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Cynthia Schultz
IU Alumni Association

Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2007

IU Bloomington to hold baccalaureate service on May 4

April 23, 2007

Editors: This is a corrected version of a release that went out this morning.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Baccalaureate, a traditional celebration of academic achievement held the day before Commencement at Indiana University's Bloomington campus, will be observed in an interfaith ceremony on May 4.

All members of the Class of 2007 and their parents, family and friends are invited to attend the event, which will begin at 5 p.m. at the IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St. The 45-minute ceremony will follow the Graduation Send-Off at Bryan House, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Admission to both events is free, and no registration is required.

"The IU baccalaureate service is a very moving service that celebrates the diversity of the IU community," said Rabbi Susan Laikin Shifron, executive director of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center and a member of the baccalaureate committee. "It truly represents the wonderful and supportive interfaith community at IU. The service provides an opportunity for graduates and their families to mark this important milestone in their lives."

The word baccalaureate is steeped in academic tradition. In use since at least the eighth century, baccalaureate has come to refer not only to a degree that is awarded at commencement but also to a spiritual observance that celebrates achievement and aspiration. Records show that a baccalaureate celebration has been held at IU before commencement for at least 167 years.

In 2002, a campuswide committee restructured the traditional baccalaureate ceremony into an event that recognized the many faith traditions that are represented on the Bloomington campus. The resulting celebration draws from the teachings and practices of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. A 15-member university committee of campus chaplains, students, faculty, staff and representatives of the major faith traditions has met periodically throughout the year to organize the event. It will feature prayers from different faith traditions as well as times of meditation, music and celebration.

Patrick O'Meara, dean for international programs, will deliver this year's baccalaureate message.

Pay parking for baccalaureate is available at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., and at the Jordan Avenue parking garage, which is located north of Read Hall at 125 S. Jordan Ave., between Third and Seventh streets. Handicapped parking is available at the IU Auditorium.

IU Bloomington's commencement ceremonies will be held on May 5 at Assembly Hall, 1001 E. 17th St. The morning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and the afternoon ceremony at 3 p.m. For information about commencement and related events, visit

The IU Alumni Association is dedicated to serving the university and its diverse alumni, students and friends. As one of the nation's largest alumni organizations, serving more than 495,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, non-member alumni and the university. For information, visit or call 800-824-3044.