Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Class of 2016 to Celebrate Baccalaureate, Commencement

April 26, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan's Class of 2016 will receive their diplomas during the university's 172nd commencement ceremony May 8. Like last year, the celebration will be held in front of newly renovated Merrick Hall. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Community Invited as Students Reflect Upon OWU Journeys May 7, Receive Diplomas May 8

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s graduating seniors will reflect upon and celebrate their college years May 7 at baccalaureate and then receive their diplomas May 8 at commencement.

Baccalaureate will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The event is planned by a group of students with assistance from the Office of the Chaplain. Baccalaureate typically features poetry and verse readings, personal reflections, and dance and music performances. Ohio Wesleyan’s Religious Life Awards also are presented during the annual celebration.

The Class of 2016 Baccalaureate Committee has chosen the theme “Beyond the Circles of Our Worlds” for this year’s celebration, which includes having flags from each country represented by a graduate processed onto the stage by a student from that country.

“We feel this theme reflects the nature of our class and our time here at Ohio Wesleyan,” seniors Luke Waters and Nana Bosompra said on behalf of the committee. “At OWU, we have been blessed with the opportunity to form and join different community circles.

“Over our four years,” Waters and Bosompra continued, “those circles have molded us and colored our experiences at OWU, often becoming our entire world. Now, as we set off on our journey into adulthood, it is time to reflect on how these communities and our larger OWU community have shaped us and the places we will go.”

Following baccalaureate, approximately 400 Ohio Wesleyan seniors will cross the stage May 8 and claim their diplomas as they conclude their undergraduate careers. The university’s 172nd annual commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Mother’s Day on Merrick Lawn, located outside Merrick Hall, 65 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. In case of severe weather, the ceremony will be moved into Gordon Field House inside the Branch Rickey Physical Education Center, 105 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, where admission will be by ticket only. 

Gregory L. Moore, former editor of The Denver Post and a 1976 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, will deliver the keynote address during the commencement ceremony. During his 14-year career with the Post, Moore led the newspaper to four Pulitzer Prizes, including a 2012 staff award for news coverage following a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater.

Shelli Reeves, president of the Ohio Wesleyan Class of 2016, also will speak during the graduation celebration. Reeves is an international studies and black world studies double major from Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Both Ohio Wesleyan’s baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies will be streamed live online at Learn more about the events at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at