Ring Out, Carillon Concert Among Spring Commencement Events

May 10, 2001

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Hundreds of Baylor University spring graduates will take part in several commencement events on Friday, May 11, ranging from the traditional Ring Out and Passing of the Key ceremonies to a carillon concert presented by a graduating senior.

Events begin with a senior reception hosted by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and his wife, Sue, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Graduates, faculty, parents and relatives are invited to attend.

As graduates and families gather for Ring Out from 5:30 to 5:50 p.m., Baylor's assistant carillonneur Lynnette Geary and Andy Crocker, a graduating senior biology major from Grand Cane, La., will play the McLane Carillon in the tower of Pat Neff. They will perform a duet before Crocker plays three solo pieces, ending with "That Good Old Baylor Line."

"Andy has been playing the carillon for the past three years," Geary said. "Many students graduating with him know he plays, and he thought this would be a nice way to honor them."

One of Baylor's most cherished traditions -- Ring Out and the Passing of the Key -- will begin at 6 p.m. in Burleson Quadrangle. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be in Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium.

Historically, the Ring Out ceremony -- a commencement tradition since 1927 -- has primarily included women. Graduating senior women, dressed in traditional graduation gowns, pass a chain of ivy to junior women wearing white dresses. Forming a circle near the Baylor bells in Burleson Quadrangle (the smaller bell from Baylor's first campus at Independence, Texas, and the larger bell from Waco University where Baylor now exists), the seniors pass the charge of leadership to the next graduating class of women.

Since 1946, the men of the senior and junior classes have participated in the Passing of the Key ceremony during Ring Out. Senior men are dressed in graduating gowns, and junior men are dressed in dark suits. A representative of the senior class, who has been designated the "Custodian" of the key to relics box buried under the Centennial monument, passes the key to a junior representative. As with Ring Out, the ceremony symbolizes the binding of classes in loyalty to the traditions of Baylor.

All Truett Seminary graduates, their families and guests are invited to attend a baccalaureate service at 6 p.m. Friday in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Waco, with a reception following in the fellowship hall. Rev. Dan Yeary, pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches in the nation, North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, Ariz., will deliver the baccalaureate address.

Doctoral students, their spouses, the chair of their departments and mentors are invited to a dinner hosted by the Graduate School at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

A casual gathering for graduates and their families will be held at 9 p.m. Friday on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Banana splits will be served at no cost.

Baylor will confer degrees on approximately 1,400 graduates during spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 12, in the Ferrell Center. The first ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. for students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School arts and sciences programs. The second ceremony begins at 3 p.m. for graduates of the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Music, Nursing, the Graduate School professional school programs and George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

For more information, contact Lois Ferguson, assistant provost for academic services, at 710-3663.

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