Springfield, Ohio — Wittenberg University’s 166th Commencement exercises will take place Saturday, May 14, in picturesque Commencement Hollow, where members of the university community will celebrate scholarship with 357 degree candidates slated to cross the stage.
Before Wittenberg celebrates Commencement, the Class of 2016 will hold its Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 13. Pre-service music will begin at 2 p.m., with the ceremony starting at 2:15 p.m.
The Baccalaureate service, planned by members of the senior class, is an academic and religious tradition that celebrates the upcoming commencement festivities surrounding graduating students. It is a time to reflect on seniors’ time at Wittenberg and to look to faith as they begin the next step in their journey.
Special music is to be performed by students in various musical groups and ensembles. Members of the senior class will provide reflections on their time here at Wittenberg.
In the spirit of Wittenberg’s mission to reflect its Lutheran heritage, the service’s offerings will be divided evenly among three causes: Second Harvest Food Bank (www.wittenberg.edu/news/2016/Empty-Bowls), introduced by Ben Brown ’16; Lesotho Nutrition Initiative (www.wittenberg.edu/news/2015/Peace-Corps), introduced by Isaac Cason ’16; and Clark County Fuller Center for Housing (www.wittenberg.edu/news/2016/spring-break-service), introduced by Chris McCoy ’16.
For Commencement exercises, the Myers Hall bell will toll multiple times Saturday morning to notify the campus that the ceremony will be held in its intended outdoor location at the scheduled time of 11:30 a.m. If the bell does not ring, that will be a signal that the ceremony will take place in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, with doors scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Guests should be seated at either venue no later than 11 a.m. as doors will close promptly at 11:15 a.m. for the academic procession.
Guests without tickets are welcomed and encouraged to view the indoor ceremony via a video broadcast transmitted to classrooms throughout Hollenbeck Hall. That broadcast will be available off campus as well. Click this link to watch the ceremony live online.
Special parking and seating have been arranged for physically disabled guests. For Commencement exercises held outdoors, physically disabled guests may enter campus before 10 a.m. through the drive on North Plum Street. A Wittenberg security officer will be at the driveway entrance to give instructions for parking and seating. In the event the exercises are held indoors, guests who are physically disabled may be dropped off in front of the HPER Center. Because of limited space in the HPER Center, seating is at a premium, so disabled guests may be seated with only one friend or family member.
The 2016 Commencement speaker is chief executive officer for the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) in Washington, D.C., Wylecia Wiggs Harris, Wittenberg University class of 1982. She is excited to be returning to her alma mater to speak about her new endeavor. Harris will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the ceremony.
Harris has 30 years of experience in organizational development, having served as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief of staff for a variety of organizations including the American Nurses Association, American Heart Association, and Sister to Sister – Everyone Has a Heart Foundation, a national organization supporting women’s health issues and heart disease education, Harris jumped at the chance to lead the LWVUS.
Harris is one of three individuals receiving honors during Wittenberg’s 2016 Commencement Exercises. Kenneth Cukier, class of 1991, will also be presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the ceremony. Susan Hirt Hagen, a 1957 graduate and former board member will be awarded the Wittenberg Medal of Honor, posthumously. Her husband, Mr. Thomas B. Hagen, and daughter, Ms. Sarah Hagen McWilliams, will be accepting the award on her behalf.
For more Commencement information, visit www.wittenberg.edu/administration/commencement.html