Baccalaureate offers seniors option to celebrate graduation in smaller ceremony

Jessica Jost

Photo by Muhammad Al-Rawi
Traditionally, Baccalaureate is a celebration which honors the graduating senior class at a high school or college.
RBHS follows this tradition with one small spin: students who cannot make it to the official graduation May 19 will walk across the stage May 16 at the Baccalaureate service.
“Because graduation is in May and not June, sports have been affected like track, baseball and soccer,” RBHS principal Mark Maus said. “Baccalaureate is an opportunity for those who can’t make it to graduation to walk and we have a little ceremony for those students.”
In addition to honoring the students who won’t make it to graduation, Baccalaureate also honors the senior class a whole.
“Our tradition has been that the speakers and performers [at Baccalaureate] are all from Rock Bridge,” Activities Director David Bones said. “A committee of seniors selects two seniors to speak and also decide who will perform.”
For the students such as senior Sami Garrett who will potentially be four hours away on May 19, the prospect of not attending the official ceremony at the Mizzou Arena is not a major disappointment.
 “I’m walking at Baccalaureate because hopefully if I make it through districts for track, I will be in West Plains during graduation. It’s four hours away and my last event would be at 4 p.m., so there is no way I could make it back in time [for graduation],” Garrett said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal that I won’t be at the official graduation ceremony, I’ll still graduate either way.”
By: Jessica Jost