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Cynthia Schultz
IU Alumni Association

Last modified: Thursday, April 27, 2006

IU Bloomington to hold baccalaureate service on May 5

April 27, 2006

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 5.

All members of the Class of 2006 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. Admission to both events is free, and no registration is required.

"Baccalaureate is an opportunity for graduates and their parents to pause, reflect and give thanks for academic efforts and achievements at the end of this very special stage of their lives," said Ken Beckley, president and chief executive officer of the IU Alumni Association.

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 166 years.

In 2002, a campus-wide 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.

Beckley will deliver this year's baccalaureate message, entitled "Serving the World with Goodness."

IU Bloomington's commencement ceremonies will be held on May 6 at Assembly Hall, 1001 E. 17th St. The morning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and the afternoon ceremony at 3 p.m.

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.

The IU Alumni Association serves the university and its more than 481,000 living graduates worldwide -- including more than 240,000 in Indiana -- through programs, services and communications. One of the nation's largest alumni organizations, the IUAA strives daily to connect alumni and serve IU. For more information, visit or call 800-824-3044.