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.
LAWRENCEVILLE 2019 COMMENCEMENT
Saturday, May 18, 2019
CURE Insurance Arena (formerly Sun National Bank Center)
81 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton, NJ
Undergraduate Ceremony procession starts at 10 a.m.
ceremony expected to last 2.5 hours
Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Ceremony procession starts at 4 p.m.
ceremony expected to last 1.5 hours
Graduates and guests are asked to arrive at the arena an hour in advance of procession start time and plan to stay for the entire ceremony.
The Lawrenceville campus will be open on Commencement day for photo opportunities. Light refreshments will be served under a tent near the BLC Plaza noon to 3 p.m.
Important Information for Commencement Day
Campus is Open!
The campus will be open for photo opportunities and this is a nice way to share your college experience with your family and guests. Touch the Rider Rock as a symbolic end to your academic journey, take a selfie with Andrew J. Rider’s statue on the BLC Plaza, or gather for a group photo with your friends on the Rider berm.
Light refreshments will be served noon to 3 p.m. under a tent near the BLC Plaza. Stop in and celebrate Rider's newest alumni!
The University Bookstore will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starbucks in the Student Recreation Center will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Bronc Bites food truck will be open for breakfast and lunch items.
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 8:30 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.
A parking pass is needed to park in arena lots. Please see a parking map here. 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. Each graduating student will receive 2 parking passes. There is no cost to park in designated parking lots.
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.
Rider does not have a ceremony rehearsal. On Commencement day, students should plan to arrive at the arena 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. Please use the restrooms during robing time; graduates are expected to remain seated during the entire ceremony to avoid causing disruptions.
After the ceremony you recess in line with your college and follow your Marshal back to the Gate area where you checked in on the Concourse Level. Please arrange to meet faculty, family and friends there.
Guest Seating and Tickets
The number of tickets available is based upon the number of degree candidates and arena seating. Graduates will receive 8 guest tickets and 2 parking passes with academic attire distribution.
Guest seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see arena map here. 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. All approved bags are subject to inspection upon entry. No food or drink may be brought in; concession stands will be open.
Non-graduating students, alumni, and staff wishing to attend Commencement as a guest may pick up a ticket at the BLC Info Desk with a Rider ID or photo ID beginning May 1, 2019. Commencement volunteers and faculty participating in the ceremony do not need a ticket.
For those not attending the ceremony, Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement. The ceremonies may also be viewed in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.
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.
Cars with a Commencement parking pass and a state issued handicap license plate or placard may park in Lot 2. Guests with limited mobility may be dropped off at the arena entrance at Gate A (located in Lot 2) 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. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Commencement ceremony. Please email [email protected] if you require additional special needs accommodations information.
Entrepreneur Barry Bierenbaum ’76 and two-time Olympic athlete Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian ’07 will be honored at Rider University's Commencement exercises at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J., on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Bierenbaum will receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree and address the undergraduate class of 2019. Fenlator-Victorian will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and deliver remarks at the graduate/College of Continuing Studies ceremony. Read more about the Commencement speakers here.
Students Stephanie Turner '19 and Shanza Arooj '18 have been selected to address the Class of 2019. Read more about their Rider journeys here.
Commencement Photos and Video
Professional photographers from Legacy Photographic will photograph all graduates during the ceremony. They will take one photo as you cross the stage and shake hands with President Dell'Omo and a second in front of a Rider backdrop. 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. The University Bookstore will be open on the Lawrenceville campus on Commencement day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2018, January, May or August 2019, you are invited to participate in the May 18, 2019 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
- 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 2019 can walk in the May 2019 Commencement ceremony. December 2019 graduates should plan to walk in May 2020.
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. 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 will be 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.
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. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.
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 2018, January 2019, May 2019, or August 2019). 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.
Cap and Gown Distribution
After April 23, cap and gown distribution will continue in the University Bookstore during regular store hours. 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. Guest tickets and parking passes will be distributed with cap and gown package. Please bring Rider ID or other photo ID. All cap and gown packages must be picked up before Wednesday, May 15. If you cannot come to the bookstore during regular hours, please email [email protected] to make alternate arrangements.
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 2018 for May 2019 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
Cap and gown distribution will continue in the University Bookstore during regular store hours. Guest tickets and parking passes will be distributed with your cap and gown package. Please bring photo ID. All cap and gown packages must be picked up before Commencement day. If you cannot come to the bookstore during regular hours, please email [email protected] to make alternate arrangements.
The university provides graduates with a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. Cap and gown distribution will continue in the University Bookstore during regular store hours. Honor society and student organization stoles or cords are distributed by their respective advisers. 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.
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.