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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.

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 Chaplain's Office.

Baccalaureate Addresses

Jane Hilbery, Nancy Bryson and C. William Schlosser Professor in the Arts, has agreed to give the Baccalaureate address.

One of her greatest pleasures as a teacher lies in connecting students with their own sources of imagination and creativity. Studying how creativity works, doing my own creative work, and fostering creativity in others is the foundation of my professional life. She came to CC with a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance literature and an M.A. in Creative Writing-Poetry, and she now teachs mainly Creative Writing and poetry classes, with the occasional Shakespeare course thrown in. Jane recently co-developed and co-taught, with Kathy Giuffre in the Sociology Department, a course called Creativity:  Theory and Practice, which involves students directly in creative experiments, including community projects such as building an outdoor classroom at the Colorado Springs alternative high school, Community Prep. 

Jane serves on the Creative Faculty at the Banff Centre’s Leadership Development program in Canada and on the national Association for Managers of Innovation Institute Planning Committee, as an outgrowth of my work teaching arts-based leadership development in organizational contexts. This interest outside the college is now integrating nicely with her work here, as the college initiates an Innovation Institute on campus.

Previous Addresses

2018     Elizabeth Coggins, Political Science

2017     Manya Whitaker, Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies Program

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