Skip to main content area Skip to sub-navigation
Skip to main content


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 2017 Baccalaureate service will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Due to limited seating, each graduating student will receive two tickets on a first come first serve basis beginning on May 15th at the Worner Desk. Any student who does not get tickets for their family will be redirected to watch the ceremony on a live feed in Kathryn Mohrman Theatre. 

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

Manya Whitaker attended Dartmouth College, where she received her bachelor of arts in psychology before attending Vanderbilt University, where she earned her MS and PhD in developmental psychology. In addition to several articles and book chapters, she is the author of the recent book “Learning from the Inside-Out: Child Development and School Choice.” In nominations, students noted Professor Whitaker’s “thoughtful and potent ways of communicating with faculty, staff, and students” and “her dedication to CC.”

Previous Addresses

2016     Idris Goodwin, Theatre and Dance

2015     Michael Grace, Music

2014     Kristi Erdal, Psychology

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