What is “Baccalaureate?”

According to the dictionary:

Definition of baccalaureate

  1. 1 : the degree of bachelor conferred by universities and colleges
  2. 2a : a sermon to a graduating class

b :  the service at which this sermon is delivered

The Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Interfaith Council typically calls together a volunteer planning committee early in the Spring made up of senior students, faculty, and IFC leaders to plan a Baccalaureate Service. The students choose a theme and contribute readings, art, music, prayers, etc. They also suggest an adult speaker from the school faculty and suggest or approve a speaker from the religious community.

Attendance is voluntary for students. Family members of the graduating seniors, as well as others in the community who want to support the students, are invited and encouraged to come. The service is typically held at a house of worship on a Sunday afternoon, the weekend before Bainbridge High School graduation. The Interfaith Council provides refreshments for a reception afterward.

Origin and Etymology of baccalaureate

borrowed from Medieval Latin baccalaureātus, respelling (perhaps influenced by bacca laurī “laurel berry”) of bacheleriātus, from bachelarius “knight lacking retainers, young clerk, person with an initial university degree” + Latin -ātus 2-ate — more at 1bachelor