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 represented within the ORL by over 30 organizations of Stanford Associated Religions (SAR).
Ibtihaj Muhammad, an activist and entrepreneur whose participation in the Olympics provided her a platform to give voice to marginalized communities and encourage resiliency in the face of challenges, will speak at Stanford’s 2019 Baccalaureate. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, Muhammad became the first Muslim to wear a hijab while competing for the United States and won a bronze medal with the women’s sabre team. Away from fencing, which focuses on the individual, she has turned a spotlight on communities and the importance of breaking barriers and building bridges. She graduated from Duke University with a dual major in international relations and African studies and, in 2016, was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.
Since 2005, the Office for Religious Life has hosted a student speaker contest, where a graduating senior offers his/her reflections into their own spiritual journey during their time at Stanford, including hopes and dreams for the future for the entire class.
This year's speaker is Edan Armas. Edan was raised in the suburban town of Roselle, Illinois alongside three siblings and a pair of adorable goats. He is a Human Biology major and has been involved in Spoken Word Collective, where he was a finalist in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational poetry slam. After graduation, Edan will be traveling to various locations around the world researching the nature of a meaningful life. He enjoys conversations on consciousness, performing poetry, and chamomile tea.
Past winners and available texts can be found at the Office for Religious Life.
The Baccalaureate ceremony will be broadcast live on Stanford's radio station KZSU FM 90.1 and on kzsu.stanford.edu.
General Event Information
For the comfort of families and guests: The following suggestions may make Baccalaureate more enjoyable.
- Dress for the heat; light clothing is advisable.
- Hats, visors, and sun block are highly recommended.
- Limited water refill stations will be available but you may wish to bring your own water as well.
- Umbrellas will not be permitted, as they block the view of other guests.
- Smoking is prohibited in outdoor spaces holding events during the weekend.
The Oval, located at the end of Palm Drive is reserved exclusively for disabled parking. Guests displaying any state-issued or temporary disability parking permit may park in the Oval. Individuals with mobility limitations can be dropped off at the top of Oval (near Serra Mall). Benches are available nearby.
The Main Quad is accessible via a ramp located to the right of the stairs at the front entrance on Serra Mall. Additional entrances are also accessible via Lasuen Mall and Lomita Mall.
Beginning at 9:00 a.m., a golf cart shuttle service will be stationed at the top of the Oval to transport guests needing assistance into the Main Quadrangle. Golf carts will provide return service to the top of the Oval immediately following Baccalaureate. No advanced registration is required for this service.
Seating is outside and will be in direct sunlight. There are a few sections with umbrellas for guests needing shaded seating options. Wheelchair seating will be reserved in a variety of locations. Additional seats will be reserved next to wheelchair seating so families can sit together. All seating is first come, first served.