Earlier this month, Ephblog had a lot of discussion about Williams’ decision to not have a virtual commencement. It was classic Ephblog – DDF had a thought-provoking post with a lot of interesting ideas. The posts that followed included some thoughtful comments and good discussions. Some intelligent, insightful counterpoints were made by a variety of commentators (special shout out to timothjohn) that had no impact on DDF’s perspective. Good Times!

I wanted to share my experience with my oldest child’s virtual graduation last week. She attends a large private university on the west coast. Although they have promised an in person celebration at a date to be determined, they had a schoolwide “ceremony” at noon east coast time on the day graduation was supposed to be. It included a message from the president and a brief comment form the dean of each school. It lasted less than an hour. Throughout the day, they streamed brief personal video messages from family members, faculty, and staff. In addition, each school had its own live ceremony at a designated time during the day. For my daughter’s school, the dean spoke and each department head gave a brief message. There were two speakers and each did a good job with their speech. In fact, the main speaker’s speech was very entertaining and he adapted it beautifully to the current situation.

We had the streaming personal messages on in the background for most of the day. We often talked over various school speakers during the “official ceremonies” and there were a couple of technical glitches. However, it did add something to our celebration of my daughter’s graduation. As I mentioned, the main speaker was great and we all enjoyed his speech.

Could Williams have done something similar? I would guess yes. However, the point made by abl (I believe) that once you ask the Williams seniors and they say, “No” it is pretty hard to go ahead with a virtual commencement is spot on and virtually impossible to counter effectively.

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