The Statue of Joseph Baldwin was unveiled and dedicated in honor of our founder’s 100th birthday in October 1927. In May 1928, at the first commencement following the dedication, the graduating class and faculty paused in their procession so that Class President Lorna Wattenbarger could lay a wreath at the foot of the statue in recognition of Baldwin’s educational ideals and standards. This significant tradition continues to be a part of all spring commencements with the class valedictorian[s] doing the wreath-placing honors.
Seventy-five years after the first wreath was laid, the tradition was expanded to become an important feature of the University's presidential installations. In 2003, President Barbara Dixon added it to her ceremony and President Troy Paino followed suit in 2010. The academic procession circles the Quad and stops while the new president, accompanied by representatives of the various campus constituencies, places a wreath at the statue’s base.