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6 Key Moments from Flagler’s First Baccalaureate

Dec 15, 2021

A new tradition is unfolding for Flagler College seniors. This year, graduating seniors enjoyed the first Baccalaureate ceremony, followed by a Senior Celebration. The Baccalaureate reception allowed seniors to celebrate their achievements with the professors and faculty members who aided in their success during their time at the college.

Keynote speaker Professor Sandra Gehring addresses the crowd at Baccalaureate.

Keynote speaker Professor Sandra Gehring addresses the crowd at Baccalaureate.

Here are the six key moments from Baccalaureate 2021.

#1 President Delaney's Well Wishes

Flagler College President John Delaney took the stage to deliver his congratulations and praise our seniors for their resilience and determination. From rewarding friendships to character-shaping challenges, President Delaney took a moment to acknowledge the once-in-a-lifetime experience provided at the college.

#2 Professor Sandra Gehring's Exceptional Keynote Speech

The senior class selected Professor Sandra Gehring, visiting lecturer, public speaking coordinator, to give the keynote speech at the reception. Professor Gehring, who shared she was honored to stand before the graduating class, gave a heartfelt and motivational speech infused with humor, wit, and encouragement. Professor Gehring opened her address by telling our seniors, "You are the future." Then, using her one-of-a-kind storytelling ability, she took the audience back in time to 2017, when the graduating class was wrapping up high school and just beginning their collegiate journey, and then 2020 to revisit the news stories that captured the nation. This journey back in time illustrated the point that the senior class had navigated a myriad of challenges – yet our Saints persevered and emerged kind, thoughtful, brave, and strong.

#3 The Charming Student Speakers

The Baccalaureate ceremony featured three talented and charismatic student speakers. Katelyn Zimmerman gave the invocation, Lindsey Williams recited an original poem that showcased the unique experience the class has shared at Flagler. Finally, Lauren Hembree closed out the reception with a benediction.

#4 A Captivating Choir Performance

Led by Kip Taisey, associate professor of musical theatre and music program director, all eyes were on the Flagler College Choir when they performed their rendition of "Rise Up" and the Alma Mater.

#5 Inspiring Closing Remarks by Dr. Woelfel

Dr. Craig Woelfel, interim dean of academic life, left the students with an inspiring anecdote and a poem about heading into the unknown. Dr. Woelfel encouraged students to embrace the dark, not fear it, as that's where change, possibility, and creativity can be found.

#6 The Senior Celebration

Students spilled into the dining hall to kickstart their weekend of celebration. There, they enjoyed a champagne toast and had the opportunity to take headshots for their LinkedIn profiles, write a postcard to their future self, and grab their first of many Flagler College Alumni t-shirts.

To hear the speeches and performances in full, or see more from Flagler's first Baccalaureate, click here to watch the live stream. Photos of the event can be viewed here.

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