Pre-commencement service marks 25 years

1995 Yukon High School class officers revived baccalaureate after 20-year absence


By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Yukon High School’s baccalaureate has been a tradition for the past 25 years after being revived by leaders of the 475-member Class of 1995.

Marci (Gamble) Moore was that year’s YHS senior class president.

She and her fellow senior class officers – Kendra (Gripe) Crabtree, Tammy (Klein) Grinn and Jeff Beloncik – spoke with Yukon school and church leaders about having baccalaureate in May 1995 for Yukon’s graduating seniors.

“Kendra, Tammy and Jeff all became missionaries in other countries, and I went on to earn a theology degree and work in ministry and then education,” Moore said. “We knew that we wanted to have a spiritual impact on our class and leave that legacy for God throughout the community.

“We wanted to give back and thought that this (reviving baccalaureate) would be the way to do that.”

Yukon hadn’t had the pre-commencement religious service since 1975.

“They wondered why Yukon didn’t have a baccalaureate when other schools were,” said Pastor Tom Arnould of Good News Church. “They had the vision to resurrect it.”

The program is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, and Arnould represents the alliance on the YHS Baccalaureate committee.

The longtime Good News Church pastor volunteers with Marci’s mother Wanda Gamble and senior class officers to plan and present the annual service.

Wanda Gamble worked with Pastor Tom Tickner of Chisholm Trail Presbyterian Church until he retired in 2004 and Arnould became the new Yukon Ministerial Alliance rep.

Twenty-five years later, Wanda is still involved.

“She has a heart to help these kids,” Pastor Arnould said.
Gamble’s daughter whole-heartedly agreed.

“This is definitely her ministry,” Marci said. “I’m so grateful for her service. But she never wants credit for it.”

Wanda Gamble said it’s been an “honor and pleasure” to work with the YHS class officers every year.

The 25th annual YHS Baccalaureate will be livestreamed at 3 p.m. this Sunday, May 17 at

The 611-member YHS Class of 2020 and the general public are encouraged to watch.