Wittenberg Class of 2011 Plans Annual Baccalaureate Service
Springfield, Ohio – As Wittenberg University makes final preparations for its 166th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14, the graduating Class of 2011 will observe its baccalaureate service at 2:15 p.m. Friday, May 13, in Weaver Chapel, with pre-service music starting at 2 p.m.
Planned in the Christian tradition, Matevia Endowed University Pastor Rachel Tune has coordinated the service with volunteers from the senior class, who have written prayers, selected scriptures, and will share music and reflections.
The theme for this year’s service is about the never-finished process of growth, using the verse from I Corinthians 13:12, “Now I know in part; then I will fully understand, even as I have been understood.” The planners commented on all the growth they experienced at Wittenberg from year to year, whether intellectual, emotional, social, physical or spiritual, while at the same time recognizing that it is a never-ending process throughout life.
The planning committee also selects the beneficiaries of the offering at the baccalaureate service, introduced this year by Rebecca Zajac from Livonia, Mich., and Kelsey Dinardo from Powell, Ohio, Because the Commencement speaker is LiveSTRONG President and CEO Doug Ulman, committee members decided to emphasize medical and healing ministries, both locally and internationally, in 2011 through Rocking Horse Center in Springfield, the American Cancer Society and Doctors without Borders.
Three seniors will offer spiritual reflections on what their growth at Wittenberg has meant for them. Jeremy Block from Pittsburgh, Pa., will speak about his college experience as an art major, football standout and student coordinator of the 2011 Empty Bowls event that benefits local food banks. Kate Holt from Hilliard, Ohio, will speak about her life on campus as a religion major, drummer for contemporary worship and an active member of multiple campus ministry organizations. Ben Fricke from Radis, Germany, will speak about his Wittenberg journey, including details about the impact of an alternative Spring Break trip to El Salvador. A prayer attributed to El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero will be printed on the back of the Baccalaureate bulletin.
Natasha Elliot, an English and religion major and recipient of a Fund for Theological Education undergraduate fellowship from Akron, Ohio, will read a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Tune will deliver the homily.
Sheila Herlihy from North Royalton, Ohio, Teresa Coda from Shady Grove, Pa., Zachary Stewart from Vincennes, Ind., and Rob Lehner from Westerville, Ohio, will offer prayers. Readers include Rachel Wigton from Worthington, Ohio, Kathryn Cammarn from Wadsworth, Ohio, Ryan Uhle from Rocky River, Ohio, and Nicole Williams from Park Forest, Ill. Katalin Beavers from Columbus, Ohio, designed the cover of the bulletin, which represents everything graduates have accomplished at Wittenberg, preparing them for a bright future.
Special music during the service will include Wittenberg’s a cappella musical groups Just Eve and Wittmen Crew, in addition to a performance by Wittenberg Choir members Sheila Herlihy from North Royalton, Ohio, Townley Smathers from Arlington, Va., and Samantha Kimm from Plain City, Ohio. Pre-service music will feature Jarred Sorauf playing the organ and a clarinet duet by Emily Buzzard from Westlake, Ohio, and Meghan Robinson from Lexington, Ky. Professor of Music and retired Wittenberg Choir Director Don Busarow will play the organ.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erin Pence