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COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Memorial Church, the Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences (CIRCLE), and Windhover Contemplative Center are all currently closed. Students who wish to apply for a religious event exemption, click HERE for more information.

Tile image featuring an exterior shot of the church during baccalaureate festivities.

Celebrating Stanford: Baccalaureate

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The Office for Religious & Spiritual Life celebrates life’s big moments at Stanford by hosting our University's annual Baccalaureate celebration.

Baccalaureate (pronounced “bak-uh-lawr-ee-it”) at Stanford is a celebratory gathering for graduating seniors, graduate students, and professional students, as well as their families and friends. This gathering is part of Commencement weekend and is a bookend to the Opening Convocation held four years earlier.

Baccalaureate is a time to acknowledge the spiritual contribution to the education of the whole person.

View the 2019 Stanford University Baccalaureate

Student Speaker Contest

Since 2005, the Office for Religious Life has hosted a student speaker contest, where a graduating senior offers his/her reflections into their own spiritual journey during their time at Stanford, including hopes and dreams for the future for the entire class.

Why Might You Want to Speak?

Your Stanford journey may have had ups and downs or taken you to unexpected destinations. Whatever the nature of your college experience, speaking at Baccalaureate gives you the opportunity to share a little bit about what Stanford has meant to you. This is the last opportunity you have to speak to our class while we are still undergraduates. Your words will help close out our Stanford chapter during graduation weekend.


  • There are 3 speech prompts. You are welcome to enter speeches for any or all of the prompts.
  • Speech cannot exceed 600 words
  • Submit the final version of your speech. You will not be able to edit the speech after submission.
  • Entries accepted now through Sunday, April 25, 11:59 pm (Pacific Time)
  • No exceptions to the deadline 
  • Attach your speech in Word format
  • $500 prize will be awarded to the winners

Submit your entry here:

2019 Student Speaker Contest Winner: Edan Armas

Edan Armas was raised in the suburban town of Roselle, IL, alongside three siblings and a pair of adorable goats. He is a Human Biology major, and has been involved in Spoken Word Collective, where he was a finalist in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational poetry slam. After graduation, Edan will be traveling to various locations around the world researching the nature of a meaningful life. He enjoys conversations on consciousness, performing poetry, and chamomile tea.

View Our Archive of Past Winners