By Paige Ewing
Students now have a place to warm up on cold winter days or chilly spring nights. On Feb. 11, Rider officially unveiled a new fire pit at Cranberry’s Patio.
Decked out with adirondack chairs and plugs for electronics, this new space hopes to be a place for students to join together. The fire pit offers heat that spreads to the surrounding chairs, allowing people to spend time outside even during the winter. Students can warm up any time of the day with the push of a button, turning the pit on.
Along with the fire pit festivities, alumni joined the celebration with the Broncs Of The Last Decade (BOLD) Program. The program helps raise donations for Rider University projects, but also forms a stronger connection between past and current Rider students.
While a handful of alumni gathered together and reminisced about their time at Rider, 107.7 The Bronc filled the patio with throwback hits like “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. As former students rocked outside, AJ the Bronc danced throughout the pub.
Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the event welcomed past students back and ran a raffle to win a back seat at the basketball game vs. Quinnipiac later that day. A few current students attended with about two dozen former students.
In the last hour of the event, a group of alumni joined together around the fire pit, and while taking selfies, commented on the new addition to the patio.
“I love it, I think we are making a step in the right direction,” said Jessica Vento, ’15. “I think that Rider is really trying to transform itself for the students to give more of a morale boost to the community.”
As more alumni joined together to take a group picture, more people commented about the fire pit and the benefits to having a new place to hang out.
“I think it’s a great update to campus. It gives you almost an outdoor campus center,” Mark McCoy, ’12, said. “It’s good for the community and it’s good for people to come together.”
After talking, eating and giving advice to current students, many of the recent graduates packed up to support the basketball team. Some of them instead ventured to other parts of the campus to appreciate new buildings and places on campus they enjoyed when they attended school here.
Overall, the event, despite its small size, embodied the community spirit Rider promotes, connecting the new and old members of the Rider family.
Originally printed in the 2/15/17 edition.