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Baccalaureate '15

Date: Friday, May 1, 2015

Start Time: 6:30 p.m. 

Arrival Time for Graduates - 6 p.m. in room 111 

Graduate attire: graduation gowns without caps 

Place: Floyd A. and Fay W. Falany Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall

James H. Lowry, Jr.
Baccalaureate Speaker

Baccalaureate Speaker: The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr.; Superintendent of the Atlanta Marietta District of The United Methodist Church

He will speak on: What's Your Dream?

The Rev. Dr. James H. Lowry, Jr., is Superintendent of the Atlanta Marietta District of the United Methodist Church. An Atlanta native, Jim was born and raised in Decatur, Ga.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Asbury College in 1967, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1970, and a Master of Theology from Duke University in 1971. In 1971 he also began his first appointment as a United Methodist pastor and founded a new church, Hollydale UMC, on Highway 5 between Marietta and Powder Springs. His other appointments include Acworth UMC in 1979, McEachern Memorial UMC in 1991 and Norcross First UMC in 1999. While at McEachern, he completed a Doctorate of Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary.

In addition to working in local churches, he has also preached revivals in Kentucky, Maryland and Georgia. He has served in missions on five continents: in Korea, India, Hong Kong, mainland China, Mexico, Guyana, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, St. Croix, Jamaica, Cuba, Poland, Belize, Estonia, Mongolia, Bulgaria and Ghana. He has also visited mission fields in Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand and Russia.

He met his future wife, Diane Kilbourne, as an undergraduate at Asbury College, and they married in 1967. They have two daughters, Shannon and Joy, and two wonderful grandchildren, Sara and Jacob.

Lowry loves his wife, his daughters, his grandchildren, his church and most of all, the Lord.  He is also an ardent supporter of the Atlanta Braves, United Methodist Men, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and the Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Movement.

Student Speakers

A small number of students are selected by the Reinhardt faculty to participate in the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies based on their academic achievement, activity, leadership, representation and faculty references. They must also represent the character, integrity and mission of Reinhardt University. 

                Invocation:  Susan Brandy Keener ’15 (representing our off-campus centers)
                Benediction:  Alexander Warren Bryant ’15

Congratulations to these students for being selected to represent Reinhardt's student body in these very important roles.


The Rev. Erik Mays, Reinhardt Class of 2003, gave the 2012 baccalaureate address.

What is a Baccalaureate Service?

The Baccalaureate Service is a medieval tradition that incorporates the custom of presenting the candidates for the degree of bachelor (bacci) with the laurels (lauri) of sermonic oration. Legend states that the baccalaureate ceremony can be traced as far back as a statute dated 1432 at Oxford University that required each bachelor degree candidate to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic exercise. Because the earliest institutions of higher learning in this country were founded primarily to educate clergy, the British practice of a baccalaureate service has continued. Today, the baccalaureate service is a farewell address delivered as a sermon to a graduating class, and as an institution of faith, Reinhardt continues to celebrate this tradition.

Parking: in the Falany Performing Arts Center and Hagan Chapel lots on the Main Campus in Waleska, Ga. Directions >

Handicapped parking: in designated areas adjacent to the event location. 

When should Guests arrive? Guests should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.  Seating is first-come, first-serve, so earlier arrivals have more seating choices.

Line-up: Typically line up begins 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony in the Galt Performance Hall (room 111), Falany Performing Arts Center

Graduate Dress: Graduation gowns without caps. 

For more information on baccalaureate, please contact:

The Rev. Jordan Thrasher
University Chaplain
The Norman W. Paschall Office of Campus Ministry