Class of 2020 Commencement
This website outlines the new commencement plans for the Class of 2020. Please watch this webpage and your rider.edu email address for updates.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Commencement is always a proud day for students and families as we celebrate the achievements of our bachelor, master and doctoral degree graduates. Now more than ever, this symbolic occasion of graduation is important to the entire Rider community.
The Class of 2020 graduate and undergraduate degree Commencement ceremonies will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, May 16. The in-person ceremony length is approximately one hour and will include a student processional, national anthem, remarks from the President and the presentation of graduates (names will be read aloud and students will cross the stage and have professional photos taken).
Commencement will be held in compliance with state and institutional health and safety guidelines regarding capacity, masks, social distancing, and sanitation. The in-person commencement ceremonies are planned with the assumption that we can return to large in-person gatherings by spring 2021. To meet gathering guidelines, the University will offer multiple ceremonies. Graduates will be assigned a ceremony time based on their degree and college/school.
The in-person Commencement ceremony schedule will be announced on May 1. Graduates who pre-registered by the April 2 deadline will receive email notification of their assigned ceremony date and time.
Commencement is a ticketed event, and only guests with tickets will be permitted on campus. Graduates do not require a ticket and each graduate will receive 2 guest tickets. There are no extra tickets.
There will also be a virtual component to the celebration. All ceremonies will be livestreamed, and remarks from the President, Provost and student speakers can be viewed at rider.edu/commencement on May 15 and 16 along with submitted photos of graduates.
Only students who have fulfilled graduation requirements in December 2019, January 2020, May 2020 and August 2020 can walk in the May 2021 Commencement Class of 2020 ceremony. December 2020 graduates should plan to walk in the May 2021 Commencement Class of 2021 ceremony.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Your diploma was mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2019, January 2020, May 2020, or August 2020). If you have not received it, or you would like a copy of your transcript, please contact the Registrar's Office.
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 academic year. 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
You have three options to pick up your academic attire:
Attend the Senior SendOff event on Thursday, April 22, noon to 7 p.m. in the University Bookstore.
Distribution will continue from the University Bookstore during their regular operating hours April 23 - May 13.
You also have the option to pay a flat rate fee of $7.50 to have your cap and gown shipped to you. Email [email protected] with the following information:
- In the subject line put "Regalia Ship for (insert graduate's name)"
- Include in the email graduate’s name, shipping address and a phone number that the bookstore staff can reach you at.
- If you did not pre-order attire include your height and weight for gown sizing, and your degree and college.
- DO NOT EMAIL CREDIT CARD INFORMATION. A member of the bookstore staff will call you for payment information.
- Once payment has been processed, the bookstore will email you a confirmation with your tracking number. Please save that number for your records.
- Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.
- Any requests to ship AFTER May 5th cannot be guaranteed for delivery before graduation weekend.
If you did not pre-order your cap and gown before the March 19 deadline, academic attire will still be provided to you via the distribution methods listed.
Guest Seating and Tickets
Each graduate will receive two guest tickets. Guests will be seated individually or in pairs, six feet apart from other guests. Ticket information will be emailed to graduates who RSVP they will participate in the in-person ceremony. No additional tickets will be provided due to state-mandated event capacity limits. No walk-in guests will be permitted.
For those not attending the ceremony, Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement.
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.
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement Day from Commencement Flowers. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the ceremony location. It is recommended that you pre-order through the Commencement Flowers website.
Celebrate the Class of 2020!
View a highlight video and congratulatory remarks.