At dusk on Saturday, May 6, Dominican University seniors and their chosen partners will fill the Quadrangle in their graduation regalia to celebrate the 89-year-old tradition of Candle and Rose. The ceremony, which represents the university’s motto of caritas (charity) and veritas (truth), began in 1928 and annually celebrates the distinctive nature of the Dominican community.
During the symbolic ceremony, graduating seniors walk with lit candles, representing the wisdom they are passing on to others; their chosen partners carry roses representing the love and friendship they are passing on to seniors as they go on to their futures. Two lines of flickering light process across the upper and lower Cloister Walks, assembling in the Quadrangle, where the exchange of candles and roses is made.
Many seniors have profound reasons for selecting their “roses.”
Senior Jocelyn Cano chose Director of Student Involvement Michael Lango to be her partner. “I have been looking forward to Candle and Rose ever since I was a freshman,” she said. “For that reason, I had to make sure that my ‘rose’ was a truly, special person in my life. I chose my mentor because he has had such an enormous impact on my Dominican experience. He has inspired me to always be my authentic self and to constantly challenge myself. Michael has graciously agreed to stand by my side during this special ceremony, just as he has for the past four years at Dominican.”
Emily Lapinski chose her mother to serve as her rose. “My mother is the person in my life who has always prioritized my needs and pushed me to get an education, holding me to nothing but the highest standards. My graduation will mean more to her than anyone else I know,” she said.
“I wanted to choose someone who meant a lot to me to share that special moment with me. My brother is someone I want walking next to me for the rest of my life,” Christopher Sich said about choosing his brother as his rose.
Candle and Rose will take place at 8 p.m. on Dominican University’s Quad. The university’s commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 7 at the University of Illinois Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. and the graduate student ceremony will be held at 3 p.m.