AU's baccalaureate service is held in a local church the evening before each spring commencement. It's a time for the graduates to worship with their families, to reflect on their time at AU, and to anticipate the days ahead. The service also challenges graduates to serve others in the next stage of their lives.
The service is a recent addition to the graduation experience at Anderson, but it's quickly becoming a tradition. Initiated at the request of student government, the service is still heavily student-led.
Each year, AU faculty and staff members nominate seniors for the honor of speaking at the service. Students anonymously submit proposed remarks to a committee, and those selected represent their class at the service, speaking of their personal growth at AU and the exciting days ahead. Worship is also student-led, usually by one of AU's praise and worship bands.
Jesus' example of service
The featured speaker for the service is chosen by the president's office and is typically a South Carolinian pastor with connections to AU. At the culmination of the service, graduates are invited to the front where faculty and staff pray over them and present them with a towel. The towel serves as a reminder of Jesus' example of washing His disciples' feet, shortly before He sent them out to be His representatives in the world. Students are charged to live as servants in their future careers and areas of influence.
The service, which runs about 90 minutes, is open to the public. Following the service, attendees are invited to stay for a reception with light refreshments.
Concord Baptist Church
102 Concord Road
Anderson, SC 29621