Five members of the Classes of 2007 offered heartfelt prayer, thoughtful reflection and original poetry, as they gathered at Trinity Church on Saturday afternoon for a traditional Baccalaureate service.
Jamie Agnello read an original poem, “What We’ve Found Here, that briefly examined beginning, water, surface, sing, air, earth, sound, weather and light.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, said Leanne Roncolato, reading from “A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson.
Rafael Rodriguez went on to share an excerpt from “Last Night, poetry by Antonio Machado, in Spanish and then in English. “Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt – marvelous error! – that it was God I had here inside my heart, Rodriguez read.
Other readings were offered by Nazia Ahmad, who read the Opening Prayer from “The Root of the Root of Your Self, by Jalaluddin Rumi; and Rebecca Yochelson, Psalm 126.
In her Baccalaureate Address, “Be Real, Chaplain Lesley Adams said, “Our being real, especially in transition or crises, requires … courage. We want to be real, to be honest with self and other, but that requires that we look critically at our selves, that we discern our own motivations, evaluate our actions, know the longings and satisfactions of our own hearts.
“My hope for you in the Classes of 2007 is that in the next days and months you will take the ability to reflect critically all you have learned here and use it to live fully into the reality of this transition. The desire to discern and live in reality will put you on a path of spiritual as well as intellectual discovery.
Adams was introduced by President Mark D. Gearan, who paid tribute to Adams’ vital and significant presence on campus. “She summons us to bring forth our daily best.
The service was steeped in vocal and instrumental melody, ancient and traditional. More than two dozen student voices in the Colleges Chorale, directed by Robert L. Cowles, chair of the Music Department, offered three a cappella choral anthems. They then performed four other choral anthems, the latter group in Hebrew, featuring a student director, piano and clarinet accompanists and soloists.
Concluding the afternoon were a Prayer for the Graduates by Provost Teresa Amott; the Sending Forth (“Go On Your Way Rejoicing) by William Smith Dean Debra DeMeis and Interim Hobart Dean Eugen Baer; and the Benediction and Dismissal by Lorinda G. Weinstock, Hillel Program Director. Leading the processions in and out was
James-Henry Holland, associate professor of Asian Languages and Cultures.