Rider University’s annual Awards Banquet on April 28 featured the prestigious President’s Award.
Meaghan Haugh

From left, Loni Chasar ’12, Brian Williams ’12 and Heather Jones ’12 were President's Award winners.

Rider University recognized 61 graduating seniors for their academic, leadership and service achievements during its annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 28, in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.

Dr. Tony Campbell, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, welcomed the honored students. He also recognized their family members and members of the Rider community for their encouragement and support.

During the Honors Address, David Keenan, director of Campus Life, told the graduating seniors that in addition to lessons they have learned from the talented faculty and staff, they have also acquired a valuable tool that will help them succeed in their future endeavors — Rider’s Community Values Statement.

“Rider has taught you to strive to understand those you may think differently, believe differently, love differently, and view the world differently than you do,” Keenan said. “If you understand those differences and celebrate those differences and you choose not to hide in the shadows ignorance … in that you build unity and strength within the community.”

The evening of celebration was filled with applause and smiles of accomplishment when the honored students were each called to the front of the stage to receive their awards.

Among the award recipients was Geraldine Stafford ’12, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies — 47 years after she initially enrolled at Rider. Boris Vilic, dean of the College of Continuing Studies, presented Stafford the Ann Giovanelli Award, given annually to a student who achieves excellence in the classroom while overcoming significant life challenges.

Each year, the President’s Award is given to one Westminster Choir College and two Lawrenceville campus seniors who have demonstrated an exemplary record of academic performance, extracurricular achievement, and service to the University. The highly competitive selection process is lead by the dean of students and supported by faculty and staff who comprise the search committee.

President Mordechai Rozanski presented the prestigious award to Loni Chasar ’12, an Elementary Education and Psychology dual major, and Brian Williams ’12, an Accounting and Finance dual major. They joined Heather Jones ’12, a Music Education major, who was first presented her award in April at the Spring Convocation on the Princeton campus.

Read more about the 2012 President’s Award recipients.