By Ashanti Glover
NDMU has announced plans for graduation. Class of ’20 and ’21 will have a combined virtual commencement. This celebration of accomplishments will be streamed through YouTube at 11am EST on May 23.
This virtual ceremony will be led by MarchingOrder. MarchingOrder has been used by institutions since 2003 and is a technology company that allows for smooth registration, check-in, name display, and audio playback.
Virtual commencements are new to many during this pandemic, but not so much for institutions. Gradpak defines virtual graduation as an online ceremony that an institution hosts. NDMU’s partnership with MarchingOrder will make this possible.
Commencement Graphics have been provided for graduates to update their Facebook profile and Zoom backgrounds. These graphics give students the opportunity to share their achievements with friends and family via social media.
During the virtual ceremony faculty and staff, family, friends, and fellow graduates will watch and/or participate, through provided web link. Graduates who have opted to participate a personalized slide will display when their name is called.
The slide will include the graduates name, degree, and submitted cap and gown photo.
Although there is no in person gathering for the class of 2020 and 2021 graduates, there are positives to holding a virtual commencement.
Tickets are not needed, which allow for family and friends to honor graduates no matter where they live without excluding anyone. The hassle of traveling and stress of being on time is also reduced.
Deadlines are crucial for making sure that graduating students are recognized in this year’s graduation ceremony. Graduates have not been given much notice to prepare for commencement.
University approved regalia must be purchased by March 31 only giving graduates a few weeks to submit orders. All graduates from August 2019 – May 2021 are required to fill out the commencement survey and submit phonetic spelling and photograph of graduate in regalia attire.
“I’m still figuring it out, have not been updated on what is going on,” Fall 2020 graduate Dylaney (Lane) Burk said. The impact of COVID-19 has led to delay in communication in many areas for lane not just commencement.
Burk remains positive and allows faith to lead her. While this graduate is preparing for commencement the focus on securing a stable source of income has been priority. With job scarcity being high due to the pandemic she continues to network and be persistent.
This has not discouraged Burk from celebrating her success. In honor of her hard work and dedication she will be taking a trip to New England in October.
“Remember that you are not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel, don’t blame yourself and keep your chin up,” Burk shares with graduating peers who are having similar challenges. “Be reassured it is not you and understand your worth as an employee and a person.”
Photo Courtesy of MarchingOrder