The Baccalaureate Mass with Hooding Ceremony is a traditional component of Clarke University Commencement. All graduates are expected to attend. Guests are welcome and no tickets are required.
The event begins at 9:45 a.m. with a formal academic procession in which the leadership of the university, faculty and staff enter. Next, degree candidates, clothed in caps and gowns, enter to receive academic hoods signifying the degrees which will be awarded to them during the afternoon’s commencement ceremony. Candidates for Baccalaureate and Master Degrees receive academic hoods with white velvet trim signifying liberal arts, brown velvet trim for fine arts, or gold velvet trim for the sciences. Candidates for the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree receive hoods with white velvet trim. Each hood is lined with the academic colors of Clarke University, blue and gold. The hoods are placed upon the graduates by the university president and provost.
With the Hooding Ceremony completed, the event continues with the celebration of the Mass, presided over by the Clarke University chaplain. During this Catholic service, we pray in gratitude for the gift of education and for hope for the graduates. Some who are not Catholic may be concerned about what to do when it comes time to receive communion. The following is an explanation. Members of those churches with whom the Catholic Church is not yet fully united are invited to come forward to receive a blessing rather than communion. To do so, approach the communion minister with your arms crossed over your chest. Please do not let your religious affiliation prevent you from attending this beautiful and meaningful ceremony.