I read with great interest your editorial regarding inauguration in the Feb. 10 issue of The Rider News. As the chair of the Inauguration Committee, I felt compelled to respond and offer greater detail and context to the program being planned.
Higher education is replete with century-old traditions that remain important in current day academic and campus culture. Inauguration is a public opportunity to commemorate our rich history, highlight current success and express hopes for the future. It is an occasion to invite our peer institutions, community partners, elected officials, alumni, family and friends to join our campus community in celebrating the best of Rider University.
The installation ceremony, which is the formal ceremony that officially recognizes a new president taking office, has symbolized the pursuit of knowledge since medieval times. Inauguration, referring to the entire celebration, is an important tradition in higher education that marks a landmark in an institution’s history.
In 150 years, Rider University has welcomed a new president only seven times. Just seven times! That is quite extraordinary and another reason to celebrate how special Rider is.
The Inauguration Committee is working hard to create a ceremony that incorporates academic tradition and provides an appropriate setting for President Dell’Omo to share his vision for Rider’s future.President Dell’Omo is also committed to assuring that all facets of our student body are included, and celebrated, during the ceremony. So you can expect to see student ambassadors welcoming guests on the day of the ceremony, military students leading the procession with a color guard, performances by our Westminster Choir College and College of the Arts students and remarks presented by student government leaders.
President Dell’Omo has made it clear that his goal for the inauguration is to celebrate and showcase Rider excellence. To that end, we have planned a week of events that highlight student and faculty academic, performing arts, athletic and service excellence. Some of these are long-standing events including Relay for Life, the Dominick A. Iorio faculty research presentation and University Day. Adding these to a calendar of already scheduled athletic competitions, faculty and choir performances and guest speakers, we have developed a week-long celebration by coordinating efforts, resources and existing budgets.
We plan to have some fun too. By partnering with the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) and the Office of Campus Life, we are planning Rider Rock Fest – an entertainment-packed evening including live music, food and a bonfire on the Campus Green. We understand the importance of strengthening Rider pride, and hope that Rider Rock Fest is the start of a new campus tradition that everyone can enjoy.
At a time when we all need to come together as the proud university community I know we are, I encourage you to attend the installation ceremony and Rider Rock Fest on April 8, and one or more of the events taking place during Inauguration week. Become engaged and supportive of all that Rider has to offer.
More information about inauguration events can be found at www.rider.edu/inauguration. We welcome student input in the planning process, and are looking for student volunteers to serve as greeters for the Installation Ceremony. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Bev Braddock, ’87, ’13
Special Events and Projects Manager
Inauguration Committee Chair
Printed in the 02/17/16 issue.