Archive for the ‘Commencement’ Category

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech to Stanford Graduates

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of us know Steve Jobs as the co-founder of Apple and Pixar, but did you know Jobs encountered many hardships, failures, and unexpected turns throughout his life, including dropping out of college?

In his commencement address to Stanford’s graduating class of 2005, Jobs is very generous, personal, and honest. Unlike many speakers who focus on their successes and impart advice to students to emulate that kind of success, Jobs’ speech is composed of three surprising stories from his life that have made him the person he is today. Jobs offers no easy answers, but delivers an incredibly inspirational speech that may feature some of the most valuable words of wisdom for any graduate.


University of Florida Graduates Thousands: Coordinating One of the Biggest Graduation Events in the US

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

University of Florida ranks among America’s largest post-secondary institutions. To give you an idea of its size, previous universities I wrote about, such as Southern Methodist University and University of Miami, have student populations around 16,000, while UF’s is over 50,000! Donna Stricker, UF’s Commencement Coordinator, reveals how she has not only overseen the successful completion of various ceremonies, but has also managed to keep them all under ninety minutes long, as she is constantly mindful of the family members and friends who attend.

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In With the Old and In With the New: How University of Miami Keeps Commencement Fresh

November 3, 2010 1 comment

When coordinating graduation, every school works to tie in its own unique traditions. While University of Miami is no different in this regard, as an eighty-five-year-old school (a youth by university standards), UM works not only to infuse its ceremonies with a sense of history but also to invigorate them with a new and creative ending every year! Allison Gillespie, who oversees and executes all university commencement exercises, gave me the inside scoop on what makes University of Miami’s commencement ceremonies so special. Read more…

In Sanhedrin High’s Commencement, Every Graduate Gets a Valedictory Speech

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Sanhedrin High School, an alternative school in rural town called Willits in Northern California, was established in 1989 for students seeking alternatives to Willits High School’s curricula. With a 1:12 teacher to student ratio (about half the national average), Sanhedrin can give students (especially those with learning disabilities), the specialized attention they need. The word “Sanhedrin” is rooted in the Greek synedrion, meaning “sitting together,” and was used to describe the assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in the Biblical Land of Israel. A fitting name for a school with a graduating class of twenty students, that, due to its size and unique community, has tackled challenges and developed traditions associated with commencement in its own idiosyncratic way. Read more…

Walking Through the Rotunda and Back Again – Southern Methodist University’s 100-Year Legacy

October 5, 2010 1 comment

Southern Methodist School, founded in 1911, and opened in 1915, soon to be a century old, naturally, holds a graduation ceremony steeped in unique traditions. I interviewed Gretchen C. Voight, SMU’s Director of Academic Ceremonies, responsible for overseeing everything short of selecting the Commencement  speaker, to uncover how a school with a student population of 11,000 coordinates commencement smoothly, honors its finest students, and carries on its unique traditions as it approaches its one hundred-year anniversary!

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America’s “Coolest” Schools

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

And by “cool,” the Sierra Club means “green.”

Nowadays, students aren’t just looking for a prestigious school or a conveniently located school, but more and more of us want our schools to be green. The Sierra Club sent out a survey to 900 schools around the country, but only 162 responded. Fortunately, you can get an idea of some of the greenest or “coolest” schools and some of what Sierra Club calls “questionable colleges.” College News features the top ten greenest schools and a brief blurb about the survey. You can find the Sierra Club’s break down of all 162 schools, the most improved schools, and more about how they ranked them here.

On a side note, young people who will determine the future and faculty who will guide them to do so should be working to make our educational institutions greener. You can find out tips on how to make your next upcoming commencement green here.

Your Soundtrack for Graduation

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

When choosing a soundtrack for commencement or a graduation party, you’ve got to keep in mind that people are going to be looking both backward to the past and forward to the future during the event. And they’re going to want to cry.

To give you some ideas for the kind of songs young people are looking for during graduation, ibeatyou, a website the hosts online contests in which people post videos and images and compete for votes, hosted a contest for best song to play at graduation. The video below won first place as top song–I still remember this song from when I was younger. As one of the few coming of age pop songs that literally refers to graduation, Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever)” has secured a place on most top graduation songs lists out there. The most massive, comprehensive list of graduation songs I could find probably includes nearly every contemporary song associated with goodbyes, change, education, and/or graduation.