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On Saturday, Dec. 12, BW celebrated the achievements of more than 170 undergraduate and graduate students who were urged to connect passion and career. 

BW Holds First Fall Commencement to Honor December 2015 Grads

December 12, 2015

bw-grad-hotter-previewBaldwin Wallace staged the University’s first-ever Fall Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 12, honoring more than 170 students who completed degree requirements during the fall semester. In the past, BW held formal commencement exercises once a year, over two days, in May, with a less formal “Ceremony of Completion” for December graduates unable to return in May.

Advice to Find Work That Ignites Passion

At Saturday’s joint graduate/undergraduate ceremony in Ursprung Gymnasium, commencement speaker David E. Gilbert, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC), Destination Cleveland and the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) Host Committee, urged the assembled graduates to have the courage to pursue work that they are passionate about.

bw-grad-gilbert-honor-preview“Think about what you love to do, what makes you happy, what gives you satisfaction, what makes you whole,” Gilbert advised the graduates. “If you enjoy what you do, you will tend to do it better and work harder.  That produces results, sets you apart from others, and will make you more successful. Certainly, doing what you love will allow enjoyment and fulfillment to follow.”

Honors and Recognition

After his address, Gilbert was presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

BW Provost Stephen Stahl recognized special honors in the graduating class, including Latin Honors, members of BW’s elite Dayton C. Miller Honor Society and the Honors Program.

BW President Robert C. Helmer personally congratulated each graduate as they walked the stage to mark this important milestone in front of family and friends.

Trumpets and Trappings, New and Old Traditions

bw-grad-wide-previewThe ceremony also incorporated new elements into the traditional commencement pomp and circumstance. Trumpets signaled the start of the processional and academic Deans carried large, new gonfalons (banners) featuring the colors of each academic discipline as they led faculty and students, dressed in their academic regalia, into the momentous ceremony.

Earlier in the day, graduates were also invited to mark their educational milestone at a traditional, nondenominational Baccalaureate Service at Lindsay-Crossman Chapel and at a President’s Reception where heavy hors d'oeuvres and selfies with President Helmer were the order of the day.

A replay of the ceremony is embedded below.