Students, Guests Will Reflect and Commemorate in Student-Planned Event

May 28, 2015
Aerial image of Wellesley's Houghton Chapel

On Thursday, graduating seniors and their guests gather at Houghton Chapel for Baccalaureate celebration at 2PM, a special time of reflection and celebration before Commencement exercises the next day.

The Baccalaureate celebration is a beloved Wellesley tradition that stretches back over many generations of Wellesley women at the time of commencement. However, the celebration is unique to each graduating class. “Baccalaureate is the service prepared by the Seniors to commemorate their experience at Wellesley,” explained Annabel Beerel, interim dean of religious and spiritual life. “They prepare the service; decide on the theme, and greatly influence the shape of the ceremony.” Elements of the service might include readings, reflections, singing, dancing, even drumming: a truly original opportunity to celebrate the class of 2015.

“Seniors may invite family members to attend so that they too get the more personal feel of the senior's life on campus over the prior four years,” added Beerel. Each senior has a ticket for one guest; outside of the Chapel, the service is streamed to the televisions in the large white tent on the chapel lawn, where other family members and friends are invited to join.

Following the celebration, President H. Kim Bottomly hosts a reception for seniors, and later in the evening, there will be a special Baccalaureate concert at 8PM. Commencement exercises begin Friday at 10.30AM.