UNION COUNTY — The first baccalaureate graduation ceremony in Union County in years drew a crowd of 180 people who watched as some 30 graduating seniors from Union County High School were honored.
The ceremony, which was held Sunday, May 18, at Buffalo United Methodist Church, was organized by Alana Wright, herself a member of the UCHS Class of 2014 which graduated this past Friday.
Wright organized the ceremony in hopes of reviving the baccalaureate tradition. She was inspired to do after a cousin in Bennettsville was involved in planning a baccalaureate for the seniors at their school and by her parents’ memories of having participated in a baccalaureate ceremony when they were young.
The experiences of her parents and her cousin inspired Wright to do research into baccalaureates and in the process she learned that it had been more than 20 years since such a ceremony had been held in Union County. She then decided to organize a baccalaureate for her class in the hope that it would once again become a tradition for the county’s graduating classes.
Wright said that approximately 180 people attended the baccalaureate with slightly more the 30 seniors participating. The students wore their caps and gowns and marched in together at the beginning of the ceremony.
In addition to the experience of her parents and cousin and her desire to revive the tradition, Wright said she was also inspired to organize the ceremony as a way of thanking God for the blessings He bestowed upon her, especially during her senior year at high school. She said everyone has talents and should use those talents to glorify God by doing His work and building His kingdom.
Wright had described the ceremony as an opportunity for worship which was open not only to the seniors and their families, but to the entire community.