication honors Franklin B. “Hank” Moore II ’54 and his wife, Bonnie, whose estate gift provided the bulk of the funding used to construct North Hall, the newest academic building on the Lawrenceville campus.