Goin’, goin’ graduation


Approximately 572 undergraduate students and 156 master’s degree recipients are graduating this spring.
Undergraduate and graduate students alike will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas at this year’s Spring Commencement, which will be held on Saturday, May 4.
In preparation for the ceremony, “students will practice lining up and get valuable information” at rehearsal on May 3, said Dan Karp, assistant vice president and director of University Relations.
The graduation celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. with the Baccalaureate Service in Gamble Auditorium.
“It’s a moment of reflection and worship for students of all faiths,” said Karp. “It provides an opportunity to give thanks for the day. There’s wonderful music and readings delivered by senior students. It’s pretty well attended.”
Following the Baccalaureate Service is the President’s Reception at 11 a.m. in the Strosacker Hall Ballroom.
“It’s open to all graduating students and their families. We really encourage everybody to attend. It has phenomenal food with heavy horderves.
BW President Bob Helmer will attend along with faculty and other leaders of the university, said Karp.
After the students, faculty, and families are done with the reception, they will head to the White Rose Ceremony at Strosacker Hall at 12 p.m.
“This is an old tradition of B.W.,” said Karp. “It is in honor of Philura Gould Baldwin. She was an active leader on campus in her time. It’s a memorial to her life.”
Philura Baldwin was the granddaughter of the John Baldwin and helped lay down the foundations of the BW library, said Karp.
“It honors a select number of graduating women of BW for their contributions to the community,” said Karp.
Finally, there is the Spring Commencement ceremony, which will take place at 2 p.m. in the Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center.
Spring Commencement usually has about 5,000 people, said Karp.
“It’s a big undertaking,” said Karp. “But it’s very well-orchestrated.”
The staff from different departments at Baldwin Wallace are in preparation for the ceremony.
“Commencement involves many areas on campus to pull it together,” said Karp. “We at University Relations handle a lot of the coordination of it. The Provost’s Office and the Registrar’s Office are the ones that actually provide the degrees. Building and Grounds will be building an entire stage and will be setting up thousands of chairs.”
Students will be able to purchase professional photos from Spring Commencement online.
“GradImages will provide professional photos,” said Karp. “After a student receives their degree, they will come down the ramp, go to one of the photo stations, and get a professional photo taken in the joy of the moment.”
In addition to the photos taken by GradImages, Baldwin Wallace will have its own team of people documenting the ceremony.
“We also have our own photographers and videographers who take candids,” said Karp.
The keynote speaker for commencement will be Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of MetroHealth. Boutros will be receiving an honorary degree.
Boutros will be celebrating an achievement obtained by Baldwin Wallace’s Public Health department. This year’s Spring Commencement will have Baldwin Wallace’s first graduating class with a Master’s in Public Health. The program was formed through a partnership with MetroHealth. All of the students graduating from the program are employees from MetroHealth, said Karp.
“He will be speaking about the health industry, which is so robust here in Northeast Ohio,” said Karp.
Students across campus who are not graduating also have the option of taking part in the celebration.
“There are plenty of opportunities for students to help out at the ceremony,” said Karp. “They can be ushers or helpers throughout the day.”
Students who want to help out with the ceremony can contact Baldwin Wallace’s fi