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Commencement is a proud day for students, families and the entire Rider University community as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates. Please use this website to help plan for the day. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.


LAWRENCEVILLE 2017 COMMENCEMENT
Friday, May 12, 2017
Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, NJ

Undergraduate Ceremony
Procession start 11:30 a.m.
Graduates arrive and doors open for guests 10:30 a.m.
Ceremony expected to last approximately 2 hours

Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Ceremony
Procession start 4 p.m.
Graduates arrive and doors open for guests 3 p.m.
Ceremony expected to last approximately 90 minutes


1 - 2 - 3!
Preparing to Graduate and Participate in the 2017 Commencement ceremony


Submit a degree application via myRider (under "My Academic Tools"). Questions about graduation eligibility, contact your dean.

Pre-ordering of academic attire is required. Distribution will begin at Senior Send Off on April 27, 2017, noon to 7:00 p.m. in the BLC, Cavalla Room.

Advance registration is required to obtain ceremony tickets and parking passes. Register to participate.

Questions? Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail commencement@rider.edu.


ELIGIBILITY

If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2016, January, May or August 2017, you are invited to participate in the May 12, 2017 Commencement ceremonies. Please review the following important information.

Before you are eligible to participate in a Commencement ceremony, you must have:

  1. filed a degree application online or with your academic dean’s office

  2. completed all academic requirements for your degree

  3. paid all financial obligations to the University

  4. returned all books to the University Library

If you have any questions about your graduation eligibility, contact your dean as soon as possible. Only students who will fulfill graduation requirements before August 2017 can walk in the May 2017 Commencement ceremony. December 2017 graduates should plan to walk in May 2018.


COMMENCEMENT DETAILS

Graduation and Commencement

Please note there are important differences between graduation and commencement with which you should be familiar.

Graduation is a three-step process consisting of submitting an Application for Graduation form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation. 

Commencement refers to the ceremony where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree. 

Rider students graduating in December 2016, January 2017, May 2017, and August 2017 are invited to participate in the May 2017 ceremony. The ceremony features remarks from the President, guest speakers, and the calling of your name, upon which you will proceed across the stage. Graduates and guests are asked to stay for the entire ceremony.


PREPARING TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT

Academic Attire

Pre-ordering of academic attire is required and should be done online when you submit your degree application.
Graduates will receive a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. Rider does not provide cords; check with your honor societies and student groups to see if they provide them. Academic attire distribution will begin at Senior Send Off on April 27, 2017.


Commencement Ceremony Tickets

Graduates will receive ceremony tickets when they pick up their cap and gown in April. The number of tickets issued per graduate is determined by the number of approved degree applications and arena seat capacity.  Each student may request up to 8 tickets when registering online to participate in the ceremony. Tickets will be required for entrance into the Sun National Bank Center arena. Live video streaming of the event can also be viewed on the Rider website.


Commencement Candidate Lists

Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list which will posted on the Commencement Candidates page in early 2017. The lists are updated daily as degree applications are submitted. Students should check that their name is spelled properly; how it appears on the list will be as it appears on your diploma. Any changes should be reported to the Registrar's Office at 896-5065. If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.


Commencement Announcements

Personalized Commencement Announcements may be ordered online through the Balfour website. Generic Commencement announcements are available for purchase in the University Store. Diploma frames and other Rider merchandise are available at the University Store or may be ordered online in advance. The University Store will have a table at Sun National Bank Center on Commencement day. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.


Flower Orders

Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement day from Commencement Flowers Inc. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the ceremony location. It is recommended that you pre-order flowers through the Commencement Flower Inc. website.


Commencement Photos

Professional photographers from Legacy Photographic will photograph all graduates during the ceremony. They will take one photo in front of a Rider backdrop and a second as you cross the stage. Information on how to order photos is emailed and mailed to each graduate approximately 2-3 days after Commencement. Please direct photography questions to Legacy Photographics at 1-800-447-2550. The Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on www.rider.edu/commencement. An archived video recording of the ceremonies will be available for viewing on this website after the ceremonies.


Diplomas and Transcripts

Diplomas will not be distributed during the Commencement ceremony. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2016, January 2017, May 2017, or August 2017).  If you would like a copy of your transcript, please request it through the Registrar's Office.  Information and the Transcript Request Form can be found on the Registrar's Office website.  Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE DAY OF COMMENCEMENT

Rider University will hold two ceremonies on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Sun National Bank Center:

The Undergraduate Ceremony will start at 11:30 a.m. Graduates should arrive at 10:30 a.m. Doors open for guests at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 2 hours.

The Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Ceremony will start at 4 p.m. Graduates should arrive at 3 p.m. Doors open for guests at 3 p.m. The ceremony expected to last approximately 90 minutes. Graduates and guests are asked to stay for the entire ceremony.


Sun National Bank Center

The Commencement ceremonies will be held at the Sun National Bank Center, located at 81 Hamilton Ave, Trenton, NJ. The air conditioned arena offers comfortable seating and easily accessible parking areas. The arena is fully compliant with all ADA accessibility guidelines. Tickets will be required for entrance to the ceremony and will be provided in advance to graduates.


Graduate Instructions

Students should plan to arrive one hour before the start of the procession. Please do not bring pocketbooks or bags as they should not be carried in the procession and there is not a place to keep personal belongings during the ceremony. Report to the designated gathering area for your school and check in with the marshals for robing and procession line up instructions. You will receive a pre-printed information card that includes your name and honors. You will need to hand this to the faculty member or administrator reading names before you walk across the stage to be recognized. Graduates will be seated with their college or school on the arena floor. An arena map showing graduate seating locations will be posted shortly.


Guest Seating

Guest seating is general admission, all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Accommodations are available at Sun National Bank Center for guests who require seating due to a disability or special need. An arena map showing graduate seating locations will be posted shortly.


Parking and Shuttle Transportation Option

Graduates will be provided with parking passes in advance. Carpooling to the arena is encouraged. A shuttle will also be provided from the Lawrenceville campus to the arena. Advance registration to take the shuttle is required.


Special Needs Accommodations, Parking and Seating

Accommodations are available at Sun National Bank Center for graduates and guests who require parking or seating due to a disability or special need. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Commencement ceremony. Please email commencement@rider.edu if you require special needs accommodations.


Academic Honors

Rider University recognizes exceptional academic achievement at Commencement. Qualifications for academic honors at Commencement are based upon the student's academic average at the end of the first term of the senior year (December 2016 for May 2017 Commencement). Honors, as noted in the Commencement program and by tassel color, are awarded as follows:

Undergraduate (white tassel)

Summa Cum Laude: academic average 3.75 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude: academic average 3.50 - 3.74
Cum Laude: academic average 3.25 - 3.49

Graduate (cranberry tassel)

With Distinction: academic average above 3.85


Diplomas and Transcripts

Diplomas will not be distributed during the Commencement ceremony. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2016, January 2017, May 2017, or August 2017). If you would like a copy of your transcript, please request it through the Registrar's Office. Information and the Transcript Request Form can be found on the Registrar's Office website. Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.


Rider University Memorabilia

Rider University souvenirs and memorabilia will be available for purchase at the University Store tables located inside the Sun National Bank Center. Representatives will also be on-site for those graduates wishing to purchase a school ring or diploma frame.


Greening Graduation

In support of Rider’s commitment to sustainability, several green initiatives are part of Commencement planning. We aim to limit printed communication materials by utilizing mainly electronic communication. The Commencement program is printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper with 10 percent post-consumer waste recycled content. Graduates wear eco-friendly caps and gowns that are made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with an average of 23 bottles used to make each gown. Funding for the GreenWeaverTM graduation gowns has been provided by the Rider University Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC).


QUESTIONS

Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail commencement@rider.edu.