We’ve captured hundreds of graduation ceremonies over the years and witnessed countless graduates walk proudly across the stage to collect their degrees. It’s a special moment for every single one of them and the family and friends watching on from the audience. It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused considerable pain and hardship for people of all ages across the world and it is no different for those in higher education. The pandemic has prevented them from socialising in normal ways, disrupted their learning and now, cruelly, prevented them from celebrating their graduation in, let’s face it, the manner in which they deserve.
The graduation ceremony is the pinnacle moment in the life of a graduate – it’s the moment that heralds the end of their years long studies and ushers them into the next exciting part of their lives. It may seem unimportant to some in the face of this pandemic, with the pain it has caused, but they haven’t perhaps witnessed these occasions as we have. We, too, have perhaps taken these moments for granted, never expecting them to cease. But now that they have, the impact is devastating and not being able to celebrate such moments as these, not only tells how far away we are from the “old normal” but how much we need it to return.
When a graduate walks across the stage to collect their award, they are not just heralding their transition from student life to “the real world”, they are showing to world that they have achieved something remarkable. It is a character building moment and one that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but for any parent, spouse, sibling or friend, seeing their loved ones rewarded for their hard work is a moment of immense pride and emotion. Losing this moment is heartbreaking. That’s why we have done what we can to ensure the celebrations can go on.
Our online virtual graduation ceremonies make it possible for us to all share in this wonderful moment once again. No, it’s not the “old normal”, but in these difficult times, it feels pretty close! Our range of graduation and social media packages, from live-streamed graduations over Zoom, to pre-recorded video messages and student content and the continuation of our social media clip options, means that graduates can once again mark this momentous day and share it with family and friends. With the social media clip, they can share their graduation online with the world!
There will come a time where we can gather in large numbers again and we can’t wait to capture graduates as they walk across the red carpet to collect their awards, once more. But it must also be said that the pandemic has brought with it as much innovation and opportunity, as it has despair and pain. We have found new ways to communicate with, help and work with each other. These innovations won’t end when the pandemic is over. They’re part of our society now. Although we’ll largely return to the old ways of doing things, these new innovations will provide us with opportunities going forward, such as making it easier to work from home. With online graduation ceremonies and virtual graduations, our new innovations will enable us to provide opportunities to graduates who aren’t able to attend their graduations, along with their loved ones.
So as much as we hope virtual and hybrid graduation ceremonies are, on the whole, a temporary measure to get around the problems the pandemic has thrown up, they’ll also have a place in the post-Covid-19 world or “new normal”. Whatever happens, we’re ready and prepared to ensure that graduates need never miss out again on celebrating this most important of days.