Around 9,000 students will graduate from Johns Hopkins this spring. The university will hold 10 virtual commencements in May: one for undergrads, and separate ceremonies for graduate and doctoral students from each school.
A third-party production company oversees each virtual ceremony, creating microwebsites for each commencement and working with individual schools to create specific content for their ceremonies.
Undergraduate commencement is typically more than three hours long, but the university will keep its May 21 celebration to about an hour. It will include a combination of live and recorded speeches, degrees conferred by the university president, and a commencement speaker.
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In addition to students’ videos and photos, the ceremony will also include musical performances from the university’s music and dance conservatory school, the Peabody Institute. The musicians recorded their performances through videoconferencing software.
“We are trying to incorporate as much of the traditional ceremony as we can,” Martin says. “But we want to strike a balance and include entertainment and engaging elements to it.”
Videoconferencing and Livestream Services Save Graduation
San Diego State University encouraged students to attend a virtual commencement celebration — and even dress up in their caps and gowns — with their parents watching alongside them.
“Our president will address the class of 2020, and we will do a virtual tassel change,” says Melissa Henss, SDSU’s director of presidential and university events, referring to the ceremonial flipping of the tassel that signifies the students’ transition into graduates. “We have a lot of fun elements where they can still celebrate virtually at home with their families.”