More than 300 Bronc Buddies lent a hand to help Rider’s newest students make a quick and efficient transition to life in their appointed residence halls at Move-In Day on September 1.
Sean Ramsden
It was all hands on deck for the Bronc Buddies at Move-In Day on September 1.

It was all hands on deck for the Bronc Buddies at Move-In Day on September 1.

More than 25 years after Chicago Bears defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry – known colloquially as “The Fridge” – entered the realm of pop culture, Rider can now counter with “Fridge Guy.”

Max Rebhun ’16 cut a powerful and determined image as he hauled one refrigerator after another to the assigned rooms of Rider freshman at the University’s annual Move-In Day on Sunday, September 1, on the Lawrenceville campus. Rebhun, a Marines Sciences major from Long Island, N.Y., was one of more than 300 Bronc Buddies on hand to help Rider’s newest students make a quick and efficient transition to life in their appointed residence halls.

“Everyone is working hard, so I feel like if I can step up and take a leadership role, and take some of the load off of someone else, I will,” said Rebhun, who leveraged his relative brawn to transport refrigerators from fully loaded vehicles that rolled up all morning long in front of Conover Hall to earn the “Fridge Guy” moniker.

What can be an arduous process for freshmen at many colleges and universities – waiting in a logjam of cars before having to lug boxes, televisions and bed coverings up two or three flights of stairs – is rendered simple by Rider’s Bronc Buddy system, which sees packed SUVs cleared of their contents in minutes, safely deposited in the dorm rooms of approximately new students.

This unique component of the Orientation Program was established to assist new students and their families with the transition into college. The Bronc Buddies help new residents move into their assigned residence halls, escort new students to opening weekend events, and facilitate various activities for the arrivals on campus.

This year, the group, easily recognizable by their distinctive T-shirts, included fraternity and sorority members, student-athletes and other student leaders from various clubs and activities. The Bronc Buddy program has become a popular and efficient part of the Move-In Day bustle.

Parents dropping off their freshmen sons and daughters were impressed by the flurry of activity. Though they are alerted to the Bronc Buddies program through Rider’s orientation, parents of new students are nevertheless always thrilled by the smooth efficiency of the process.

“This is amazing – absolutely amazing,” said Scott Fowler of Tabernacle, N.J., whose son, Nate Fowler ’17, was moving into Conover Hall. Fowler, who just returned from moving another son into his room at a state university in New England, said the move-in process at Rider held a clear advantage.

“Being able to just ride right up to the building is incredible,” he said. “This whole process, from application, to orientation, to today, has been first-class. I’m so impressed!”

Colleen Geraghty ’16, an Accounting major from Staten Island, N.Y., said that the ease she felt during her experience last year as a freshman made her want to help out now.

“It made it easier last year – it made it much easier,” she said, adding that when the call went out for Bronc Buddies this year, she and roommate Allyson Galano ’16 were eager to lend a hand.

“When they had sign-ups in the spring, we were on it right away,” said Galano, a Web Design major from Red Bank, N.J.

Jamie O’Hara, vice president for Enrollment Management, applauded the efforts of the Bronc Buddies, whose efforts he called “huge” for the University.

“The fact that we have more than 300 students out here – all volunteers, and incredibly hard-working – is terrific,” he said, adding that while there are other institutions with similar programs, “it’s clear we do it better. It makes a great first impression and our participation really sets us apart.”

Dr. DonnaJean Fredeen, who is beginning her first year at Rider as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, was wowed by the Bronc Buddies program.

“It’s very efficient. These students are giving a good face to Rider,” she said. “I know the parents were very impressed by the ‘work force’ we have. The Bronc Buddies are representing us very well.”