Campus Traditions

Student Life / Campus Traditions

The Office of Campus Life at the Lawrenceville campus and Assistant Dean of Students Office at the Princeton Campus sponsor many events throughout the year that have become much anticipated traditions.  Check out these short descriptions and you'll see these campus-wide events highlight Rider’s unique spirit in an atmosphere of unity and fun. 



Saturday, March 28 to Sunday, March 29, 2015
6 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Student Recreation Center Courts
Sponsored by the Relay For Life Committee, Student Government Association and Office of Campus Life 

Rider's annual Relay For Life® event will take place this coming weekend (Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29) in the Student Recreation Center. This year's theme is "Celebrating Birthdays" in recognition of Rider's 150th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life fundraiser.

 You can help support this remarkable event in several ways: sign-up as an individual participant, join/create a team, or simply donate to the cause today: Faculty and staff are also strongly encouraged to participate in the event by joining one of the teams below or creating your own team. 

Participate as an Individual or Join/Create a Team 

  • Bronc Brigade 2015 — The Office of Campus Life encourages all its many faculty, staff and alumni partners to join our team to show solidarity and school spirit with the students in raising funds and awareness in the fight against cancer! 
  • Team CCR - Cathy's Crew Remembers! — Bev Braddock has organized a team in Cathy Carter Romero's honor. Join her crew for a few hours of fun with Canadian snacks, playing some Yuker and sharing favorite memories of Cathy.

Relay For Life has become a Rider University tradition. Since 2009, the program has raised more than $300,000 for the American Cancer Society. Rider’s Relay For Life has been named a two-time title holder as the “Top Performing College Relay in New Jersey” and has become the biggest student-run event on the Lawrenceville campus.

 This event serves as a powerful way to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer, from helping people facing the disease in your community to ensuring cancer is a thing of the past for future generations. Rider's Relay For Life is an opportunity to honor the cancer survivors in your life, promote how you can reduce your cancer risk, and raise money to help find a cure. Today, with the support of thousands of Rider students and volunteers like you across the globe, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 400 lives a day. And we won't stop until we end cancer once and for all!

 Rider's Relay For Life will feature many activities throughout the evening, including: a survivor/caregiver dinner at 6 p.m., opening ceremonies and a survivor lap at 8 p.m., and a Luminaria Ceremony and Cathy Carter Romero Performance Dedication at 10 p.m to honor Cathy and all those who have lost their battle to cancer. The Relay will end at 5 a.m. on Sunday with a closing ceremony and awards. 

Survivor/Caregiver Dinner
This free dinner is provided to honor individuals and families who have battled or cared for someone with cancer, serving as a celebration of the survivors who inspire us to keep fighting. All survivors and caregivers across campus are invited to participate. If you or someone you know is a survivor or caregiver and would like to attend the dinner at 6 p.m. on Saturday, please contact Jennifer Lacaillade at [email protected].

Dedicate a Luminaria
Light a candle in honor of or in memory of a friend or loved one who has had cancer, or in support of a caregiver. Your contribution will help save lives, give hope, and empower people through the American Cancer Society and its lifesaving mission. Traditional luminaria bags are $10 each and can be purchased at the event or in advance online.

Donate to Relay
Can't participate in the event in person? Donate now! The American Cancer Society is putting your donation dollars to work now, investing in groundbreaking cancer research and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers. With your help, we aren't just fighting one type of cancer we're fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer, in your community and everyone else's. You are fueling our progress to end this disease!

Thank you in advance for your participation and support of this annual Rider tradition!
Relay For Life Committee, Student Government Association and Office of Campus Life



Cranberry Fest 
First held on May 4, 1979, this event celebrates Andrew J. Rider, the founder and first president of the Trenton Business College. Rider introduced the cranberry to the Queen of England and hence she nicknamed him "The Cranberry King of New Jersey." Rider also owned a horse named Cranberry which he purchased in England. This annual event is held each September to welcome everyone back to campus with an outdoor luncheon, activities, and free giveaways. The link to the "Cranberry King" is also the basis for our school colors of cranberry and white.

Awareness Day, Lawrenceville
Held each fall semester, this day allows each student organization to showcase their events and activities and recruit new members to join. Generally it will take place on the campus mall between the residence halls and the dining hall during the open period.

Midnight MAACness
Originally called "Cranberry & White Night," this event was the brainchild of the Rider men's basketball program. It introduced the campus community to the players and coaching staff, and generated excitement for the upcoming season. The inaugural "Cranberry & White Night" was held at the beginning of the 1991-92 season, which was then Head Coach Kevin Bannon's third year at the helm. When Rider joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in 1997, "Midnight MAACness" was created to expand the program to introduce both men's and women's basketball teams at midnight on the first official day of practice allowed by the NCAA. Each year the Student Government Association, the Athletics Office, Office of Campus Life and the Student Entertainment Council provide lots of food, live entertainment, free giveaways, and spirit filled activities.

Homecoming, Princeton
In September, the Princeton campus celebrates Homecoming with their traditional Homecoming Pageant (Friday night) and Dance (Saturday night). The Pageant tests students’ talent and creativity as they vie for the title of Homecoming King and Homecoming Queen. The Dance is a fun formal event that allows students to dress up and look their best.

Family Weekend and Founders’ Day
These events are usually held on the first weekend in November. Family Day is designed to entice students' family members to come visit their "Rider family." This tradition is especially important to new students and is timed to assist them in their transition to college life. The first Family Day was held in 1979. Since 1981, the Residence Hall Association (then the "Association of Dormitory Students") along with the Office of Campus Life has teamed up annually to provide a day filled with events, good food, and school spirit.

During the Founders' Day On this day, the highest academic honor a student can achieve as an undergraduate at Rider is presented in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater. Four seniors, three juniors, and three sophomores receive the award named for the school's founder. Andrew J. Rider Scholars are selected from each of the University's colleges (College of Business Administration, College of Liberal Arts Education, and Sciences, College of Continuing Studies, and Westminster Choir College). This event is scheduled each year on Family Day so families can share in our academic successes.

Rider Thanksgiving Celebration
Since 1990, each year before Thanksgiving, faculty, staff, and students have been gathering to give thanks as a community for all our blessings. Originally held in the Chapel, it now takes place in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room. A turkey meal is served mid-day for more than 300 people, who listen to featured speakers' stories of thanks that are guaranteed to make you feel blessed. 

Java ‘N’ Jive, Princeton
Java ‘N’ Jive is a coffeehouse that usually takes place at the end of the Fall semester. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to relax before finals and enjoy a variety of live musical performances.

Celebration of Lights
This Rider tradition began in 1991 when a few members of the Rider community gathered at the main gate on a December evening to celebrate the many different holiday traditions during that festive time of year. Light was brought to a tree that brightened the darkness of night. The celebrations included were Diwali, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. More recent additions include Ramadan, Boxing Day, and Winter Solstice. A broad spectrum of the Rider community joins to plan the Celebration of Lights with the hope that it will move us all toward that time of peace, love, justice, joy, understanding, and unity that seems to prevail throughout the traditions of many cultures. 

Greek Awards & Recognition, Lawrenceville
At the close of each calendar year, the community takes time to give recognition to the numerous achievements of both Greek chapters and individual chapter members. A reception is held in December of every year to provide a chance for the Greek community to review and celebrate their accomplishments.



Winter Weekend
The first weekend of the Spring semester has become a tradition that consists of various events planned for students to remain on campus and get back into participating in activities. Previous events have included ski trips, movie marathons, bingo, and ice skating.

Martin Luther King Day of Service
Coordinated by the Office of Community Service, this annual event gets students and staff out in the community giving back in a variety of ways.  Don't miss the opportunity to celebrate the life of a great leader and be civically engaged in the surrounding community.

University Ball
Join faculty, staff and students at this semi formal event in our very own Cavalla Room!  This young tradition with great potential has dinner and dancing and is a great way to spend your Saturday when it's cold outside!

University Day, Lawrenceville
On April 13, 1994, Rider College received University status by the State of New Jersey. Each year on the Thursday closest to April 13, the Rider community comes together to celebrate. Throughout the day, activities are planned to showcase the successes of Rider students, staff, and faculty. A campus wide party and the presentation of the Nancy Gray Award, an award to recognize a member of the faculty, staff or administration that embodies the principles of campus leadership, school spirit, and community service completes the day's activities. 

Greek Week, Lawrenceville
Greek Week is an annual tradition comprised of sporting events, performances judged by University staff members, community service events, and educational programs that takes place during the month of April. The environment created by Greek Week allows the community to grow closer together and puts Greek Life in the spotlight of Rider University.

Senior Ball, Lawrenceville
The senior class holds a formal dinner/dance about two weeks before the end of the spring semester. Seniors scheduled to graduate that semester or the following summer may attend and bring a date to this off campus event. It is a great way to allow students to say goodbye and celebrate their successes.

On the first Tuesday of every May, during spring finals, students are invited to participate in a large, end of the year non alcoholic party. T-shirts are distributed, and students are entertained with live music and free food. Prizes include Sony Playstations, TVs, VCRs, and other large and small ticket items, which are raffled off every half-hour all night long. The students are entertained with a variety of activities, like tarot card readers, button makers, video games (with alcohol education messages), and "make your own music video." The evening provides much needed relief from Finals Week. 

Spring Fling, Princeton
Spring Fling is an annual end of the year event that occurs in April or May. Taking place on the Great Plains of the Princeton Campus, this event traditionally offers food, music, and inflatable rides. Many student organizations also contribute booths like sand art, tie-dying, and pot your own plant. Special events in the past have included a hypnotist, a caricature artist, and a henna tattoo artist.



Bronc Buffets
There are usually four Bronc Buffets held each semester. These events were designed to provide alcohol free Friday night activities for students to participate in. Student clubs and organizations may request to host a Bronc Buffet and do so on a first come first serve basis. They generally have a theme, games, prizes and giveaways and of course, lots of food! They are held Friday’s from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am in Daly Dining Hall.

Bronc Bingo
A new Rider phenomenon that is held about three times per semester on Friday nights. Bronc Bingo can see up to 300 student participants and is growing in popularity. Students play to win prizes and enjoy this mellow weekend activity starting at 10 pm in the Daly Dining Hall.