Baccalaureate Ceremony 2012 - A Celebration of the Spirit, Mind, and Body
May 12, 2012
Springfield College held its Baccalaureate ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 12, at Naismith Green on campus. Baccalaureate is an annual Springfield College tradition held on the day before Commencement to honor the graduating senior class. It is a student-led ceremony designed to celebrate the spirit, mind, and body.
Hundreds of graduates and their families attended this very memorable part of the Commencement weekend activities under sunny skies on the Naismith Green.
Richard B. Flynn, president of Springfield College, expressed his “sincere congratulations and profound appreciation for the many outstanding contributions” members of the Class of 2012 have made to the College.” Flynn added “Baccalaureate is one of our most enjoyable and meaningful traditions, especially to our Seniors. It is our chance to be together in a great setting located in the very heart of our campus on a beautiful day.”
Baccalaureate Speaker Michael P. Accordino, PhD, associate professor of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, gave the students a list of experiences and knowledge, many of which are unique to Springfield College, that they will take away with them including education, identity, the Humanics philosophy of Spirit, Mind, Body, and saying hello to everyone they meet on campus. He also predicted, in a reference to the college’s annual Humanics in Action Day where students, staff, and faculty, spend one day each fall to work on community service projects in the community, that the students still will “at the end of September or beginning of October each year, take the day off to go work in the community.” During his sometimes humorous, light-hearted speech, Accordino also offered words of advice. Including “Don’t rely on the government to take care of you, don’t lean into left hooks, and don’t be too wedded to your iPhone.” He concluded by encouraging the class to know what’s important in life, take risks, and never stop learning. A number of students participated in the program by performing dances, readings, and singing songs.
The ceremony began with an Invocation, delivered by Noah Pascal, a member of Springfield College Hillel. Sheila Garlington, from the School of Human Services, delivered the formal greeting. Laura Valliere, of the Pride Alliance and GSA, read from the work of Thomas Merton. The program included the administration of the U.S. Air Force oath of Office Ceremony for Matthew S. Kinahan. Adam Sickler and Kevin Vieser sang Bridge over Troubled Waters. Christopher LeSage, Sarah Morgan, Kathleen Kalmbach, Melissa Tavares, Tyler Hilbert, Heather Mitchell, Elizabeth Louie, and Noah Pascal shared “Twelve Memories,” a reflection on their time at Springfield College.”
The senior dancers, Megan Davis, Nicole DeBenedetto, Abbie-Jean Esbjerg, Regan Johnson, Marianne Joy, Alexa LaRusso, Amanda Lawrence, Nicole Reyen, and Milissa Tavares, performed “A Reflection in Dance.” Heather Mitchell and Sarah Morgan gave a spirited introduction to the Baccalaureate Speaker Dr. Accordino. Kyle Greeley, outgoing President of the Springfield College Fellowship of Christian Athletes led those assembled in the unison prayer, “Anam Cara.”
During the ceremony, Flynn acknowledged two senior campus leaders – class president Kate Kalmbach, and student trustee Tyler Hilbert – for their hard work and dedication to Springfield College. “I’ve had the pleasure of observing many student leaders in this Senior class, and had an opportunity to work closely with these two individuals. Like so many of you, they are hardworking and caring, and have represented the Class 2012 and the College with dignity, with integrity, and with grace.” Flynn also acknowledged Senior Class Officers and Senators Christopher LeSage, Sarah Morgan, Melissa Tavares, Heather Mitchell, Elizabeth Louie, and Noah Pascal, as well as the many other members of the Class of 2012 who have taken on leadership positions during their time at the College.
Flynn also talked about the changes the members of the class of 2012 have seen to campus during their time at the college. With construction and renovations of several buildings, the Class of 2012 witnessed and experienced more campus change than any other class in this College’s history and has benefitted from the academic and co-curricular program enhancements.
In closing Flynn stressed the importance of finding joy and meaning in one’s journey through life, and his hope that the students’ journey would be influenced by wise choices, balance, integrity, and their Springfield College education.