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. It is a time to acknowledge the spiritual contribution to the education of the whole person, and it is organized under the auspices of the Office for Religious Life.
Ibtihaj Muhammad – an activist, entrepreneur and Olympics athlete who gives voice to marginalized communities and encourages resiliency in the face of challenges – will be the speaker for Stanford’s 2019 Baccalaureate.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, an activist and entrepreneur whose participation in the Olympics provided her a platform to give voice to marginalized communities and encourage resiliency in the face of challenges, will speak at Stanford’s 2019 Baccalaureate. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, Muhammad became the first Muslim to wear a hijab while competing for the United States and won a bronze medal with the women’s sabre team. Away from fencing, which focuses on the individual, she has turned a spotlight on communities and the importance of breaking barriers and building bridges. She graduated from Duke University with a dual major in international relations and African studies and, in 2016, was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.
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.
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.
Past Speaker Contest Winners
2018 Winner: Eni Jonathan Asebiomo
2017 Winner: Emma Coleman (International Relations and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity)
2016 Winner: Zainab Taymuree (African and African American Studies)
2015 Winner: Shelby Sinclair (Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity)
2014 Konstantine Buhler (Management Science and Engineering)
2013 Jonathan York (International Relations)
2012 Tara Gu (Public Policy)
2011 Samuel Gould (Biology)
2010 Zaid Adhami (Philosophy, Religious Studies)
2009 Sohail Razzaq (Economics, Management Science & Engineering (MS))
2008 Barry W. Fischer (Economics, Civil and Engineering (MS))
2007 Nikki Pareno Serapio (Political Science)
2006 Marley Cade Kornreic (Economics, International Relations)
2005 Jazib Zahir (Electrical Engineering)