Alumni Awards

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Every year awards are bestowed to distinguished alumni for their impressive achievements. Nominate a colleague, friend, family member, or yourself for one of five Alumni Awards:

In order to access the nomination forms you need to have a Google account. If you do not have a Google account, please email [email protected]. An Alumni Relations team member will email you the appropriate nomination form.

Nominations for the 2020 Alumni Awards now being accepted!
Submit your nomination for each award below by Friday, June 19, 2020.

Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumnus/a Award (Awarded since 1965)

Submit Your Nomination

Criteria for Award: Awarded to a Rider alumnus/a whose successes, exceptional achievements, dedication, and professionalism bring honor to their alma mater and to themselves.

The Gordon E. Prichard '63 Award for Volunteer Service (presented since 1967)

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Gordon E. Prichard ’63 served as a member of the Board of the Alumni Association following graduation. He was actively involved in numerous student activities throughout his undergraduate years at Rider. Following his untimely death while a member of the alumni board the members of the board established this award to honor his volunteerism.

Criteria for Award: Awarded to a Rider alumnus/a who distinguished himself/herself by exceptional volunteer service to the University.

The Harold L. Conover Leadership Award

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Harold L. Conover ’23 was the prime mover in establishing the Alumni Association and became the association’s first president. He was a member of the University Board of Trustees for many years which he served as secretary. He had an extended career in state government serving in high-level positions requiring distinguished leadership.

Criteria for Award: Awarded to a Rider alumnus/a who exhibits or has exhibited exemplary leadership qualities for a minimum of 10 years in a non-profit organization/s, community agencies, professional organizations, or government service.

The Honorable Lawson R. McElroy Award for Excellence in Engaged Learning (presented since 2018)

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The esteemed Lawson R. McElroy served as Assistant Director of Financial Aid and Admissions from 1974 through 1985 and was instrumental in assisting students to attend and ultimately complete their education at Rider University. He served as the professional staff advisor for many student groups, provided on and off campus work opportunities, academic advisement and personal advice during a student’s formative years while they enrolled and subsequently graduated from Rider University.  Lawson encouraged and supported students during their post Rider University careers by serving as a personal and employment mentor and role model.  The Honorable Lawson R. McElroy made a meaningful difference in the lives of students and others inside and outside of Rider University.

Those eligible to receive the "Honorable Lawson R. McElroy Award for Excellence in Engaged Learning” will be a Rider Alumni who works in either the private or public sector in support of a student or employees learning outside of the formal classroom.

Examples of awardees are but not limited to corporate managers/supervisors, community leaders, faith leaders, athletic coaches, entrepreneurial and re-entry program providers, and corporate management training professionals.  The individual presented with this award can work directly with engaged and/or lifetime learners or can work behind the scenes at a company to ensure engaged and lifetime learning opportunities exist and are valued within their respective company and/or work department.

He/she can be an individual who is identified as the supervisor and/or co-worker of a student or fellow employee participating in an engaged learning activity (co-op, internship, service learning, continuing education, advanced training, etc.) that assist the individual in making career and life choices that directly relate to an individual’s academic and/or professional training and/or goals.

Additionally, an individual receiving this award can be also be identified as the person within the workplace (company, department, agency, institution, etc.) who is directly responsible for ensuring that engaged learning and/or continuing education is part of the culture of the workplace. This might be someone who is but not limited HR Director, affirmative action officer, senior Administration, department/division director, etc.

Criteria for Award: Nominees can be judged on the following quantifiable elements:

  1. How much and does the individual invests time and effort in coaching and/or mentoring;
  2. Does the individual serve as a role model to the student(s) or employee(s) through positive interactions?
  3. Does the individual guide, teach, and support the student and/or employee in the workplace by sharing experiences and recommendations on how to improve one’s skills and/or opportunities within or outside of that workplace?
  4. Does the individual inspire a sense of collaboration, cooperation, and trust between the college and the workplace?
  5. Does the individual encourage networking and other opportunities for the student or employee to meet with other key personnel that will enhance the person’s learning and/or career advancement?
  6. Does the person support engaged learning and/or career growth within their organization by identifying opportunities within the organization and/or provides the leadership and funding within their organization to ensure that on the job learning and/or career training are made available?
  7. Does the individual create an inclusive work environment that embraces diversity and equality;
  8. Does the individual provide leadership within their respective organization which enhances and embraces life-long learning and engaged learning?
  9. Develop innovative systems and processes that enhance the engaged learner experience in a significant way;
  10. Exhibit exceptional analytical and decision-making skills in realizing the goals and objectives and value of having their employer involved in and supportive of engaged and lifetime learning activities. 

Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award (Presented for the first time in 2013)

Submit Your Nomination

Criteria for Award: Awarded to a Rider alumnus/a who has completed his/her studies at Rider University within the last ten years and who has achieved notable success in his/her work, resulting in a positive reflection on the University.

Eligibility for Awards 

  • Nominees must be alumni of the University and must be in good standing at the time of graduation. 
  • Current alumni awards committee members or their immediate family members are not eligible to receive these awards. 
  • If the nominee is a current member of the Alumni Board of Directors or Board of Trustees, a two-thirds vote is required for one to be selected for an award.
  • Award recipients are expected to be present at the awards ceremony unless awarded posthumously.
  • Nominations are for the current year only.
  • Alumni can be nominated for more than one award.


Awards recipients are invited to an annual event in the fall of each year.

View our list of past Alumni Awards Recipients

Alumni Awards Committee

The Alumni Awards Committee is responsible for establishing and implementing policies and procedures that will govern the alumni awards program and will include the following responsibilities:

  • Administration of the program
  • Coordination with University departments, offices, and personnel
  • Receiving nominations and reviewing nominees’ qualifications
  • Selecting award recipients
  • Promote the alumni awards program

The following awards are those for which the committee is responsible: the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award, The Gordon E. Prichard Award for Volunteer Service, The Harold L. Conover Leadership Award, The Honorable Lawson R. McElroy Award for Excellence in Engaged Learning, and the Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award