Graduates can join other graduates and faculty and staff in one-to-one interactions within their virtual world, while family and friends can view the festivities via video livestream— from wherever they are across the world.
Graduates can join other graduates and faculty and staff in one-to-one interactions within their virtual world, while family and friends can view the festivities via video livestream— from wherever they are across the world. Photo: Subvrsive
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Miami University's 2020 Virtual Commencement: An online, one-of-a-kind celebration

How to participate, how to watch

All are invited to post congratulations on social media using #MiamiOHGrad.
 
Tune in to one or more of the ceremonies through Miami University Facebook Live or access through the website at MiamiOH.edu/commencement.

Schedule of Ceremonies (Eastern Standard Time):
 
Saturday, May 16:
  • College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science (noon)
  • College of Engineering and Computing (2:30 p.m.)
  • College of Arts and Science (5 p.m.)

                                                                                                                                

Sunday, May 17:

  • Graduate School (9:30 a.m.)
  • College of Education, Health and Society (noon)
  • Farmer School of Business (2:30 p.m.)
  • College of Creative Arts (5 p.m.)

4,356 degrees to be awarded during virtual immersive ceremonies

Gov. Mike DeWine

Governor Mike DeWine

Miami University will celebrate its 2020 graduating class the weekend of May 16 and 17 with a multi-platform, virtual commencement experience. Ohio Governor and Alumnus Mike DeWine will be a featured speaker, just as he was scheduled for the postponed in-person May ceremony.

The weekend is designed to honor each student, showcase the Miami Experience, and be enjoyed by graduates, family, friends and alumni all across the world.

“Commencement is a cherished occasion for our graduates to celebrate with each other, their family, friends, and the entire Miami University community. Though we are unable to be together in person right now, we can be together virtually on this day that we all hold so dear,” said President Gregory Crawford. “It’s special to all of us – the culmination of hard work, dedication, perseverance and achievement – so we wanted to create an innovative and meaningful celebration of our graduates, especially at this time in our world.”

This graduation is a special milestone to President Crawford and Dr. Renate Crawford who began serving Miami four years ago when this class entered as first-year students.

Graduates, families, faculty, staff, alumni and friends can tune in to any scheduled ceremony through the website MiamiOh.edu/commencement or Facebook Live. Miami/student highlight reels, ceremony speeches featuring President Crawford, Governor DeWine, deans of Miami’s colleges/schools, and other invited guests will engage the audience. To close the event, the Miami Men’s Glee Club will perform the Alma Mater as is tradition, and rapid-fire, congratulatory remarks from notable Miami alumni and special guests will fill the screen.

An immersive, one-of-a-kind virtual experience

By computer, mobile device, or VR headset, graduates and university faculty and staff can choose to join the immersive ceremony – experiencing the same content and more, within a virtual, dynamic, never-seen-before environment where they can “chat” and interact with each other.

Miami class of 2015 alumnus Austin Mace and his team at Subvrsive, an immersive innovation studio, developed this experience as an exclusive to Miami. Mace’s Emmy-nominated company specializes in virtual reality events.
 
Mace wanted to help create an event reflective of Miami’s innovative spirit. “The Miami way is solution-oriented, innovative, entrepreneurial. We wanted to capture that for this celebration,” he said.

Creating Miami’s virtual world

Miami’s Glenn Platt initially reached out to Mace, a former student, with an idea to produce something unique. As the concept developed, the challenge was how to create a personalized, meaningful experience within the framework of a virtual world. How can we best capture the moments of graduation day? Subvrsive was excited to partner with Miami to invent and create a virtual commencement experience that had never been created before.

No face-to-face ceremonies right now? Why not a virtual world with avatars and interaction – a virtual space that looks and feels like being there.

commencement-instagram.jpgMiami students and faculty within the department of emerging technology in business + design worked with Subvrsive to create a video-game-like experience. Mace commended the students, about 40, who he said were enthusiastic and highly skilled in strategy, design and 3D modeling.

They and their professors, Eric Hodgson and James Coyle, surveyed graduating seniors to learn what they would like to see in this virtual world. The design students also contributed 3D images and are conducting load testing with Subvrsive before the big day. 

For each ceremony, participants choose an avatar and enter the virtual space. “We chose to create “The Hub” of Miami’s Oxford campus – it’s the heart and soul of central campus that includes the university seal, the Upham Hall arches and more —representative of beloved Miami traditions,” Mace said.

Graduates can join other graduates and faculty and staff in one-to-one interactions within their virtual world, while family and friends can view the festivities via video livestream— from wherever they are across the world.
 
“It’s the best of both worlds and uniquely brilliant,” said Platt, who is chair of the department of emerging technology in business + design and the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Emerging Technology.
 
“This creative teamwork is a testament to the Miami experience,” said President Crawford. “I am so thankful we can celebrate together, if not in person right now, in a one-of-a-kind way that reflects how our students, alumni and our entire Miami community come together to innovate, lead, push beyond boundaries and thrive.”