By: Academic Technologies
Posted on: October 8, 2023
Ah, fall. The weather turns, the colors turn, and the students re-turn in force. The seasons of the calendar line up closely with the academic terms, and over the years one feels the rhythm echo in their own lives. Working on campus has a special kind of pace, similar to watching the ocean. Over time, tides come in, stick around, then ebb away…only to make room for the next tide.
The academic year drives what we in UIT-Academic Technologies do on campus in support of OSU’s academic mission. For example, over the summer months, Classroom Technology Services is busy tearing down and building up classroom presentation systems, from new installations to upgrades. You don’t see much of that work happening when classes are in session.
In Media Services, we help bookend the academic year with two signature events: Convocation and Commencement. Commencement is a big deal – it is the culmination of years of work for students, as well as faculty.
Our role in Commencement for 2024 has already begun, in planning the event from an A/V perspective. We provide services that allow the tens of thousands in Reser Stadium to see and hear what is happening on the stage, so, so far away from the nosebleed seats. We, along with Technical Services, coordinate the cameras and the sound system, to put on the big show.
We also share it with the rest of the world – a tradition that began over a century ago when Oregon Agricultural College began broadcasting on experimental station KFDJ, later called KOAC (and later became OPB.) Media Services was there to provide “virtual” Commencements when the pandemic interrupted the in-person activities for two years.
Being able to put our years of broadcast television production to use to share this great annual story brings us great joy. But what might be even more joyful for us this year was our production of the Convocation exercises.
Convocation is a much smaller event than Commencement, and it’s for the incoming class. Parents don’t come to Corvallis to watch their students convoke – they’ve already been here to drop them off for dorm life. Students assemble at the MU, then process down to Gill Colliseum, mimicking the Commencement procession. Inside Gill, the assembled class is officially welcomed to the community by our President, and the college Deans get their classes to make as much joyful noise as they can.
This year, part of the presentation included a pre-recorded message from the college Deans. This message was recorded in the spring, when we had access to our Deans for recordings related to the big June event. This was especially meaningful to our staff, as he wrote it, though only later did it occur to him that his daughter was one of our new students in that crowd.
Convocation in the fall, Commencement at the end of spring, and all the goings-on in between…Being a part of the bookends to the student experience is an honor and privilege. And even better? Along the way, we get to tell the stories from many of the chapters in between.