Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall and Carson City Mayor Robert L. Crowell also rendered advice to the graduates on the occasion and WNC President Doctor Carol A. Lucey was also present.
Acclaimed classical musician from India Thakur Chakrapani Singh, prominent dancer Doctor L. Martina Young, well known area musician Jim R. Eaglesmith and tabla expert Pete Fairley also blessed the graduating class through their respective mediums.
Starting with traditional lamp lighting, it also included a choir performance titled “Benediction” directed by James M. Weismann. It closed with diverse faith and other leaders, with their raised right hands, jointly repeating a universal prayer after Douglas Diversity Student Club of WNC Secretary Jesseca Pacheco Larios, thus blessing graduates present and in absentia.
Zed, who is an interfaith leader, pointed out that purpose of this Baccalaureate Service was to root the graduating class in divine spiritual tradition so that they would have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success. There were plans to make it an annual feature, Zed added.
Baccalaureate service basically means service where a sermon is delivered to the graduating class. In use since at least eighth century, origins of the baccalaureate service point to an Oxford University statute of 1432, which required each bachelor to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of the academic exercise. There is restored interest in baccalaureate services in number of educational institutions across USA, like Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, etc.
WNC, with tagline "Start Here, Go Anywhere" and multiple campuses, is a comprehensive community college that serves over 5,000 students in about 18,000-square-miles area. Mission Statement of WNC includes "nurtures individual potential and respects differences", which is known for its observatory.