Springfield College held its Baccalaureate ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 17, 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 graduate Joshua Schupack, who earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the College in 2009. “Class of 2014, it is a great honor and privilege to have a chance to speak with today,” said Schupack, who also earned a graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Springfield College in 2012. “Four years seems like a long time, but I am sure that it can feel like only yesterday that you all stood on Abbey Green screaming chants as loud as you can with the Class of 2011 leading you during New Student Orientation. In the time since then, it has been incredible to see you all grow into strong, conﬁdent, and successful leaders.”
Schupack currently is the sports and teen director for the YMCA of Greater Nashua and he went on to talk about the importance of relationship building, humility, and stressed the importance of individuals using the gifts and talents they possess when preparing to be a leader in service to humanity.
“There is a responsibility that comes with the gifts you all possess,” added Schupack. “You have all been given a privilege; to attend college and gain knowledge, information, and experiences that others can only dream about. I know there have been times that have been hard and required you to reach deep down inside you to overcome. Even with all of those times, the people and powers that you have acquired with the individuals who sit to your right and left are what make you a leader today.”
Honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s commencement speech at Springfield College, Schupack went on to quote King when stressing the importance of seizing a character defining moment when it presents itself.
“Dr. King asks us to not be asleep during a deﬁning moment of character, and I quote, ‘Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive and
insurgent forces of irrational emotionalism and social stagnation. And so we must help time, and realize that the time is always right to do right.’”
Schupack concluded with, “I can’t wait to see the work you all will do and the impact you leave on the world, because now the world is your campus, lead it in service.”
The Baccalaureate ceremony began with the invocation, delivered by Springfield College men’s soccer standout and sport management major Michael Fowler. Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper, who was participating in her first Baccalaureate ceremony as president, delivered the formal greeting.
Randy Fleming, member of the School of Human Services, introduced senior dancer, Mikaela Bradley, who performed a routine paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s commencement address at Springfield College. Bradley was assisted by senior singers Marisa Babb, Jillian Funk, Christina Jones, Danielle Krzemien, Keelin O’Connell, Andy Pham, and Ariel Zaleski.
Members of the 2014 class board Kevin MacBride and Elizabeth Sottile shared “A Reflection by the Class of 2014.”
The senior dancers, Mikaela Bradley, Sarah Perry, Kimberly Kruzel, Nicole Prucnal, and Marisa Babb performed “A Reflection in Dance.”
Iesha Bailey, outgoing member of the Springfield College Student Society for Bridging Diversity, led those assembled in the unison prayer, Anam Cara. Springfield College senior singers Marisa Babb, Jillian Funk, Christina Jones, Danielle Krzemien, Keelin O’Connell, Andy Pham, and Ariel Zaleski performed the musical piece, The Time of My Life.
At the conclusion of the event, outgoing Springfield College Student Government Association President Rebecca Jacobson delivered the benediction.