Lawrenceville Commencement Information
Commencement is a proud day for students, families and the entire Rider University community as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates. Please use this website to help plan for the day. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.
Graduating Students: If you have not yet picked up your academic attire, guest tickets and parking passes, please do so at the University Bookstore during their regular business hours.
LAWRENCEVILLE 2018 COMMENCEMENT
Friday, May 11, 2018
CURE Insurance Arena (formerly Sun National Bank Center)
81 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton, NJ
Commencement program (PDF)
VIDEOS of Rider University's 153rd Commencement
PHOTOS of Rider University's 153rd Commencement
If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2017, January, May or August 2018, you are invited to participate in the May 11, 2018 Commencement ceremonies. Please review the following important information.
Before you are eligible to participate in a Commencement ceremony, you must have:
- filed a degree application - after March 1 you must go to your academic dean's office to file a degree application
- completed all academic requirements for your degree
- paid all financial obligations to the University including graduation fee - payable through myRider student account or at the Cashier's Office located in the BLC
- returned all books to the University Library
If you have any questions about your graduation eligibility, contact your dean as soon as possible. Only students who will fulfill graduation requirements before August 2018 can walk in the May 2018 Commencement ceremony. December 2018 graduates should plan to walk in May 2019.
INFORMATION FOR THE DAY OF COMMENCEMENT
Rider does not have a ceremony rehearsal. On Commencement day, students should plan to arrive at the arena at least one hour before the start of the procession. Graduating students do not need a ticket for entrance into the arena. Please do not bring pocketbooks or bags as they should not be carried in the procession and there is not a place to keep personal belongings during the ceremony.
Please refer to the arena map, enter at the gate indicated for your college and report to the Concourse Level to the designated check-in table for your college. You will receive a pre-printed information "reader" card that includes your name and honors - do not lose this card! You will need to hand this to the faculty member or administrator reading names before you walk across the stage to be recognized.
The Concourse Level gate designated for your college is a good place to make arrangements to meet with faculty, friends and family before and after the ceremony. There will be college backdrops for photo opportunities.
You may walk around the arena until 30 minutes before your ceremony procession start time. At that time you should report to the Lower Level and find the designated line area for your college, dress in academic attire and line up for the procession. Marshals will assist you with your academic attire, guide you along the procession route and to your seat. Graduates will be seated with their college or school on the arena floor. You do not need to sit in alphabetical order.
After the ceremony you will follow your Marshal back to the Gate area where you checked in. Please arrange to meet faculty, family and friends there.
Guest Seating and Tickets
Each graduate will receive 8 guest tickets. The number of tickets available is based upon the number of degree candidates and arena seating. Your assistance is appreciated to accommodate the needs of all of our graduates:
- If you need additional tickets, please talk with your classmates who may not need 8 tickets or who are choosing not to participate in the ceremony.
- If you put in an online request for additional tickets before the April 26 deadline, you were notified via email about the availability of additional ticket(s) on May 1. Only those notified may pick up ticket(s) at the BLC Info Desk before May 10.
Non-graduating students, alumni, staff and faculty wishing to attend Commencement may pick up one ticket at the BLC Info Desk with a Rider ID or photo ID beginning May 1, 2018. Commencement volunteers and faculty participating in the ceremony do not need a ticket.
Guest seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Please refer to the arena map. Tickets are required for all guest entrance to the arena, including children over the age of two and guests with special needs. Accommodations are available at CURE Insurance Arena for guests who require seating due to a disability or special need. Backpacks, large bags, strollers, balloons, noise makers and signs are not permitted in the arena. No food or drink may be brought in; concession stands will be open.
For those not attending the ceremony Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement.
Parking and Shuttle Transportation
Taking the shuttle or carpooling to the arena is encouraged. Your cooperation is appreciated to assist with parking availability and traffic.
A free shuttle will be provided from the Lawrenceville campus to the arena for both ceremonies. The shuttle will run continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for graduates, guests, faculty and staff, departing from the front of the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC). Passes are not needed to take the shuttle. Parking for the shuttle is available in the lots by the BLC.
The campus will be open for photo opportunities and this is a nice way to share your college experience with your family and guests. The University Bookstore will be open, as well as Cranberry's food court (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Starbucks (8 a.m.-2 p.m.).
Each graduate will receive 2 parking passes. A parking pass is needed to park in arena lots. The number of parking passes distributed is based on the number of degree applicants and the available parking spaces under the control of the arena. There is no cost to park in designated parking lots. Please see parking map here.
The NJ Transit River Line light rail is also a suggested means of transportation to the arena. The Trenton Transit Center is walking distance to the arena.
Special Needs Accommodations, Parking and Seating
Accommodations are available at CURE Insurance Arena for graduates and guests who require parking or seating due to a disability or special need. The arena is fully compliant with all ADA accessibility guidelines.
Vehicles with disability parking placard or license plate (and a parking pass) may park in Lot 2 which is closest to Gate A. All parking is first come, first served; a handicap placard does not guarantee a parking spot in Lot 2. Please see parking map here.
Guests with limited mobility may be dropped off at the arena entrance at Gate A and the driver will be directed to an available parking area. Once inside the arena guests with wheelchairs will be directed by ushers to the appropriate seating areas and a family member may sit with them. Additional family members may find seats in the surrounding area. Please refer to the arena map. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Commencement ceremony. Please email [email protected] if you require additional special needs accommodations information.
Acclaimed entrepreneur Norm Brodsky ’64 and former Pennsylvania Governor Hon. Mark Schweiker '83 will be honored at Rider University's Commencement exercises at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J., on Friday, May 11, 2018. Brodsky will receive an honorary Doctorate of Business and address the undergraduate class of 2018. Schweiker will deliver remarks at the graduate ceremony. In 2004, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Rider. Read more about the Commencement speakers here.
Students Gianluca D'Elia and Lori Schroeder have been selected to address the Class of 2018. View more about their Rider experience here.
Commencement Photos and Video
Professional photographers from Legacy Photographic will photograph all graduates during the ceremony. They will take one photo in front of a Rider backdrop and a second as you cross the stage. Information on how to order photos is emailed and mailed to each graduate approximately 2-3 days after Commencement. Please direct photography questions to Legacy Photographics at 1-800-447-2550. The Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on www.rider.edu/commencement beginning 15 minutes before the procession start time. An archived video recording of the ceremonies will be available for viewing on this website after the ceremonies.
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement day at the CURE Insurance Arena from Commencement Flowers Inc. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the Arena. It is recommended that you pre-order flowers through the Commencement Flower Inc. website.
Rider University Memorabilia
Rider University souvenirs and memorabilia will be available for purchase at the University Store tables located inside the CURE Insurance Arena on the Concourse Level. The University Bookstore will be open on the Lawrenceville campus on Commencement day.
Graduation and Commencement
Please note there are important differences between graduation and commencement with which you should be familiar.
Graduation is a process consisting of submitting an Application for Graduation form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation.
Commencement refers to the ceremony where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree.
Rider students graduating in December 2017, January 2018, May 2018, and August 2018 are invited to participate in the May 2018 ceremony. The ceremony features remarks from the President, guest speakers, and the calling of your name, upon which you will proceed across the stage. Graduates and guests are asked to stay for the entire ceremony.
Commencement Candidate Lists
Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list posted on the Commencement Candidates page. The lists are updated as degree applications are submitted. Students should check that their name is spelled properly; how it appears on the list will be as it appears on your diploma. Any changes should be reported to the Registrar's Office at 896-5065. If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Diplomas will not be distributed during the Commencement ceremony. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2017, January 2018, May 2018, or August 2018). If you would like a copy of your transcript, please request it through the Registrar's Office. Information and the Transcript Request Form can be found on the Registrar's Office website. Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.
Academic Honors and Academic Attire
Rider University recognizes exceptional academic achievement at Commencement. Qualifications for academic honors at Commencement are based upon the student's academic average at the end of the first term of the senior year (December 2017 for May 2018 Commencement). Honors, as noted in the Commencement program and by tassel color, are awarded as follows:
Undergraduate (white tassel)
Summa Cum Laude: academic average 3.75 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude: academic average 3.50 - 3.74
Cum Laude: academic average 3.25 - 3.49
Graduate (cranberry tassel)
With Distinction: academic average above 3.85
The university provides graduates with a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. Honor society and student organization stoles or cords are distributed by their respective advisers. After April 27, academic attire will be distributed from the University Bookstore during their regular business hours. For the best appearance, the academic gown should be removed from the package immediately and placed on a hanger to allow the folds to fall out. Hanging it in a high humidity area (shower), will accelerate this process. If you wish to press, turn inside out and press with a warm, NOT HOT, iron. Steaming is also an option. The commencement regalia is yours to keep.
Personalized Commencement Announcements may be ordered online through the Balfour website. Generic Commencement announcements are available for purchase in the University Store. Diploma frames and other Rider merchandise are available at the University Store or may be ordered online in advance. The University Store will have a table at the CURE Insurance Arena on Commencement day. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.
In support of Rider’s commitment to sustainability, several green initiatives are part of Commencement planning. We aim to limit printed communication materials by utilizing mainly electronic communication. The Commencement program is printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper with 10 percent post-consumer waste recycled content. Graduates wear eco-friendly caps and gowns that are made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with an average of 23 bottles used to make each gown. Funding for the GreenWeaverTM graduation gowns has been provided by the Rider University Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC).
Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail [email protected].
Questions on Commencement day should be directed to 609-896-5000.