By Lauren Lavelle
As the crisp smell of hot chocolate drifted through the air and students jumped and took pictures on a large inflatable snow globe, the holidays offically arrived at Rider during the annual Celebration of Lights and lighting of the Moore Library on Nov. 18.
To kick off the night, several of Rider’s multicultural clubs took part in the Celebration of Lights, a beloved Rider tradition that celebrates the holiday customs of religions by having a representative from each organization explain their custom and then light a candle to represent unity.
First introduced in 1991, the first Celebration of Lights took place at the main entrance with only a handful of students in attendance.
“It helps us move toward a time of peace, love, justice and understanding through our holiday traditions,” said Assistant Dean of Campus and Community Engagement Richard Kopp.
The Unashamed Gospel Choir also made an appearance and performed its renditions of several classic holiday songs between presentations.
Next was the annual lighting of the Franklin Moore Library.
The Rider community gathered for food, fun and holiday cheer as several student organizations, including the dance club and team, Rider Vibes and the On Fire spoken word club, gave live performances.
There were also various craft and awareness tables for Relay for Life, Rider Serves and the Psychology Club to promote their organizations while also raising money for their causes.
To round out the night, Cranberry King and Queen were announced with senior public relations major Kevin Grunder landing the spot of king and senior English major Jacqueline Palmer taking on the role of queen.
Electronically picked by the Rider community, the titles of Cranberry King and Queen are bestowed upon worthy members of the senior class who have made an impact on campus and represent Rider’s core values.
Both students are honored to represent Rider and are grateful to the students, faculty and staff who voted for them.
“Winning Cranberry King was very special to me,” said Grunder. “It reinforces the love and pride I hold for the Rider University community. As my time here at Rider closes, I will always remember the opportunities, memories and lifelong relationships that I will keep with me forever. Cranberry King is a humbling testament to the amazing journey these past four years have been. A special thank you to the Rider community for this honor.”
“Cranberry Queen has been something that I have wanted since Freshman year,” added Palmer. “To me, Cranberry Queen is a representation of the core values that Rider upholds, and I myself strive to maintain these same values. Rider has given me so much and made me the person I am today. To be recognized for such an honor truly makes me so genuinely happy. I have so much Rider pride and I’m so happy to now represent it in such a fantastic way.”
Printed in the 11/30/16 edition.