A mix up in the mail may have prevented Leonora Paul ’15, ’18 from ever attending Rider. Anxiously checking an empty mailbox filled her weeks until she decided to go to an open house and see if she could even picture herself as a Rider Bronc.
The moment she stepped on campus, she knew she needed to find out what happened to that acceptance letter.
"I immediately knew I wanted to go to Rider after visiting with my mom and my brother," she says. "Everyone I met with was so welcoming and friendly. I felt like I belonged there."
Before leaving, Admissions happily let her know that she was accepted into the Class of 2015.
"Rider had Division I athletics and the major I wanted to study, and I was very fortunate for the generous financial aid opportunities Rider provided," says Paul, who received a leadership scholarship all four years and was a member of the TRIO program where she received additional scholarships and the Student Perseverance award. The program is designed to help prepare students to complete their college education and provides financial aid and mentoring support, among other services.
Paul wanted to make the most of her collegiate years. She earned a bachelor's in business administration with a major in marketing and minor in web design multimedia, and a master's in business communication. She started her athletic career as a thrower for the Division I track and field team before an injury sidelined her. She finished as a member of the Division I tennis team. In addition to being a full-time, student athlete, Paul worked on campus in the Disbursements office and was the first-place winner of the student radio station’s Dessert Wars baking competition during her junior and senior years.
Just three weeks after graduating with her undergraduate degree, Paul was offered a full-time position at Merrill Lynch. She credits a strong education and opportunity to cultivate her leadership skills as reasons for how she was able to secure a job quickly.
"Rider's given me so much. Without Rider's support, I wouldn't be where I am today," she says.
Paul stays connected to her alma mater through volunteerism and supporting Rider's Annual Fund, which provides additional funds for scholarships and endowments. She is a member of the Broncs of the Last Decade (BOLD) Council, a committee dedicated to providing engagement and volunteer opportunities for young alumni from the classes of 2008-2017. Paul also enjoys helping with new student move in days, Homecoming and other events where she can interact with current students.
"I truly believe in giving back monetarily, emotionally and physically," she says. "I love supporting the new Rider students and role modeling that they can one day give back too, not just through donations, but also through their actions. I've been so blessed by my experiences at Rider, and I want to bless others too."