Baccalaureate Ceremony FAQs

What is Baccalaureate?

Baccalaureate is a one-hour religious service honoring the graduating class. During the service, an address in the form of a sermon is delivered by a faculty member or respected leader in the religious community. Faculty and graduates process in cap and gown for the ceremony. A ticket is required; graduates can reserve up to two tickets online for family members. Graduates who process do not need a ticket. Weather permitting, overflow seating and simulcast viewing will be available on Hearn Plaza.

Is attendance mandatory for students?

No, the service is not mandatory, but it is well-attended by graduates and their families each year.

What changes in case of rain?

Baccalaureate will still be held in Wait Chapel on Sunday, May 19, at 9:00 a.m., but faculty and students will line up under covered areas in the dorm quads as much as possible. The simulcast from Hearn Plaza might be canceled in case of rain.

Should guests come early to Baccalaureate?

Seating inside Wait Chapel is limited and on a first-come basis. Tickets do not guarantee admission. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., but guests can expect to wait in line on Hearn Plaza before entering the Chapel. Please factor in time for bag checks (see below). Graduates who process do not need tickets.

Bags will be checked for Baccalaureate, hooding ceremonies, and Commencement.

As part of Wake Forest’s security measures for Commencement weekend events, all bags brought into Baccalaureate, hooding ceremonies, and Commencement will be checked.

The bag checks are intended to enhance the University’s comprehensive efforts to ensure a safe and secure setting for Commencement weekend activities.  The practice of checking bags at such events is being introduced at an increasing number of colleges and universities nationwide.

Wake Forest is encouraging guests not to bring a bag, if possible, to Baccalaureate, the hooding ceremonies, and Commencement.  Anyone bringing any kind of bag will have their bag checked before entering the venues for those events.

During Commencement weekend, the bag checks will begin on Saturday, May 16, at hooding ceremonies in Wait Chapel. Bags will be checked outside Wait Chapel’s entrance.

Bag checks outside Wait Chapel’s entrance will continue on Sunday, May 17, for the 9 a.m. Baccalaureate service and the hooding ceremonies that take place later in the day.

On Monday, May 18, bag checks will be conducted at all entrances to Hearn Plaza.  The checks will begin at 6 a.m.  Commencement is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

Such checks during Commencement weekend will assist the University in preventing numerous prohibited items from being brought to the Baccalaureate, hooding ceremonies, and Commencement.  Prohibited items include tripods, alcohol, pocket knives and other weapons of any kind.  The list also includes signs on sticks, suitcases and pets.

Bag checks will be conducted at LJVM Coliseum if the University were to implement the Commencement rain plan and move commencement on Monday to the coliseum.

Please factor in time for bag checks as you make plans to travel to campus for Commencement weekend events.

Bag check and list of prohibited items which include tripods, alcohol, pocket knives, weapons of any kind, signs on sticks, suitcases and pets.

Where do students line up?

Students should assemble in cap and gown no later than 8:00 a.m. according to degree group. BA graduates will assemble in front of the Deacon Shop. BS and all other graduates will assemble in front of Subway.