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When and where is the Commencement ceremony?
The Commencement 2016 event dates are:

  • Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Commencement ceremony
    Thursday, May 12, 2016, 5 p.m., Lawrenceville
  • Undergraduate Commencement ceremony
    Friday, May 13, 2016, 9:30 a.m., Lawrenceville
  • Westminster Choir College Commencement ceremony
    Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
    Princeton University Chapel, Princeton, NJ
    For more information on the Westminster Commencement, please click here.

Do I need a ticket to attend the ceremony?
The Commencement ceremony is planned to be held outdoors on the Campus Green where there is unlimited seating and tickets are not required. In the event of severe weather (heavy winds; lightning; heavy, continuing rain), the Commencement ceremony will take place in the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Due to seating capacity limitations, all guests (adults and children of all ages and guests seated in the special needs seating area) require a ticket for entrance into the SRC. Bleacher and floor seating is available on a first come-first served basis. Standing room is available on the track above the seating/stage area.

The ceremony, whether indoors or outdoors, will also be broadcast live in the Alumni Gym, Bart Luedeke Center Theater and Yvonne Theater and on television monitors in various campus locations. Tickets are not required for entry into these venues. Live video streaming of the event can also be viewed on the Rider web site.

Graduates will receive rain tickets when they pick up their cap and gown in April. The number of tickets distributed is determined by the number of approved degree applications and indoor location seat capacity. In 2016 graduate and CCS students will receive 5 tickets for the May 12, 2016 Graduate/CCS ceremony and undergraduates will receive 2 tickets for the May 13, 2016 Undergraduate ceremony. Please note that additional rain tickets are not available and requests for additional tickets cannot be honored.

Are there restrictions on backpacks or duffel bags being brought onto campus?
As part of our efforts to ensure safe and enjoyable events, we are working closely, as we do each year, with Lawrence Township Police Department and Mercer County Fire Police for the Lawrenceville campus ceremonies and with Princeton University Department of Public Safety for the Westminster Choir College ceremony. As in past years, they will monitor the ceremonies with us, assist with traffic and parking, and be a presence on campus along with Rider’s Department of Public Safety and other staff throughout the University.

To assist our Department of Public Safety, we ask that graduates, families and guests refrain from bringing backpacks, large purses, coolers, duffel bags and any other large bags to the Commencement ceremonies. When you are on campus, please do not leave any items unattended. We also ask that you refrain from bringing pets to the ceremonies.

Should you have any concerns while on campus, please reach out for assistance to any of our Public Safety officers or other Rider staff, identifiable by their attire.

What happens if it rains?
The Commencement ceremony will be held outside on the Campus Green in light rain. In the event of severe weather (heavy winds, lightning, very heavy rain) the Commencement ceremony will be moved indoors to the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Due to seating capacity limitations, tickets are required for entry into the SRC. Those without tickets may view the Commencement ceremony via live video broadcast in the Alumni Gym, Bart Luedeke Center Theater, Yvonne Theater and on television monitors in various campus locations, or online at The latest information about the location of the ceremony will be announced on the Rider website; the Rider information hotline at 609-219-2000; and local radio stations including WRRC 107.7 FM, WPST 94.5 FM, NJ 101.5 FM, WHWH 1350 AM, WBUD 1260 AM, WIMG 1300 AM, and WOR-NY 710 AM.

How long does the ceremony last?
The Commencement Ceremony will last approximately one and a half hours. Guests and graduates are asked to stay for the entire ceremony. If you plan to make lunch/dinner reservations following the Commencement ceremony, please give yourself ample time as there will be traffic delays.

Are there parking and seating accommodations for individuals with disabilities and special needs?
Accommodations are available for students and guests who require special parking or seating due to a disability or special need. Golf cart transportation to the special needs seating area will also be provided. Please contact the Office of the President at 609-896-5001 or e-mail [email protected] with information about your particular needs and to request these services. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Commencement ceremony.

When do I pick up my cap and gown?
Rider University provides each graduate with a keepsake cap and gown that does not need to be returned. Graduates will receive a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. Pre-ordering or pre-measurement for cap and gown is not required. After April 22, academic attire will be distributed from the Rider University Bookstore during their normal business hoursFulfillment of all graduation requirements, including financial obligations, and photo ID are required for cap and gown pick up. Cap and gown MUST be picked up BEFORE Commencement day.  If you have questions or are unable to come to campus, please email [email protected] to make alternate arrangements.

In support of Rider’s commitment to sustainability, the caps and gowns are eco-friendly, made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with an average of 23 bottles used to make each gown.

When is Senior Send-Off?
Senior Send-Off will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2016, noon to 7 p.m. in the BLC Cavalla Room. This event provides convenient access to everything you need to make your graduation plans including exit interviews with Student Financial Services and Career Services; Senior Class Gift and alumni information; class ring, Commencement announcement and diploma frame purchase opportunities. Undergraduate seniors are encouraged to pick up their academic attire during Senior Send-Off.

What are the graduation requirements?
To be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must have:
1.) filed a degree application online or with your academic dean’s office;
2.) paid all financial obligations to the University; and
3.) returned all books to the Library.

Will honors cords, ribbons or pins be provided with my academic regalia?
Cords, ribbons and pins are not distributed by the University. Graduates will receive a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel in the appropriate color to recognize honors. Any additional cords are provided by the advisor of the honor society or organization.

When should students arrive for graduation?
Students should plan to arrive one and a half hours before the start of the procession. Students should report to the designated gathering area for their school and check in with the marshals for robing and procession line up instructions. Each student will receive a pre-printed information card that includes name and honors. You will need to hand this to the faculty or administrator reading names before you walk across the stage to be recognized.

When should family and guests arrive for graduation?
Family and guests should plan to arrive at least an hour prior to the start of the Ceremony. Please expect a heavy volume of traffic as we welcome you to campus. You should plan to allow for time to park and walk to the ceremony site. Graduates are seated alphabetically by last name within their school. Guests often prefer to sit in the section opposite where their graduate sits for a better view as the graduate crosses the stage.  A Seating and Procession Order map showing gathering and seating locations may be viewed here:  Graduate & CCS Ceremony Seating and Procession   Undergraduate Seating & Procession

Are refreshments available?
All undergraduates and their guests are invited to the Graduating Seniors' Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 13 in Daly's Dining Center hosted by the Rider University Alumni Association. Graduating student-athletes and their guests are invited to attend the Bronc Farewell Breakfast on Friday, May 13 at 7 a.m. in the "Little Italy" section of Daly's Dining Center.

All graduates and their guests are invited to a reception following both the Graduate/CCS ceremony and the Undergraduate ceremony. Please join faculty and staff in the Cavalla Room, Bart Luedeke Center for desserts and beverages. Water will be available at stations around the Campus Green and is provided under all graduates’ chairs. Cranberries Café is also open for beverages and light snacks on Commencement days.

Who are the Commencement speakers?
During its spring 2016 commencement ceremonies on the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses, Rider University will proudly bestow honorary degrees upon three noteworthy recipients. Neil Friedman, who has reached the highest levels in numerous national toy companies, will receive the honorary doctor of laws degree during the Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 12. On Friday, May 13, world-renowned artist and educator Judith Brodsky will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree during the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. On Saturday, May 14, noted and award-winning conductor Alan Gilbert will receive the honorary doctor of music award during the 87th Westminster Choir College Commencement Ceremony on the Princeton campus. Gilbert will also be the deliver the commencement address at the ceremony.  More information.

How is the Commencement Student Speaker selected?
Students interested in speaking at Commencement submit an application to a Commencement Speaker Committee comprised of faculty, staff and students. After all applications are reviewed, finalists are interviewed individually and selections are made. Any student in good academic and social standing may apply to be a Commencement speaker. Please click here to see more detailed information.

When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas will not be distributed during the Commencement ceremony. Upon clearance from the Registrar and Dean, the Registrar will order the diploma and it will be sent via regular mail. You can expect delivery 4-6 weeks after your graduation date. 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 web page. Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.

How can I purchase graduation announcements?
Personalized Commencement Announcements may be ordered online through the Balfour web site. Generic Commencement announcements are available for purchase in the University Store. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.

Will there be photographs available of graduates?
Professional photographers from Legacy Photographic will photograph all graduates during the Commencement ceremony. One photo will be taken in front of a Rider backdrop as the graduate approaches the stage, and a second time as the graduate is congratulated by President Dell'Omo on 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.

How do I order a video recording of the ceremony?
recording of the Commencement ceremony will be available for viewing on this website after the ceremony.  DVD copies may be ordered through the Rider University Office of Information Technologies (OIT) using the downloadable order form. Please contact 609-896-5000 x7375 with any questions concerning the Commencement DVD..

Will the University Booktore be open?
The University Bookstore will be open. You may also orders diploma frames and other Rider merchandise online. Please contact the University Bookstore at 609-896-5121 for more information.

Where can I purchase flowers for my graduate?
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased at the Commencement ceremonies from Commencement Flowers Inc. It is recommended that you pre-order flowers through the Commencement Flower Inc. web site.

Are there places to stay in the area?
Please click here for a list of local hotels.

Can you recommend any restaurants near Rider?
If you plan to make lunch/dinner reservations following the Commencement ceremony, please give yourself ample time as there will be traffic delays. Please click here for a list of local restaurants.

How do I join the Rider University Alumni Association?
Be sure to register for MyRider, a network-based, interactive online community for Rider University and Westminster Choir College alumni, current juniors and seniors, and faculty and staff. Go to to access your online resource for news, alumni and campus events, as well as exclusive benefits and services.

I have other questions - who do I contact?
Contact the Office of the President at 609-896-5001 or email [email protected].