Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020
Take a look at what happened at Rider this year
by Rachel Stengel '14, '20
The year 2020 has been one like no other. Take a look at what the year was like for the Rider community.
A number of Rider traditions and performances kickstarted the year, including two Westminster College of the Arts theatrical performances, Rider Dances, the annual Cranberry and White Affair, Rider Rhymes and 107.7 The Bronc's Dessert Wars competition.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to rage through the U.S., New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order suspending all in-person instruction at public and private schools, including institutions of higher education on March 16. Already on spring break, many Rider students made one final journey to campus during March to collect their belongings for a remote spring semester. Soon, quarantine, social distancing and Zoom became part of the everyone's vernacular.
Members of the Rider community sprang into action to help their local communities during the pandemic. Associate Professor Dr. John Bochanski and Westminster Choir College alumnus Jacob Ezzo '14 put their 3D printers into action, creating ventilator splitters and face shields for local health care workers. A group of Rider science faculty worked together to produce hand sanitizer and donated it to local hospitals. Dr. Jamie Ludwig, an assistant professor of chemistry, produced the first batch at the urging of Dr. Danielle Jacobs, an associate professor of chemistry. Shariq Marshall '18, operations and volunteer coordinator for Arm In Arm, and Allison Anderson '20 packed bags of food staples for Mercer County residents, while senior Giavanna Troilo worked as a multimedia intern at Food Bank of South Jersey, helping to connect residents with available food. Rider's and Gourmet Dining's partnership with Meals on Wheels of Mercer County never missed a beat since the pandemic began. Matthew Hernberg '20 started a delivery business to help those unable to shop in his South Jersey community.
Devoid of students, wildlife on campus took advantage of the solitude in the spring.
While the Class of 2020 was unable to have a traditional Commencement ceremony, our Broncs celebrated their accomplishments at home with loved ones.
After months of embracing a new normal, a reduced number of students moved into campus for the fall semester, following extensive health and safety protocols. The majority of classes continued to be delivered remotely. The fall also marked a historic moment for Westminster Choir College — joining Rider's Lawrenceville campus for the first time ever.
If 2020 has shown us anything, it's that our Broncs are resilient. As a community, we have risen to the numerous challenges this year has presented, focusing on supporting one another so that the entire Rider community succeeds. Look toward brighter days as we greet 2021, Broncs.