Mount Union Holds 170th Baccalaureate Service
May 07, 2016
ALLIANCE, Ohio - A long line of soon-to-be Mount Union alumni, donned in black graduation caps and gowns, filed into the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex on Saturday, May 7 for Mount Union’s 170th Baccalaureate service. The Baccalaureate is a religious sermon given to the graduating class, and precedes the University’s Commencement ceremony.
The Mount Union concert choir, under the direction of Dr. Grant Cook III, kicked off the ceremony with a beautiful and powerful prelude. Between the hymns were scripture readings and prayers led by various students.
The sermon, titled, “On the Move” was led by Mount Union graduate Joyce (Jacobson ‘83) Lawson, Pastor of the United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
“Mount Union has been on the move - changing,” Lawson said as she looked out at the sea of graduates. “Yet no matter the changes, no matter the years, you and I and those who come after you will share a life altering experience here at Mount Union.”
Lawson emphasized the importance of constantly moving forward, moving on and moving in the direction of your destiny - even when times are troubling or unfamiliar.
“The future is filled with possibilities. I truly believe God will bless your life so that you can bless others...Mistakes will probably be made, but it is God’s plan to lead you to new places and exciting opportunities. I encourage you to leave this known place and step into the unfamiliarity God has in store for you,” Lawson concluded.
A graduate of Princeton Theological School, Lawson resides in Chagrin Falls. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Peter Lawson, and they are the parents of two adult children, Emily and Ethan, and the grandparents to their 9-month old granddaughter, Elin.
Following the sermon, Dr. Richard Merriman, the recently inaugurated president of the University, led the Seniors’ Prayer. Afterward, the university chaplain, Marty CashBurless, gave the Benediction to lead into the day’s commencement ceremony.