Next week, the Kalamazoo College Baccalaureate Committee will hold its first meeting. The Baccalaureate Committee is dedicated to organizing the Baccalaureate service for this year’s seniors.
Baccalaureate is a tradition that goes back to medieval times. Elizabeth Candido, the College Chaplain, Director of Religious Services and the leader of the committee, said, “The hope [of the service] was to imbue graduates with wisdom and purpose as they headed into the world. Here at Kalamazoo College we seek no less. As we send our graduates into the world we hope that the ethics of stewardship, responsibility, and intellectual rigor that they have learned here at K will carry them far into the future.”
The committee focuses mainly on encouraging the student body to write and submit speeches anonymously for the Baccalaureate service and Commencement day. To do this, they form a subcommittee that is led by the Student Dean, Candido, and Kate Yancho, the Assistant Director of Student Involvement. This subcommittee selects speeches for both the Baccalaureate service and the Commencement day.
The committee also chooses musical acts or other student organizations that will be featured in the service, which typically is on the Saturday evening before Sunday morning when the graduation ceremony is held.
All of the speeches and musical acts are built around the theme of the college motto, Lux Esto, or light bringing.
Before the Baccalaureate Committee formed the service, a senior graduate committee planned the service, which was run by Kate Yancho. For the last two years, however, the committee has been disbanded.
“Frankly, I think that’s a good thing,” Candido said. “The event isn’t like… other senior events and it takes a committed core of planners who understand how to put on a meaningful service for the whole class.”
While Yancho still helps with the speech selection process, she said. “I help with the speech selection process [but Candido] is the mastermind!”
To join the Baccalaureate Committee, seniors are encouraged to email Candido.
“It is not a very selective process,” she continued. “Students that want to join are usually very dedicated to the committee.”
The first Baccalaureate meeting will take place Monday, January 25 at 4PM. Candido asks that students email RSVP’s before attending the meeting.