Baylor Fall Commencement To Be Held Saturday

Dec. 17, 2004

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University will confer degrees on more than 700 graduates in commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, in the Ferrell Center.

Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. will present diplomas to graduates of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Music, Hankamer School of Business, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the Graduate School.

Greetings will be brought by Will D. Davis, chair of the Baylor board of regents. Dr. Thelma L. Cooper, assistant professor of piano, will serve as bearer of the mace.

The ceremony also will include the presentation of the Abner V. McCall Religious Liberty Award to Dr. Edwin S. Gaustad, a respected scholar on the religious history of America. The award, presented by the Baylor Alumni Association, is given to Baylor graduates who by their lives and actions have exemplified a belief in and commitment to religious liberty in a manner reflecting the courage and commitment of former Baylor president McCall.

A professor emeritus of history at the University of California and former dean of Shorter College, Gaustad earned his bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1947 and his master's and doctorate from Brown University. In 1984, he was named a Baylor Man of Merit by Omicron Delta Kappa, and he has received Brown's Distinguished Alumni Award and Cal's Distinguished Teaching Award. Gaustad is the author or editor of almost 30 books, including the Faith of the Founders: Religion and the New Nation 1776-1826 (soon to be released by Baylor University Press), Historical Atlas of Religion in America and A Religious History of America and several biographies on historical figures like Roger Williams and Thomas Jefferson.

Since his retirement, Gaustad has served as visiting professor at Baylor, the University of Richmond, Princeton Theological Seminary and Auburn University. Now a resident of Santa Fe, N.M., he has been married since 1946 to Virginia Morgan Gaustad, and they have three children and four grandchildren.

Following Saturday's commencement ceremony, the Baylor Alumni Association will host the annual new graduate reception for members of the Class of 2004 and their families. The reception will be located under the tent on the front lawn of the Ferrell Center.

On Friday before commencement, all graduates and their families are invited to a "hot chocolate" party at 9 p.m. on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center. While they gather for the event, they will be serenaded by music from the McLane Carillon, located in the tower of Pat Neff Hall, which will be played from 8:30 to 9 p.m.

Spring graduation will be held May 14, 2005.

For more information, contact Lois Ferguson at (254) 710-8534.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?