If you’ve never had the chance to attend commencement, it is an experience in true pageantry. Students gather in their home school. They proceed up the various pathways of campus to the main and south malls where they are greeted by faculty in full regalia, lining all the streets and pathways to the Tower. They greet students with waves and hugs and shouts of congratulations and "you did it!" As students reach their seats, they are met with music from the Longhorn Band (and when the band starts, if you don’t just well up a bit – check your pulse) and a welcome from the President. As the ceremony proceeds, students and speakers are projected onto large screens so from wherever you are seated you can watch. A special light show is projected onto the Tower as each school is presented for graduation. You will see parents text their children how proud they are of them. Friends will take selfies and send them to each other across the network, which is enhanced for the event. Joy and pride beam across the faces of students, faculty, and loved ones as the Main Mall fills with music and lights and is eventually lit up with fireworks. What an event!
ITS is proud to support our campus IT partners and Events in making sure that commencement comes off without a hitch. Efforts start long before the big events of Thursday through Sunday. Here are just a few of the tasks performed behind the scenes:
- ITS Multi-media provides A/V, audio, and lighting for individual college graduations.
- For the Main Commencement, ITS Multi-media conducts site work, verifying CATV feeds, ensuring correct cabling, placing speakers and lights, and inspecting the entire sound installation for the event.
- ITS Networking installs and programs temporary switches to provide extra wireless coverage on the Main and South Malls.
- ITS-plants test fiber circuits all over campus used to feed convocation and commencement programs to various locations.
- ITS building access & security team (BACS) installs and configures special security cameras for the event around the Main Mall.
- To augment the wi-fi coverage for commencement, ITS crews installed and patched in 21 wireless hubs around the bleachers.
- ITS crews install uplink cables from the video truck to FOH audio and the stage.
To add to this, crews from all of the above teams were on site before, during, and after the big event to ensure it was flawless.
As we go about our daily endeavors, it may be easy to forget that bandwidth, storage options, wikis, blogs, customer service support, information security, safe logins, virtual machines, email, and all of the other services we ensure are available 24/7. These services are essential to the student journey and core to student success. The ceremony—the lights, the sounds, the music, the colors, the speeches, the fireworks, the joy and pride -- is a moment when our graduates can be reminded that they do have that “power to change the world!”
Thank you for the work that you do day in and day out to help students succeed! Thank you to the cross-campus commencement team who put on a majestic experience for our graduates. You are awesome.