Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University

BW welcomes 355 undergraduate and graduate students into the alumni family.

BW Celebrates Fall 2017 Commencement

December 10, 2017

On a Commencement Day steeped in tradition, pride and joy, Baldwin Wallace University celebrated the achievements of 355 undergraduate and graduate students who marked the momentous milestone of college graduation on Saturday, December 9. 

During the main 2 p.m. ceremony, filled with academic customs from the first, clear notes of a trumpet fanfare to the final, regalia-draped recessional, each graduate was called by name to walk the stage in the in the Lou Higgins Center's Ursprung Gymnasium as friends and family cheered and BW President Robert C. Helmer offered personal congratulations. 

Words to inspire

Fall 2017 commencement speaker Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual CEOGraduates and the assembled crowd also heard inspiring words from commencement speaker Rick Chiricosta, who serves as the chairman, president and CEO for Medical Mutual of Ohio – the oldest and largest health insurance company based in the state. 

Chiricosta recalled his own emotions when he donned cap and gown to become the first in his family to graduate from college: "excited, curious, hopeful and scared all at the same time." While he has enjoyed success in life and career since then, he urged each graduate to seek contentment as they build their own "extraordinary life."

After his commencement address, BW conferred an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree on Chiricosta, who is active in the community as chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership and on the boards of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Kidney Foundation of Ohio. 

High Achievers Recognized

Happy graduates at the Baldwin Wallace University Fall 2017 CommencementThe ceremony included special recognition for high-achieving undergraduates who earned their degrees with honors: 12 earned summa cum laude recognition with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher; 21 graduated magna cum laude with at least a 3.75 GPA, while another 24 earned cum laude honors with at least a 3.60 GPA. Students in the elite Dayton C. Miller Honor Society (the top 4% of all BW graduates) and the Honors Program were also applauded.

The senior class president added distinctively colored, teal and coral ribbons to the "ring of ribbons," as part of a longstanding custom that ties BW grads together from generation to generation and includes the colors of every graduating class since 1915. Graduates in the Class of 2017 take their places among thousands of BW graduates or "Yellow Jackets for Life" (YJ4L) who have come before them since the school's founding in 1845.

Commencement Day traditions

Before the "main event," commencement day began with the traditional Baccalaureate service in the Lindsay-Crossman Chapel with music and readings by students and faculty, and words on "Examining the Soul, Opening the Heart and Mind" by Dr. Ellen Poseman, professor of religion.

Baccalaureate was followed by the President’s Reception in the Strosacker Hall union ballroom, where all graduating seniors and their families, faculty and staff were invited to mix and mingle, snap photos and enjoy a mouthwatering array of heavy appetizers and desserts.

Boxcast Video Replay

TV graphic

WATCH the VIDEO >> of the 2017 Fall Commencement.

  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University
  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University
  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University
  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University
  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University
  • Fall 2017 Commencement at Baldwin Wallace University