Skip to content Skip to navigation

Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate ceremony crowd
June 13, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Limited seating; no tickets required

A bookend to students' Opening Convocation held four years earlier, Baccalaureate at Stanford is a multifaith celebratory gathering for graduating seniors, graduate students, and professional students, as well as their families and friends. It is a student-led commemoration acknowledging the spiritual contribution to the education of the whole person, organized under the auspices of the Office for Religious Life (ORL). In addition to lively music from culturally diverse backgrounds, the program includes readings from different communities and perspectives which represent the wide range of religious traditions are represented within the ORL by over 30 organizations of Stanford Associated Religions (SAR).

Baccalaureate Keynote Speaker

The Baccalaureate Keynote speaker will be Vernon E. Jordan Jr. A leading figure in the civil rights movement and a former director of the United Negro College Fund who fought to abolish racial discrimination in college admission policies, he is a longstanding member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"Vernon Jordan will speak to very relevant issues that have captured the interest of many people on campus, including our class members," the class presidents said. "We hope that together, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Engel will offer a number of insights about taking risks, finding one's own path in life and creating a unique place in the world.

Early in his career, Jordan worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was president of the National Urban League from 1971 to 1981. An attorney, Jordan served as a political adviser to his friend President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s. In 2006, Jordan became a member of the Iraq Study Group, advising on U.S. policy in Iraq. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Bilderberg Group of American and European political leaders.

Since 2000, Jordan has been senior managing director of Lazard Freres and Co. LLC, an investment banking firm. He has served on the boards of numerous corporations, including Revlon, Corning, Xerox and Nabisco, and has remained active in politics and social justice issues. A collection of his public speeches, Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out, was published in 2008. In 2001, Jordan was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP for lifetime achievement.

Baccalaureate Student Speaker

To be announced in Spring 2015.

Past winners and available texts or videos can be found at the Office of Religious Life.