Monday, May 26, 2014

Commencement Ceremonies Are Too Slow

One of our boys graduated from college yesterday. Yay! Another of our lads and I were sitting in the stands, getting numb in our posteriors, thinking how to speed things up. There were roughly 1000-1200 in the graduating class and the names were called out one - b y - o  n  e as each graduate came up to receive their diploma..

Time stood still. And then it started to go backwards.

This is ridiculous. We need a better way to hand out the diplomas. Here are just a few of the ideas we discussed, while laughing until we cried:
  1. "And now we will hand out the diplomas. If you don't get yours within 10 minutes of being called, your degree will be rescinded. ... Abramson through Edwards! Go, Go, GO!" (Mad rush of graduates ensues.)
  2. "The degrees being conferred have been ordered by average starting salary and will be handed out in that sequence regardless of which classes you've taken. First ones to the stage get the most money! Go, Go, GO!" (Crazed rush ensues.)
  3. The degrees were contained in big boxes on tables on the stage. I had this image of the tables being overturned and the degrees scattering all over the place in a big, jumbled pile. "You have fifteen minutes to find your degree. All unclaimed degrees will be burned immediately! Go, Go, GO!" (Everyone leaps out of their chairs and stampedes the stage.)
There were a few more that I can't recall now. I'm sure everyone around us thought us quite mad. :-)


Niall Mor said...

I once heard a story about a major university where the graduating class was so large that the administration decided not to call each graduate's name individually. The graduates sat together by school or college and were simply told to stand up and flip the tassels on their mortarboards from one side to the other when the time came and their school or college was announced. Voila, they were now graduates! They got their diplomas in the mail a few weeks later.

tim eisele said...

Niall Mor: I've heard that Michigan State does that.

For that matter, Michigan Tech goes through the whole call-everyone's-name thing, but then the "diploma" that you get is an empty folder. They mail the diploma out later. So they *could* skip the name-calling if they wanted to.

A fair number of people whose relatives aren't interested in attending opt out of going through the ceremony, which I think speeds things up a bit. The ceremony is for the parents anyway, and if they want to sit through through the roll call of names just so they can hear their child's name come up, well, the university is happy to oblige.

Moxie D. Hoxie said...

My school, a Big Ten one did that. Another Big Ten school, Ohio State read a-l-l the names... Ugh.

Moxie D. Hoxie said...

Indiana and University of Michigan just did the magic, "Stand up; switch tassle; you're a graduate!" group graduation. Didn't bother me or my parents.