President Bob Helmer congratulates graduates during Baldwin Wallace University's December 2020 "virtual conferring of degrees" ceremony."

Every graduate was recognized by name during two live-streamed ceremonies on Saturday, December 12.

Virtual Conferring of Degrees ceremony celebrates fall 2020 BW graduates

December 12, 2020

President Bob Helmer congratulates graduates during Baldwin Wallace University's December 2020 "virtual conferring of degrees" ceremony."While the fall edition of Baldwin Wallace University's 170th Commencement ceremonies is delayed until the BW community can safely gather at large, in-person events again, a virtual Conferring of Degrees ceremony honored the Class of 2020 on Saturday, December 12, with the name of every grad being read aloud.

In two ceremonies, BW conferred master's and bachelor's degrees to 302 students who are completing degree requirements in the fall semester during the challenge of a global pandemic. Like May graduates, the December Class of 2020 was encouraged to participate from home.

Noting that Ohio public health guidelines call for graduates to "celebrate safe and celebrate small," BW President Bob Helmer said, "We wish we were together with you but I am thankful for the technology that allows us live stream this event. Because, today is the day that you, our graduates, receive your degrees. This is the date on your diploma."

Crossing the finish line

Dr. Jaimy Dyer, president of BW's faculty senate, addressed graduates during BW's live-streamed Conferring of Degrees ceremony.The live celebration also included remarks from Provost Steve Stahl and inspirational words from Dr. Jaimy Dyer, president of BW's faculty senate and professor of exercise science.

Dyer, a runner, compared the completion of a degree to crossing the finish line in a race. "I know the amount of work, sacrifice and dedication that leads to that moment."

"And so, I'm reminded of everything that you have gone through to get here today: the barriers that you've overcome; the setbacks you have faced; the amazing accomplishments you've achieved." 

In closing comments, President Helmer encouraged every grad "to go out and do amazing things."

"BW is 175 years old," he added. "For 175 years, we have watched our alumni be remarkable. We've had alumni be astronauts and Olympic gold medalists. We've had CEOs and entrepreneurs, doctors and nurses, accountants and school teachers, and just about every other profession that our world needs... You follow in that long line."

Graduation unboxed

Congratulations pack sent to fall 2020 BW graduatesIn the week leading up to the ceremony, graduating students received a congratulatory package in the mail containing a diploma case and formal graduation programs listing each graduate and noting senior class officers, Latin Honors, membership in the Dayton C. Miller Honor Society and completion of the Honors Program.

The mailed packet also included BW gift items designed to welcome each grad into the proud BW alumni family. May 2020 grads will receive a similar celebration package in the mail as well.

Live stream replay

Graduating students, family and friends can watch the Boxcast replays of the events and access an online yearbook that showcases seniors with photos, degree earned, honors and plans for the future at: bw.edu/commencement/class-of-2020/.

There are links for two ceremonies: one for graduate students receiving a master's degree or post-baccalaureate nursing degree, and an undergraduate ceremony for those earning bachelor's degrees.