Baccalaureate Ceremony 2016 - A Celebration of the Spirit, Mind, and Body


Springfield College held its Baccalaureate ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 14, on Naismith Green on the main campus. Baccalaureate is an annual Springfield College tradition held on the day before the undergraduate commencement to honor the graduating senior class. It is a student-led ceremony designed to celebrate the spirit, mind, and body.  Hundreds of graduates and their families attended this very memorable part of the Commencement weekend activities.

Delivering the Baccalaureate address was Springfield College Director of Athletics Craig Poisson, who has spent the last 19 years in the classroom as a professor of physical education, teaching at the graduate level in athletic administration. Poisson reflected on the Class of 2016’s official song, “The Lucky Ones” by Brendan James.

“The opening line of that song focuses on being on the edge of the moment,” said Poisson, who learned of the class song during his meeting with the Class of 2016 Board leading up to Baccalaureate. “That opening line stuck with me, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I needed to research the genesis of that opening line and I was fortunate to reach out and hear back from Brendan James, and I explained how I was fixated on the opening line that was seemingly written for a Baccalaureate ceremony.”

It was during Poisson’s conversation with James that the songwriter explained the lyrics were written to highlight an idealistic view of the world, and it focused on living the dream, and most importantly, it was about entering a new phase of life.

“Following what James had to say during that phone conversation, no matter what your friends or parents do or say, find the things you do most naturally and find the people you feel most natural around, and you will be fine,” said Poisson. “So reflect on those times you felt just fine at Springfield College. Who were you with? What were you doing? Take that what you did at Springfield College with the people you felt most natural around and replicate it, and you will be fine.”

Poisson went on to add, “My research made it abundantly clear that a Baccalaureate ceremony is designed to be a brief event held in an intimate setting allowing the audience to stop and think on the rite of passage to soon be celebrated. Members of the Class of 2016, there is no doubt that tomorrow you will be on the edge of the moment. Embrace it, cherish it, and celebrate it. But allow me to suggest that life will inevitably bring you to the edge of other moments. And when it does, I contend that reflecting on your time on this campus will assist in your efforts to, as the saying goes, live well, laugh often, and love much.”

The Baccalaureate ceremony began with the invocation, delivered by Springfield College health science/pre-physical therapy major Veronica Cirrincione, followed by Yolanda Montgomery-Curtis leading the official greeting.

Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper delivered her presidential remarks to the Class of 2016 before introducing psychology major Johnathan Elliott, Ashley Glover, and English major Jasmine Jiles, who delivered the “Graduation Medley.”

Springfield College Pride Dance Team members Meghan Porter and Melanie Ryder performed a reflection in dance following the Class of 2016 Board’s own reflection of the last four years on campus led by Maggie O’Rourke, Eric Del Negro, Paige Moran, and Joseph Capossela.

Springfield College alumna Trankay Dukuray led those assembled in the unison prayer from Anam Cara by John O’Donohue, followed by the senior singers performing “107 Years Worth of Memories.”

At the conclusion of the event, 2016 Springfield College Class of ’57 Outstanding Senior Leadership Chair recipient and emergency medical services Mmnagement major Mohammed Rashwan delivered the benediction.