Faculty members at Troy University’s Dothan Campus recently took the time to make spring graduates feel special.
With the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony postponed from campus-specific ceremonies in May to a University-wide graduation in July, many students were left without a way to mark their achievements.
Dr. Marty Olliff, Professor of History and Coordinator of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Dothan Campus, developed an idea for a virtual ceremony for graduates, recreating some of the pomp and circumstance of an in-person commencement.
“It started with me thinking I’m going to cut an audio recording of me pronouncing the names of all the graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences at the Dothan Campus,” Olliff said. “After I contacted the registrar’s office, someone suggested it would be great if other departments got involved. I got in touch with my colleagues at the assistant dean’s level in Dothan, and within an hour, everybody had responded positively to it.”
Every college on the campus became involved in the project, recording graduates’ names and sending them to Olliff, who edited and compiled the files along with applause and an introductory speech from Dothan Campus Vice Chancellor Dr. Don Jeffrey.
Olliff said the video, which was completed and posted June 11, was a passion project meant to show graduates how special their achievements were.
“If any of the students said, ‘This is nice, I’m glad they did this,’ and it made them feel good about their achievement, then it was worth it,” Olliff said. “That’s what the ritual of graduation is to me, that signal that you have accomplished this thing you set out to accomplish. I hope this made them feel special. If it did, the final product was certainly worth the effort.”
Those who participated in the video include Olliff, Jeffrey, Dr. James Ortego, Dr. Kirk Davis, Dr. Dewey Todd and Dr. Kasey Chance.