The multi-faith, multicultural service, is held each year during Commencement weekend.

About the Service

The Baccalaureate Service seems to have originated in the early 15th century at Oxford University in England. Each graduate was obliged to deliver an oration or sermon, in Latin, to demonstrate his worthiness to receive the degree of bachelor, signified by crowning him with laurels. This service is what we now call commencement.

In America, at religious colleges (like Dartmouth was at its founding and early years), the graduation ceremony included a church service, so that new graduates would understand both the seriousness of their new responsibilities and the true Source of all their achievements.

Today's service has evolved greatly since the days of Eleazar Wheelock. It is now a multi-faith, multicultural service in which we celebrate what we hold in common while also recognizing each tradition's beautiful particularities. It is a time of celebration and worship when we pause, as a college, to reflect and express gratitude and joy for our graduates.

2019 Baccalaureate

Event Details

Saturday, June 8, 3:00pm in Rollins Chapel

Keynote Speaker:  Jim Kenney '69

Jim Kenney '69 is the Executive Director of two major interreligious organizations:  Common Ground, an adult study center focusing on the world's great religious, philosophical, spiritual, and cultural traditions and their implications for every dimension of human endeavor and experience and the Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21), working with global religious communities to address the world's critical problems through cooperative partnerships with government, business, education, media, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society.

Jim was a founding trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions and served as its Global Director from 1996-2002.  Until recently, Jim served as Project Coordinator for the International Interreligious Peace Council, whose members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, the Dalai Lama, Mairead Maguire, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and many other renowned spiritual leaders committed to working together for peace, justice, and ecological sustainability.

Jim graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969 with a BA in psychology.  He was a member of Delta Upsilon (later Foley House) fraternity, Casque and Gauntlet, and Paleopitus.  He was also very active in the theater department and was an avid skier. 


2019 Multifaith Baccalaureate Service Video

Past Baccalaureate Information


Keynote Speaker:  Allegra Love '03

Allegra Love is an immigration attorney and director of The Sante Fe Dreamers Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Sante Fe Dreamers Project is a non-profit legal services organization providing free legal representation to New Mexico's immigrant community.  The Project's work is centered around the belief that supporting  immigrants makes our whole community stronger.

Allegra began her career at Sante Fe Public Schools in 2005 as a bilingual elementary school teacher and followed her passion for working with immigrants to law school.  After graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law, she came to work for the Adelante program of Sante Fe Public Schools, where she founded this project.  She volunteers extensively, both in her community and elsewhere, for organizations like the Santa Fe Youth Commission, No More Deaths, and New Mexico Dreamers in Action (NM-DIA).  Most recently, she has worked to defend Central American women and children detained on the US border.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Allegra has a BA from Dartmouth College, a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and is a licensed teacher in the state of New Mexico.  She loves country music and riding around in trucks.

Baccalaureate Service Video


Keynote speaker: Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord '79, MD (Navajo)

An author and surgeon, and the first Navajo woman to be board-certified in surgery. She is a member of the Ponderosa Pine (Tsinnajinnie) and Salt (Ashi'hii' Dine') clans. Alvord earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1979, received her doctorate of medicine (MD) at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1985, and completed her residency in general surgery at Stanford University Hospital. She served as associate dean, student affairs, at Dartmouth Medical School from 1997-2009, Central Michigan College of Medicine (2010-2012), and the University of Arizona College of Medicine (2012-2014).

"Ceremonies work at multiple levels, bur primarily they heal the mind, which helps to heal the body. Chant, song, prayer, and guided imagery are used, in an elaborate form of mind-body medicine. Subsistence living and environmental sustainability principles are also found in ceremony teachings, and are examples of how interconnection can promote sustainability theory and teach humans a way of living that honors and protects our natural world." - Lori Arviso Alvord