Ave Maria Baccaluaureate Mass on Eve of Graduation
Published on Saturday, 05 May 2012 01:51
Ave Maria University seniors began turning their attention to a new chapter in their lives Friday as graduation events began with the Baccalaureate Mass at the Oratory. Above, the traditional cap toss followed the Mass.
The 1,200-seat oratory was filled to capacity with the graduates, their families, friends, faculty and town residents wishing them well. The 138 undergraduates, along with 37 graduate students, will receive their degrees in commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as the features speaker. Right, the combined AMU choirs sang as the processional entered the oratory.
Fr. Matthew Lamb, the chair of AMU's Theology department, was the principal celebrant at the Mass and he called the graduation "a joyous occassion as well as a somber one," as he remembered two members of the AMU community who were present at commencement last year and have since passed away -- graduating senior Jon Scharfenberger and Biology Professor Paula Castagnet.
"They are present here with us," Fr. Lamb said.
Left, graduates and professors in full regalia assemble to enter the oratory for Mass.
Right, members of the choir paid tribute to the graduates with applause and an improptu acapella rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance."
Left, pastor Fr. Robert Tatman congratulates graduates after the Mass.
Right, Michelle Sanchez, the first person to graduate from both the Rhodora Donahue Academy in Ave Maria as well as Ave Maria University, with her parents Sonia and Victor Velasquez.