Convocation webcast goes viral
Approximately two years ago the Office of the Registrar, in collaboration with Academic Information and Communication Technologies, began broadcasting the university’s convocation ceremonies online, both live and through archived online videos. The response to this service has been nothing short of overwhelming.
During the convocation period in June 2009, the Office of the Registrar reported that live and archived webcasts were each accessed by approximately 10,000 unique visitors from more than 100 countries. In particular, more than 1,400 visitors tuned in concurrently to watch the June 9 convocation ceremony live as the Aga Khan received his honorary degree. Another 4,000 viewers attended the ceremony virtually in the days following the actual event. In fact, the actual viewership could have been substantially higher, as reports do not differentiate between individual views and groups gathered to watch the ceremonies together through a single feed.
“I see such a great sense of pride and celebration in the faces of our graduates as they cross the stage at our convocation ceremonies and it’s wonderful that our convocation webcasts will give loved ones around the world an opportunity to share in that experience,” said
U of A Chancellor Linda Hughes. “So many friends and family members here at home and across the globe have supported our graduates on their journeys and convocation is truly a celebration for everyone.”
Corinne Callihoo, assistant registrar, says her office has received letters of thanks for this service, including one from the father of a graduand who had driven to the top of a hill in Newfoundland with his laptop to “borrow” a wireless connection, just to share in the moment when his son walked across the convocation stage.
“Another student expressed her thanks at having been able to participate in her own graduation ceremony from Newfoundland and join in the excitement and sense of pride as her friends’ names were called,” said Callihoo. “Investment in this service has resulted in substantial rewards, particularly as the university looks to Dare to Discover and the vision within for connecting with communities.
“The webcast has gone beyond improving accessibility to convocation; it has opened the doors to global participation in an event of unequivocal import to the academy, community and of course, our students.”