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BW Celebrates Fall 2023 Commencement

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More than 230 undergraduate and graduate students celebrated the completion of their degrees as Baldwin Wallace University staged the 2023 Fall Commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. in Ursprung Gymnasium, Lou Higgins Recreation Center.

Before they took a jubilant walk across the stage to receive congratulations for the realization of a considerable goal, the graduates, along with the assembled family and friends, heard an inspiring commencement address by Dr. Peter J. Rea, who serves as vice president of integrity and ethics at Parker Hannifin Corporation.

Practicing timeless virtues

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"In a world that often feels out of control, what if we think about navigating uncertainty as an essential life skill by focusing on what we can control — our character, investing in relationships and our purpose," Rea suggested to the Class of 2023.

Rea spent 30 years at BW in a variety of roles, including chair of business, faculty member and division chair in business, the first Burton D. Morgan Chair for Entrepreneurial Studies and founding director of the Center for Innovation and Growth.

Rea is the co-author of several books that focus on character-based leadership rooted in the seven classical virtues of trust, compassion, courage, justice, wisdom, temperance and hope. He cited them in his speech to graduates as virtues that "cut across borders and have stood the test of time for at least 3,000 years." 

In emphasizing relationships, he offered, "When it comes to teamwork, how people treat each other is a better predictor of performance than who is on the team," and added, "Find a group of people who bring out the best in you and spend a lot of time with them. They will change you for the better."    

Cheering achievements

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The ceremony also included special recognition for high-achieving undergraduates who graduated in three categories of honors: 15 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 15 earned cum laude honors with at least a 3.60. Eleven students in the elite Dayton C. Miller Honor Society and Honors Program were also applauded.

Each jubilant graduate's name was called, and they walked the stage to the cheers of proud family and friends. With that and the traditional turn of their tassels, the grads solidified their place among thousands of BW alumni or "Yellow Jackets for Life."

Longstanding commencement customs added to the ceremony with the turning of the tassels from right to left, the singing of the alma mater and the Senior Class adding distinctive orange and white ribbons to the "ring of ribbons." The ring of ribbons ritual ties BW grads together from generation to generation and includes the colors of every graduating class since 1915.

Other graduation activities

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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 inspirational words by athletic trainer and associate professor Karyn Gentile.

The 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 appetizers and desserts.

Photos and Live Stream replay

WATCH VIDEO >>

Look for additional photos on BW's Instagram and Facebook pages.

  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023
  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023
  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023
  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023
  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023
  • Baldwin Wallace Commencement Fall 2023

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