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So [Shove Chapel] is a joyful space, a space of artistic challenge, and space of mourning all at the same time. These layers of signification make it most of all a ritual space. It calls us to think behind the surfaces of the times at which we gather here both to those moments' transcendent meaning and to the character of our community.
                                                                      Prof. Carol Neel, Baccalaureate Address 2013

Baccalaureate is a centuries-old graduation tradition that is held in Shove Chapel at Colorado College during Commencement Weekend. The theme of the address is broadly conceived and may address ethical or religious topics. Past speakers have used the Baccalaureate address as an opportunity to explore varied perspectives on the human condition and spirit. The baccalaureate ceremony offers a quiet, intimate opportunity to pause and reflect on the rite of passage that is graduation, hear faculty members offer advice to the graduating class, and enjoy students'  talents.

The 2015 Baccalaureate service will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 3 p.m.

Due to limited seating, each graduating student will receive two tickets for family members when they pick up their cap and gown. Additional guests are invited to watch the ceremony on a live feed in Armstrong Theatre or online via live-stream.

Baccalaureate Blessings

Baccalaureate Blessings are a special part of the graduation tradition for Colorado College students. Each year in late March, parents and families of graduating seniors are mailed an invitation to participate in creating Baccalaureate Blessings cards for their student. Each card hangs throughout commencement weekend in the west entrance of Shove Chapel, displaying words of celebration for graduating seniors. Together, these cards form a communal blessing, sharing both individual and collective love, blessing, and hope for the graduates as they journey forth from Colorado College. The photographs to the left are a few examples of the many we have received since beginning this program. If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Chaplains' Office.

Baccalaureate Addresses

Kristi Erdal 2014Professor Kristi Erdal was the featured speaker for the May 2014 Baccalaureate service.

Professor Erdal began teaching at Colorado College in 1995. As a clinical psychologist in the Psychology Department, Kristi teaches courses that address issues in mental illness, head injury, and sport psychology, as well as research methodology and statistics and the evaluation of controversial treatments in clinical psychology. One student nominator wrote, “Kristi has this fantastic talent of being blunt and brutally honest without being offensive.”

As a scholar, Kristi is dedicated to bringing methodological rigor and experimentation to several research avenues including cross-cultural issues in depression, sport-related concussion, the malingering of head injury, and depression and anxiety in Parkinson’s disease. However, she is most proud when she is the co-author to her students’ research ideas such as in placebo sleep, sport superstition, and PTSD in Africa and Croatia.

Professor Erdal obtained her A.B. in psychology at Brown University, and completed both her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Arizona State University.

Professor Erdal’s Baccalaureate Address is entitled, “Losing My Religion.”

Previous Addresses

2013     Carol Neel, History

2012     Matthew Bakker, Sociology

2011     Miro Kummel, Environmental Science

2010     Tomi-Ann Roberts, Psychology

2009     Jonathan Lee, Philosophy

2008     David Weddle, Religion

2007     John Riker, Philosophy

2006     Sam Williams, Religion