Commencement Creativity

I’m back at UC Davis, teleprompting for their commencement ceremonies.

I’ve been here since Wednesday, working 12 hrs tomorrow, and will be here until Sunday around 7pm… As always, the energy between the proud parents and their students is completely visible and you can feel it like a wave when the students walk into the cavernous building.

It’s very awesome to be asked back.

I’m grateful for the continued trust on their special days. I had the honor of prompting for two Silicon Valley icons, Prem Jain, of Pensando Systems and Alfred Chuang, from Magnet Systems. Neither had prompted before and both gave me their card afterwards. Neat!!!

Prem demonstrated how I should really take someone’s business card when he took mine from my hands, read it intently before pocketing it with a smile. I admit I’ve always just been grabbing people’s cards and then pocketing them for maaaaaybe reading months later. Good manners to know!

Here’s the story of a commencement nightmare and simple solution:

After UC Davis, I did a completely different commencement for John F Kennedy University a week later. It was held at the awesome, omg, awesomeawesomeawesome old school Paramount Theater in Oakland.

About fifteen minutes after Pomp and Circumstance was playing, and the students were marching in their robes to take their seats…


…then silence.

The sound system blew out. How do you march without Pomp and Circumstance? The students stood still… waiting.

After a minute it was apparent this wasn’t an easy “throw the lever” fix…

So, someone started humming the song… and then another joined in… and soon the whole theater was humming or LA-LA-ing Pomp and Circumstance. Brilliant! People were bright eyed and happy to be contributing a solution and joining the excitement.

I’m thinking this needs to be an annual occurrence now:)

Yes, they did fix the system but allowed the humming to carry the kids in to their seats:)

The rest of the event went flawless.

I’m grateful both institutions chose our services and let us join in these very special days.



JFK University has been absorbed by National University in 2021, so RIP to a great team of local educators and professionals.