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Baccalaureate services signal high school graduations

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By Reece Murphy

Part of what makes graduation so memorable is the depth of tradition inherent in it.

In the coming weeks, Lancaster County’s high school seniors will begin their march toward graduation with a ceremony that dates back to the days of the world’s ancient universities – baccalaureate.

According to several sources, the services are believed to have begun at the United Kingdom’s University of Oxford sometime around 1432 to celebrate young lives dedicated to learning and wisdom.

Reportedly, back in the day, the students, or graduating bachelors as they were known, had to give speeches in Latin. So it should come as a great relief for modern graduates to know that baccalaureates now feature guest speakers who generally speak English.

With that in mind, and bestowed with a modicum of genuine pomp and tradition, read on for a list of upcoming baccalaureates services for local high schools.

Indian Land High School

Indian Land High School, 8063 River Road, Indian Land, will hold this year’s first baccalaureate service, set for 4 p.m., Sunday, May 6, in the school gymnasium. This year’s speaker is the Rev. Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land.

Lancaster High School

Lancaster High School’s baccalaureate service is set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, at Second Baptist Church, 1426 Great Falls Highway,  with the Rev. Tim Anderson of Immanuel Baptist Church as speaker.

Andrew Jackson High School

Andrew Jackson High School, 6925 Kershaw Camden Highway, Kershaw, will hold its baccalaureate service in the school auditorium at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 10. This year’s speaker is Jeff Shafer, youth minister at Kershaw First Baptist Church.

Buford High School

Buford High School’s baccalaureate service is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at Unity ARP Church, 3495 Unity Church Road. The speaker for this year’s service is the Rev. Jesse Adams of Pleasant Dale Baptist Church.