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Baccalaureate Ceremony

Taking place in Bovard Auditorium on Thursday, May 16, the university’s Baccalaureate Ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m. and runs about one hour. Baccalaureate is a non-denominational, inter-faith celebration open to all students and their guests.

The highlight of the 2013 ceremony will be an address by Krista Tippett, host of NPR's On Being. The participation of numerous university dignitaries, as well as the religious directors who work with our student groups adds luster to the occasion. The service itself features music and readings from a wide range of religious traditions, and concludes with a benediction over the graduating students.

There are no reservations necessary for the ceremony, but seating in Bovard Auditorium is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the 1,200 available seats always fill up quickly. Students do not need to wear regalia for the ceremony.


Baccalaureate Dinner

Baccalaureate is followed by a festive dinner for graduates and their families. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. This beautiful dinner hosts 1,200 students and families under an enormous canopy on Pardee Way.

The cost is $40.00 per person, which includes tax, gratuity, and wine or other beverage. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy, but tables will be seated in groups of ten (i.e. if you buy eleven tickets, we will have to split your party among two adjacent tables).

Cancellations may be made at any time, but we can only offer full refunds through April 12. Cancellations made between April 13 and April 26 will be given a 50% refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after April 26, 2013.


Baccalaureate Speaker

Krista Tippett is the host of NPR's On Being, a spacious conversation about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. The program began as an occasional series on Minnesota Public Radio in 1999, then became a monthly national program in September 2001, and launched as a weekly program in the summer of 2003.

Krista grew up in Oklahoma, the granddaughter of a Southern Baptist preacher. She studied history at Brown University and went to Bonn, West Germany in 1983 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study politics in Cold War Europe. In her 20s, she ended up in divided Berlin for most of the 1980s, first as The New York Times stringer and a freelance correspondent for Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune, the BBC and Die Zeit. She later became a special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.

Krista left Berlin in 1988, the year before the Wall fell. She lived in Spain, England and Scotland for a time, then pursued a Master's in Divinity from Yale. When she graduated in 1994, she saw a black hole where intelligent coverage of religion should be. As she conducted a far-flung oral history project for the Benedictines of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, she began to imagine radio conversations about the spiritual and intellectual content of faith that could open imaginations and enrich public life.

In 2007 Krista published her first book, Speaking of Faith. It is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology and the cumulative wisdom of her interviews these past years. Her 2010 book Einstein's God illustrates some of the important ways the radio program and her vision have continued to evolve.


Important Updates


Baccalaureate Dinner tickets will be available for purchase through this site beginning Monday, February 11, 2013.


Page last updated: Monday, February 11, 2013