For more than 1,100 graduates of Rider, commencement marks end of one challenge, start of another

More than 1,100 students earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Rider University this past weekend.

University President Gregory Dell’Omo reminded them they will take away more than just a diploma from the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

“The knowledge, skills, experiences and relationships you have developed at Rider are lifetime assets,” he said. “They will help you manage the opportunities and challenges you encounter and offer you the confidence to lead creative, responsible and gainfully employed lives.”

This year’s class is unlike any other — as it entered college in the midst of a pandemic that likely canceled their high school graduation.

Arcia Stokes, who represented the graduate students, reminded the graduate crowd to be uplifting toward their colleagues.

“As a Black woman, I carry with me the legacy of those who paved the way before me, and I am conscious of the responsibility to continue opening doors for those who will follow,” Stokes said. “As we move forward, let us continue to uplift and inspire one another.”

Rider’s Class of 2024 comes from many demographics and locations:

  • Graduates come from 27 states and two U.S. territories;
  • Among the graduate students, 30% received their undergraduate degree from Rider;
  • 75% of graduates are New Jersey residents;
  • Around 4% of the class consists of international students across 20 different countries;
  • Around 39% of graduates are underrepresented communities.