WILMINGTON — Wilmington College will present its 144th annual Commencement exclusively online as President Jim Reynolds confers 273 degrees Saturday, June 6 beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Also, the Baccalaureate ceremony will be held virtually the preceding evening (June 5) at 7 p.m.
Both programs will be accessible on the homepage of the College’s website at www.wilmington.edu and will be archived for future viewing over the next few weeks.
Reynolds will preside at his ninth and final Commencement as the College’s 18th president. He will present the keynote address after an introduction by graduating class member Kameron S. Rinehart, who served as Student Government Assn. president for 2019-20.
The president said he wishes the ceremonies could have been presented live in the usual setting where he could say, in person, “congratulations, thanks and goodbye.” He hopes each graduate finds something in his Commencement address that “connects” with them.
“I hope they see the emotion I have,” he added. “I want them to know how meaningful it is that Sue and I have gotten to known them and how much we care for them.”
Student speakers also include Brandon S. Ford, Jr., and Emma C. Marks, who will present the introduction and welcome, respectively. The College selected Vanessa Cheyann McKee and Warren Owens to represent the main campus and Cincinnati Branch in providing student remarks.
Handling the conferring of degrees will be Reynolds and Dr. Erika Goodwin, vice president for academic affairs and strategic initiatives/dean of the faculty, along with Registrar Sue Hutchens and Peggy J. Sturdivant, chair of the Board of Trustees.
The ceremony is Reynolds’ final official act before he leaves to become president July 1 at Millikin University in his hometown, Decatur, Ill. Goodwin, who will become interim president, will offer closing remarks at the ceremony.
Music will be presented by a brass quintet assembled by Stephen Wadsack, director of athletic bands and assistant professor of music. It will feature Wadsack’s arrangements of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from Symphony No. 9 and “Sonata” from Die Bankelsangerlieder, along with the “Wilmington College Alma Mater” sung by Gina Beck, a WC alumna and member of the music faculty. Other members of the quintet are Preston Light, Austin Motley, Emily Toth and Jenna Veverke.
Baccalaureate traditionally is a service at which graduating seniors join with the faculty, staff and administration for a time of reflection and gratitude.
Campus Minister Nancy McCormick will preside at the program featuring music by Dr. Brianna Matzke, assistant professor of music, and reflections from graduating seniors Alaunna Nelson, Lauren Grover, Brandon Ford Jr. and Tricia Seckel. Also, Reynolds will share a benediction.
A slideshow video with images ranging from that day in August 2016 when the class arrived at WC through this spring will conclude the program.