Frequently Asked Questions

What are Baccalaureate Vespers?
Baccalaureate is a centuries-old graduation tradition with religious roots that started in England and continues in the United States. The Baccalaureate service is believed to have originated at the University of Oxford in 1432 when each graduate was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his or her academic requirement. Today's Baccalaureate at Agnes Scott is a multifaith worship service honoring our graduating class. Baccalaureate offers an opportunity for graduates and their families to pause and reflect as they prepare to begin the next chapter of their lives. A distinguished member of the clergy is invited to deliver the sermon. Graduates wear their caps and gowns, and as with Senior Investiture, there is a full academic procession.

How long do the ceremonies usually last?
Baccalaureate lasts about an hour and Commencement lasts about an hour and a half to two hours.

Is there guest housing on campus for Commencement? 
No, housing is not available on campus for parents and guests. See our Guest Information page for information about hotels.

Can I videotape and/or photograph? 
Guests are asked to refrain from photography and videography during Baccalaureate Vespers; flash photography is strictly prohibited.

Will there be food served?
Following Baccalaureate and Commencement, light receptions will be held in the Letitia Pate Evans Dining Hall for families and guests. No tickets are required in order to attend.