By Conrad Dudderar
As they prepare to graduate, members of Yukon High School’s Class of 2023 will wear their caps and gowns for a religious service this Sunday afternoon.
The 28th annual YHS Baccalaureate will be 3 p.m. May 14 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave. Seniors should be ready by 2:30 p.m. in their graduation finery.
Everyone is invited to attend inside the spacious 3,000-seat auditorium.
“Baccalaureate is a spiritual sendoff and a blessing for the students,” said Marci (Gamble) Moore, who helps coordinate the program. “Our goal is to have 300 seniors attend.
“We’re remembering Evan Duncan, who died of cancer as an underclassman and would have graduated this year. The student body asked for this.”
Evan was 16 when he passed away in 2021.
Featured speaker this Sunday will be Town & Country Christian Church Pastor Kyle Worley, who will deliver a farewell sermon to Yukon’s graduating class.
Testimonies will be offered by students Emily Schneider and Cade Flannery.
Brittyn Stafford will sing “Lord, I Need You” with guitar accompanist Cade Flannery.
The 2023 YHS Baccalaureate is organized and presented by senior class officers: President Sutton Clark, Vice President Austin Spangler, Secretary Chloe Rich, and Treasurer Hayley Jacob.
They receive guidance and support from Moore and Pastor Tom Arnould.
The YHS Baccalaureate is sponsored by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance.
“This is not possible without the Ministerial Alliance,” Moore emphasized. “The churches that participate in the Ministerial Alliance donate for me to be able to keep this program running.
“That partnership is vital. I can’t do this without them.”
Since 2004, Pastor Arnould of Good News Church has been the Yukon Ministerial Alliance’s liaison to the officers of each YHS senior class.
“I’ve always been struck by the quality of the class officers,” he said. “These kids are the result of some great families in Yukon. They all have strong Christian character.
“The bond that they feel with the teachers is a blessing to me. And they have really positive feelings about public education. They definitely speak well of their experience.”
REMEMBERING WANDA GAMBLE
Moore, her mother Wanda Gamble and Pastor Tom Tickner were part of a small group that revived Yukon’s Baccalaureate service for graduating YHS seniors in 1995.
Marci Gamble was president of that year’s senior class.
“When we developed the Baccalaureate in 1995, it was really about leaving a spiritual legacy,” she said.
“It’s a spiritual footprint that we get to leave on this community. That’s what we set out to do in 1995 and we’ve just carried that on.”
Wanda Gamble, who passed away in November 2022, worked 30 years for Yukon Public Schools.
She will be honored with a special remembrance this Sunday for the 27 years she faithfully served and helped coordinate the YHS Baccalaureate.
Moore will speak – appropriately on Mother’s Day – about her mother’s dedication.
“My mom viewed this as her ministry of service,” she said.
The stated purpose of a baccalaureate is “to encourage and strengthen students in their faith and hope for their future after graduation.”
The annual YHS Commencement will be the following Friday, May 19 at Yukon Miller Stadium, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.