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The President and Chaplains of Tufts University invite members of the Class of 2019 and their families and friends to join in celebrating the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center. All are welcome. Seniors align for the processional in caps and gowns at 2:30 p.m. at the Gantcher Center. For more information, please visit

About the Baccalaureate Service

The Baccalaureate Service for the senior class at Tufts is a tradition that began in 1864.

Baccalaureate is a cherished moment during Commencement Weekend, and the last time for the senior class to be alone together as a class. One senior is selected to give the class speech, called the Wendell Phillips Address, and the president offers his parting words to the class.

The context is a multifaith and multicultural celebration honoring a diversity of spiritualities, philosophies, and cultures at Tufts in the form of music, readings, and benedictions. All are welcome, and generally all members of the senior class and their families attend.

2019 Senior Baccalaureate Speaker

The Senior Baccalaureate Speaker is the recipient of the Wendell Phillips Award, which was established in 1896 to honor Boston’s great orator and advocate for abolition and women’s and Native People’s rights, Wendell Phillips. The award is given annually to a senior who demonstrates both marked ability as a speaker and a high sense of public responsibility. Selected by the Committee on Student Life, the winner is the one graduating senior invited to offer a speech as part of Commencement, and the speech takes place during the Baccalaureate Service. It is intended to deliver a social justice message for our time. The Wendell Phillips Speaker for the Class of 2019 was selected in March 2019.

The Wendell Phillips Speaker for the Class of 2019 is Ria Mazumdar.

Ria Mazumdar, A19, is an International Relations and Quantitative Economics double major from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves green chile, reading, and cooking with friends. Ria is a member of the Sigma Iota Rho International Relations Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. During college, she has participated in debate and served as the vice president of the International Relations Student Advisory Board as well as Editor-in-Chief of Hemispheres Journal of International Relations. After her junior year, she conducted development work in Kenya as a recipient of the Anne E. Borghesani Memorial Prize. Next year, Ria will be joining the Economist Intelligence Unit as an analyst at Canback Consulting, where she hopes to learn more about globalization in developing countries. Eventually, she plans to pursue graduate studies to explore her passion for economic empowerment and international development.

Spiritual Gatherings During Commencement Weekend 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

1:00 p.m. Muslim Friday Prayer, Interfaith Center
5:00 p.m. Pre-Shabbat Reception, Granoff Family Hillel Center
6:00 p.m. Reform and Egalitarian Conservative Shabbat Services, Granoff Family Hillel Center
7:15 p.m. Shabbat Dinner, Granoff Family Hillel Center Please reserve for dinner online at
8:00 p.m. Humanist New Beginnings Reflection, Interfaith Center

Saturday, May 18, 2019

10:00 a.m. Buddhist Meditation and Tea, Goddard Chapel
10:00 a.m. Shabbat Morning Service, Granoff Family Hillel Center
12:00 p.m. Shabbat Lunch, Granoff Family Hillel Center
12:15 p.m. Protestant Lunch Reception, Interfaith Center
5:30 p.m. Catholic Mass, Goddard Chapel
7:30 p.m. Muslim Ramadan Iftar followed by Evening Prayers, Interfaith Center

More information to come. For questions please contact 

For families observing Ramadan during Commencement and Alumni Weekend 2019, please click here.