Celebrating Rider University’s Class of 2021
Congratulations, Class of 2021!
Commencement is a proud day for students, families and the entire Rider University community.
This year, not only have our graduates accomplished a tremendous milestone in earning their degrees, but they have persevered through the most challenging of times. We continue to be inspired by their hard work, dedication, perseverance and collective Bronc spirit.
Watch recordings of the Class of 2021 commencement ceremonies.
Celebrate our Rider Grads
May 15 – Class of 2021 Undergraduates
- 9 a.m. - Undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony 1
- 10:30 a.m. - Undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony 2
- 12 p.m. - Undergraduate College of Education and Human Services
- 2 p.m. - Undergraduate Norm Brodsky College of Business Ceremony 1
- 3:30 p.m. - Undergraduate Norm Brodsky College of Business Ceremony 2
- 5 p.m. - Undergraduate WCA, School of Fine and Performing Arts
May 16 – Class of 2021 Graduates (master’s degrees)
- 9 a.m. - Graduate College of Education and Human Services
- 10:30 a.m. - Graduate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- 10:30 a.m. - Graduate Norm Brodsky College of Business
What to expect during Commencement
The in-person ceremony will include a student processional, remarks from President Dell’Omo and a presentation of graduates where students will walk across the stage as their names are called. Each ceremony will be approximately one hour.
Commencement will be held in compliance with state and institutional health and safety guidelines regarding capacity, masks, social distancing and sanitation. To meet gathering guidelines, the University will offer multiple ceremonies. Graduates are assigned a ceremony time based on their degree and college/school.
Commencement is a ticketed event. Only guests with tickets will be permitted on campus. Graduates do not require a ticket and will be given a maximum of two guest tickets. There are no extra tickets.
The Commencement ceremonies will be held rain or shine. In the case of severe weather, high winds or lightning a ceremony may need to be delayed or cancelled.
Refer to the Commencement Day Campus Map (PDF) for ceremony locations.
Rider does not have a ceremony rehearsal. On Commencement day, students should plan to arrive on campus 30 minutes before the start of the procession. Graduating students do not need a ticket. 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. You will be walking on grass so appropriate shoes are recommended. Masks are required to be worn at all times.
Please note which tent your assigned ceremony will be held in (Campus Green/purple or Daly Fields/cranberry). The campus map is color coded to show the appropriate parking, gathering and tent areas. To assist in maintaining required gathering numbers please remain in your car until 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.
Report to your designated gathering area 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 reading names before you walk across the stage to be recognized.
Marshals will assist you with your academic attire, guide you along the procession route and to your seat. Graduates will be seated in the tent. You do not need to sit in alphabetical order. You may take photos on campus after the ceremony.
On Commencement day, guests should plan to arrive on campus 30 minutes before the start of the procession. To assist in maintaining required gathering numbers please remain in your car until 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Please note which tent your graduate's assigned ceremony will be held in (Campus Green/purple or Daly Fields/cranberry). The campus map (PDF) is color coded to show the appropriate parking and tent areas.
Only ticketed guests are permitted on campus. Guest seating under the tent is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be scanned at tent entrance and are required for all guests, including children over the age of two and guests with special needs. Backpacks, large bags, strollers, balloons, noise makers and signs are not permitted in the tent area. Masks or face coverings must be worn on campus. You may take photos on campus after the ceremony.
Cars with a handicap hangtag or handicap license plates will be directed to a specific parking lot closest to the ceremony locations. Please see the ceremony map posted here (PDF). Mobility challenged individuals may also park in this area.
The ceremony locations are under tents on grass fields as indicated on the map (PDF). There are sidewalks in the area, but guests will need to travel on grass to the tent seating.
Seating will be provided under the ceremony tent for all ticketed guests (folding chairs). Seating is first come, first served; there is no reserved seating. Guests must provide their own wheelchairs, if needed.
Guest Seating and Tickets
Each graduate will receive two guest tickets. Guests will be seated individually or in pairs, six feet apart from other guests. Ticket information will be emailed to graduates who RSVP they will participate in the in-person ceremony. No additional tickets will be provided due to state-mandated event capacity limits. No walk-in guests will be permitted.
For those not attending the ceremony, Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement.
Cap and Gown Distribution
You have three options to pick up your academic attire:
Attend the Senior SendOff event on Thursday, April 22, noon to 7 p.m. in the University Bookstore.
Distribution will continue from the University Bookstore during their regular operating hours April 23 - May 13.
You also have the option to pay a flat rate fee of $7.50 to have your cap and gown shipped to you. email [email protected] with the following information:
- In the subject line put "Regalia Ship for (insert graduate's name)"
- Include in the email graduate’s name, shipping address and a phone number that the bookstore staff can reach you at.
- If you did not pre-order attire include your height and weight for gown sizing, and your degree and college.
- DO NOT EMAIL CREDIT CARD INFORMATION. A member of the bookstore staff will call you for payment information.
- Once payment has been processed, the bookstore will email you a confirmation with your tracking number. Please save that number for your records.
- Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.
- Any requests to ship AFTER May 5th cannot be guaranteed for delivery before graduation weekend.
If you did not pre-order your cap and gown before the March 19 deadline, academic attire will still be provided to you via the distribution methods listed. Check this list of pre-ordered attire if you are unsure (PDF).
Academic Honors and Academic Attire
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 academic year (fall semester 2020). 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
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement Day from Commencement Flowers. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the ceremony location. It is recommended that you pre-order through Commencement Flowers website.
Commencement Announcements and Class Rings
Personalized Commencement Announcements and Class Ring 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. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Your diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2020, January 2021, May 2021, or August 2021). 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.
Commencement Candidate Lists
Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list. The lists will be updated 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 609-896-5065.
If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.
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 25 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). Since 2011, Rider University has helped to divert over 331,475 plastic bottles from landfills.
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.
Share this joyous occasion with family and friends by viewing recorded remarks from our Class of 2021 Commencement speakers.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
Check out a collection of slideshows featuring the names of our graduating students along with photos, quotes and celebratory messages.
Class of 2021 Memories
Take a virtual stroll down memory lane with this commemorative video in your honor.
Add your personal page, share your memories and connect with your classmates in this digital keepsake. The Class of 2021 virtual yearbook is a gift to you from the Alumni Association, as we welcome you as our newest members of the alumni family.