What is Baccalaureate?

The origins of the Baccalaureate ceremony date back to a statute dated 1432 at Oxford University, which required each bachelor to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic exercise. Because the earliest universities in this country were founded primarily to educate ministers, the British practice of a Baccalaureate service continued. This event is often, but not necessarily, of a religious or faith-based nature. However from the earliest days, the intention of a Baccalaureate ceremony was based in oratory and served as a celebration which honored the graduates upon completion of their undergraduate academic career.

Hartwick’s Baccalaureate is exactly that. It is a celebration of our students through music and oratory. The Hartwick community gathers before Commencement to reflect upon the soon-to-be graduates’ careers on Oyaron Hill, and to wish them well in the world beyond. Three members of the senior class, who have been selected by their peers, present their reflections on their Hartwick experience. One faculty member, also chosen by the senior class, offers his or her parting words of wisdom.

Approximately 16 students are selected by the graduating seniors to participate in the oratorical competition. Those students then participate in a written and oral contest leading to the selection of three students who present their speeches at the Baccalaureate Celebration. The student speaker voted by Hartwick faculty and staff best of the three finalists at Baccalaureate is presented with the prestigious Abraham L. Kellogg Oratorical Prize the following day at the Commencement Ceremony.

Baccalaureate Celebration 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017 
5 p.m.
Lambros Arena, Binder Physical Education Center

Congratulations to the 2017 Abraham L. Kellogg Oratorical Prize Finalists

  • Jenny McInerney
  • Sierra Meads
  • Taylor Prusinowski

Congratulations to this year’s faculty speaker, Professor Theresa Turick-Gibson, Professor of Nursing.




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