Many students and parents have questions about the baccalaureate service and the tradition behind the service. Historically, Baccalaureate is a service of worship that honors a graduating class. The service celebrates learning and typically includes a farewell sermon delivered to graduates, as well as readings, prayers, hymns, and special music. The baccalaureate service is believed to have originated at Oxford University in 1432. Until recent years, these services were common in most communities.
At Rocky Mountain College, the tradition of holding a baccalaureate service for graduates and their families is a reflection of our church-related history. Most students find it a meaningful component of the commencement weekend activities. While the service is grounded in Christian tradition, the student planning committee is careful to incorporate elements that make the service comfortable and interesting for persons from a variety of backgrounds. Typically, there are readings from diverse traditions. The choir performs, and graduates provide special musical selections. Often, a retiring faculty member is asked to speak. The service is offered in a formal setting but is typically festive and relaxed.