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173rd Baccalaureate Held at Mount Union

May 18, 2019

ALLIANCE, Ohio – “There were highs and there were lows, but each prepared us for the future we dreamed of. We reached the end of this journey here, but once again, we stand ready. While we’re always going to be learning, it’s our time to ignite the world and time to make a difference with our own unique needs.”

Those were the words of Diana Kloboves ‘19, from her original poem “Igniting the World,” which she shared with the 173rd graduating class of seniors during the annual Baccalaureate ceremony at the University of Mount Union. The ceremony, held Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m., took place on campus in Peterson Fieldhouse. 

Baccalaureate is a religious sermon given to the graduating class and precedes the University’s Commencement ceremony. The service began with a prelude from pianist Beverly Kalasky and an invocation read by senior Joseph Arnold ’19, a finance and management double-major from East Canton, Ohio. 

The Mount Union Concert Choir, led by Dr. Grant W. Cook III, professor of music and director of choral activities, performed “How Can I Keep From Singing” as part of the service.

Seniors Sarah Donkin ’19, Cole Messner ’19, Rachel Oravetz ’19, and Alexis Vitanza’19 all participated in leading poems, hymns, scripture readings and prayers during the ceremony. 

The message was given by Reverend Kyle Woodrow, University chaplain, and titled “You’ve Got a Song to Sing.” He spoke about finding strength, courage and pride from within to rise up to today’s challenges and become the leaders the world so desperately needs. 

“Class of 2019, there’s a song to sing and it’s good, but only if you sing it,” Woodrow begun. “What does that mean? Glad you asked! In your time at Mount, injustice, greed and indifference have twisted humanity. In these times, you have a song our society needs you to sing."

“We need you to be agents of change, to challenge the status quo, to include the left out and the left behind. We need you to be prophets who comfort the world with song. Don’t be afraid of the song, don’t be afraid to sing,” Woodrow continued. “So, class of 2019, as you leave this sacred space, I dare you to dream, dare you think with your hearts and live up to your capabilities. Know this: your life flows on in endless song, hear the tune that beacons you.” 

The service concluded with a benediction by Leah Custer ’19, a nursing major from Lancaster, Ohio.