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Celebrating Sisterhood and Support at The Rose Ceremony

The Rose Ceremony is held each year before Commencement. The history of this tradition goes back nearly 20 years when the first graduates from the One Day A Week Saturday program were honored with a Ceremony and given a rose as a symbol of their accomplishment. One student, after receiving her rose, took it upon herself to dedicate the rose to the people in her life who helped her fulfill her dream of an education. From that one student’s dedication, the tradition was born.

From One Day to Today

The revolution started quietly one Saturday morning in 1999. A small group of women, ranging in age from 25 to 60, arrived promptly at 7:30 AM, opened their clean, blank notebooks and thereby changed all preconceived notions of who college is for—and how it should be experienced—as the first students in the One Day A Week Saturday program.

Radical by design, the One Day program acknowledged and respected the circumstances that shape women’s lives—motherhood, day jobs and endless to-do lists—by holding classes on Saturday.

Coming together every Saturday for 10 hours of classes, students inevitably created a network of support, a sense of community and a culture of persistence, born out of the shared experience of returning to school as adult women. Beyond its manageable format, the program delivered on a core principle that underscores the women’s college experience: sisterhood is powerful.

The success of the One Day program validated the notion that adult women were hungry for advancement, knowledge and degrees, and that they would commit themselves to a college program if it accommodated their busy schedules. When advancements in technology gave way to virtual classrooms, digital learning materials and online collaboration, Bay Path seized both the opportunity—and the challenge—to apply that notion to an online program.

The University reached out to its One Day students, along with faculty, staff, and alumni, for input on creating a collaborative and engaging instruction model, and in 2013, launched the country’s first all-women, all online bachelor’s degree program, The American Women’s College (TAWC).

Building on the One Day program, TAWC’s hallmark feature is its Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) adaptive learning approach. Through SOUL, students receive personalized on-boarding and the ongoing support of an educational coach, along with virtual learning communities for students to engage and network with their classmates.

Six years later, TAWC steadily gains attention and accolades, along with resources to strengthen its mission.

As the ambition, determination, and drive of our students continues to inspire us, we’re reflecting on Bay Path’s vision of expanding access to education, employment and self-determinism to adult women. By saluting the students, professors, and leaders who’ve shaped the university’s reputation as a groundbreaking, game-changing institution, we look to channel that vision—and the passion and innovation that drives it—into the future.

Twenty years later, we’re celebrating the women who’ve helped turn this vision into degrees, careers and stories of impact and inspiration. Join us on October 26, 2019!

Graduates from the 2019 Rose Ceremony, from center clockwise: Beverleigh Fateev (blue dress), Yecika Irlanda, Nuria Sotiropoulos, Gabrielle Gonzalez, Lisa Bingham- Kellier, Jenifer Ohanesian, Stephanie Teixeira, Roxanne Shelton, and Angelica Cruz