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BW celebrates a joyful Fall 2022 Commencement

Graduates were encouraged to find enduring joy and purpose as they put their education to work in their careers and lives.

With pomp, pageantry and Yellow Jacket joy, undergraduate and graduate students celebrated the completion of their degrees as Baldwin Wallace University staged the 2022 Fall Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. in the Lou Higgins Center.

Before they strode across the stage to receive congratulations, the graduates, along with assembled family and friends, heard an inspiring commencement address by Dr. Jodie Berg, the visionary, award-winning retired CEO of Vitamix, the Cleveland-based global manufacturer of high-performance blending equipment.

Owning the journey; yearning for purpose

BW Fall 2022 Commencement Speaker Dr. Jodi Berg

Berg encouraged the graduates to "go forth and live with joy," turning the word into an acronym for life. Differentiating joy from fleeting feelings of happiness, Berg shared "how to develop that enduring, type JOY in yourself." Berg explained that "'J' is for journey, 'O' is for owning your journey and 'Y' is for yearning for the higher purpose that guides your journey."

She shared that a life of joy does not mean a life without challenges and offered her own examples. "I suffered during these challenges, yet they have been instrumental and foundational in creating the perfectly imperfect, joyous powerhouse standing before you today."

For her exemplary career and service to Northeast Ohio, BW awarded Berg an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Celebrating student achievement

President Bob Helmer congratulates a Fall 2022 graduate

The fall 2022 graduates bring the total number of BW students who have earned a degree this year to more than 800 and include the youngest and oldest undergraduates ever to complete a degree.

The ceremony also included special recognition for high-achieving undergraduates who graduated in three categories of honors: 14 earned summa cum laude recognition with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher; 12 graduated magna cum laude with at least a 3.75, while another 20 earned cum laude honors with at least a 3.60. Students in the elite Dayton C. Miller Honor Society and Honors Program were also applauded.

As proud family and friends cheered, every grad walked the stage as their names were called and received personal congratulations, along with some hugs, from BW President Bob Helmer.

With the traditional turn of their tassels, the grads solidified their place among thousands of BW alumni or "Yellow Jackets for Life."

One more longstanding commencement custom embedded in the ceremony was the senior class adding distinctively colored ribbons to the "ring of ribbons." The ritual ties BW grads together from generation to generation and includes the colors of every graduating class since 1915.

Daylong Celebration

Fall 2022 Commencement

Prior to the "main event," BW commencement day began with the traditional Baccalaureate service in the Lindsay-Crossman Chapel. The gathering included music and readings by students and faculty and words by sociology professor Elizabeth Ross.

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 heavy appetizers and desserts.

Photos and video replay

Look for additional photos of Commencement Day on BW's Instagram, Facebook and Flickr pages.

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