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Rocky Mountain College’s Baccalaureate celebration to be held May 1

BILLINGS, April 23, 2015 – Before RMC seniors receive their well-earned diploma at the commencement ceremony on May 2, 2015, there is one last traditional event that is held for RMC’s graduating class – Baccalaureate. This worship service is held every year on the Friday prior to commencement and provides graduates an opportunity to reflect and thank God for their academic achievements. 

“The Baccalaureate service can remind students that God is woven into the fabric of their lives, and their intellectual achievements are also emotional and spiritual achievements,” said Kim Woeste, RMC’s Chaplain/Director of Spiritual Life and Church Relations.

“At graduation, we acknowledge that something significant is happening and we need to celebrate,” added Woeste. “The Baccalaureate service adds an opportunity to pause and look inward before going out into the world.” 

Woeste explained that RMC offers an environment for students to develop a wide variety of relationships through various programs, service projects, and sporting events, which provide opportunities to think about diverse people, needs in the community, innovative ideas, beliefs, and values.

“Maybe they’ve learned to approach their friends, God, and the world in new ways,” said Woeste. “That is something we can celebrate. During Baccalaureate, we acknowledge and celebrate that not only has educational growth taken place, but we also acknowledge and celebrate the growth of body, heart, mind, and spirit.”

A Baccalaureate Committee, comprised primarily of students, assists Woeste in planning the ceremony, and is responsible for selecting a speaker, hymns, readings, and a theme. This year’s ceremony will include music by the RMC Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Brass Ensemble. There will also be various readings by RMC seniors. The theme of the ceremony is “Go as a River.” Woeste explained, “The river carries us forward into the future and we make choices along the way.”

The speaker for the evening will be RMC’s Professor of Theatre Arts Gerry Roe. Regarding his speech, Roe said, “It focuses upon the passions that we all discover in college, the nurturing of those passions, and the embracing of those passions that are the core of our lives.”

Along with this year’s graduates, Roe will also be saying goodbye to Rocky Mountain College, as he is retiring after 29 years of teaching and inspiring students at RMC.

Baccalaureate will be held at First Presbyterian Church (across Poly Drive from RMC, at 2420 13th Street West) on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m., with robing and lineup beginning at 7:00 p.m. All graduating seniors, friends, and families are encouraged to attend.