Ring Out, Carillon Concert Among Spring Commencement Events

May 16, 2003

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Hundreds of Baylor University spring graduates will take part in several commencement events on Friday, May 16, ranging from the traditional Ring Out and Passing of the Key ceremonies to the open-air carillon concert in front of Pat Neff Hall.

Events begin with a senior reception hosted by President and Mrs. Robert B. Sloan Jr. from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center. Dr Pepper floats will be served to graduates, faculty, parents and relatives, who are all invited to attend.

As graduates and families gather for Ring Out from 5:30 to 5:50 p.m., carillonneur Lynnette Geary will play a recital of special music on the McLane Carillon, which is located in the tower of Pat Neff Hall.

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 the event of rain, the ceremony will be held 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 a 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.

Other Friday events include the baccalaureate service for graduates of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, their families and guests at 6 p.m. in the seminary's Paul W. Powell Chapel. Dr. Bill Sherman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairview, Tenn., will deliver the baccalaureate address. A reception will follow in the Paul and Katy Piper Great Hall.

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 Barfield Drawing Room. Reservations are required.

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 1,600 graduates during spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 17, 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 will begin at 2:30 p.m. for graduates of the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Music and Nursing, the Graduate School professional school programs and Truett Seminary.

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

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