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Streaming Video Gives Family and Friends Front-Row Seat to Commencement Celebrations

Streaming Video Gives Family and Friends Front-Row Seat to Commencement Celebrations

We take great pride in the fact that our commencement
program is very personal despite the size of our institution. We break it down into
the eight colleges. Each student is really guaranteed, then, to hear their name called
and to receive a personal handshake, which many institutions of our size really can’t
brag about. It’s an enormous event. You’re dealing with
tens of thousands of people who are being, who are here on campus. So it’s a very exciting
thing for a technologist to be able to provide a service that is desired, and it’s actively
wanted and requested by our students. At the end of every, of every commencement ceremony,
we get phone calls in my office about, do you have a DVD available. And that’s something
that is largely, probably not needed anymore, because you can provide this for free via
a channel like YouTube. The entire event is really a very huge collaborative
effort that requires the involvement of folks from virtually every division. Debbie Hellman,
Chris Mahony and Tony Hillbruner in IT providing the video production services, and providing
the video stream that we can use to post on our website is absolutely critical. I’m the one who coordinates all the video
coming in, going out, all the web streaming. Basically, anything that makes the video show
up into graduation and out of graduation, I’m the guy who does it. We’ve improved not only the cameras, but also
the number of cameras. We’ve added things like open captioning, make it much more accessible. The very first night when we say, “Record,”
that actually is the culmination of many parts of campus coming together. he show is going
to go on and everybody’s prepared. Chris and his crew work really hard to try
to capture the spirit of the day, the processionals coming in. The cameras, even though they’re
from a pretty stationary point of view, will swing around to capture the movement of the
day, will capture the flag waving as the Star-Spangled Banner is played, as a for instance. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to see the
growth in the viewership that we’ve seen. The use of video actually was first developed
not so much to push it out beyond our campus, but it was first developed, the use of it,
to provide a live stream into two of our large auditorium on campus. Many persons will go
into the Bianchi Planetarium, and watch the commencement from that indoor venue. We’ve
now seen technology allow us to push the images of our commencement out into the public and
globally. And now we find that people who could not get to our campus saying, I can’t
realistically travel there for this event, but it’s important to witness it, I’ll watch
it online. It’s quite exciting. Yeah, I don’t see technology impeding on a
campus ritual like this in a way to replace it. Or, at least that’s my personal hope.
I mean, there’s an efficiency to online, but a ritual is meant to impact the individual.
Even though we’ve been live streaming this, we haven’t seen a decline in the numbers coming
to commencement. So I would bet that rituals of commencement will still be an important
face-to-face event for our campuses.

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