Wittenberg Class of 2012 Plans Annual Baccalaureate Service
Springfield, Ohio – As Wittenberg University makes final preparations for its 167th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, the graduating Class of 2012 will observe its Baccalaureate service at 2:15 p.m. Friday, May 11, 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.
In planning the event, organizers reflected upon the tremendous amount of change over the last four years – in their own lives, at Wittenberg, and globally, including such landmark events as the first African American president, the Arab Spring and Wall Street protests. Not only does God go with the new graduates in their time of change and transition, but so too does Wittenberg, which has prepared them well and provided a foundation of learning and personal growth.
Speakers during the 2012 Baccalaureate service will stress the importance of relationships. Wittenberg is a place that develops the whole person, not only as individuals but also as compassionate and engaged members of a larger community.
Sam Bays, Vincent Harshaw, Sarah Watson, Hanna Franck-Larrson and Katharine Johnson will offer spiritual reflections on what Wittenberg has meant to them and God’s guidance at this stage in their lives.
An annual tradition includes lighting a memorial candle, in honor of loved ones who cannot be at graduation and in memory of loved ones who have died. It will be introduced by Andrew Dolvin, and the psalm will be read by Jaclynn Garry. Adam Paine will offer a brief memorial to former Wittenberg Choir Director and University Organist Donald Busarow, who passed away in October.
The planning committee also selects the beneficiaries of the offering at the Baccalaureate service, introduced by Melanie Muszelik. Half of the offering will go to Wittenberg scholarships and the other half will be given evenly to local and global organizations in which students have been significantly involved, including Clark County Habitat for Humanity, Springfield Promise Neighborhood, BLOOM Africa and Church World Service, an international and interdenominational development agency.
William Herrmann, Ellen Lundie, Katherine Touzinsky and Matthew Smith will offer prayers. Readers include Asley Zkaib, Ben Johnson, Rachel Lee, Michael Cooper and Laura Aylward. Tune will deliver the homily.
Special music during the service will include Wittenberg’s a cappella musical groups Just Eve and Wittmen Crew, in addition to two selections by senior members of the Wittenberg Choir and Wittenberg Singers. Pre-service music will feature a guitar solo by Tyler Hall, a cello solo by Olivia Guetle, and a flute duet by Julia Smith and Kathryn McNeal. Trumpeters Kali Lawrence, Lauren Cengel and Allison Conklin will accompany Professor of Music Emerita and University Organist Trudy Faber for the hymns.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erin Pence