Building a Better Commencement Event
Building a Better Commencement Event
  • Reporter Lee Sang-min
  • 승인 2012.02.10 18:27
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More event and tradition necessary to regain respect

▲ POSTECH's event for the commencement is planting trees. The more renowned ceremony is necessary.

For the last 25 years, POSTECH has grown rapidly. Finally, in return for the growth, POSTECH was ranked 28th in The Times World University Rankings in 2010. It’s a valuable fruition mainly from aggressive investments and results in research.

Only a few steps remain to be completed in order for us to realize the dream of VISION 2020. However, the standard of POSTECH is not only determined by its academic achievement, but also its tradition and culture. In that sense, the number of steps looks far larger. POSTECH needs special alumnus, symbol, and events like what it has produced ? special output. The Science War between KAIST and POSTECH is a good example.

However, the commencement ceremony of POSTECH looks unsatisfying for that of the top Korean and world’s 28th university. Every time it has been just a series of briefing, conferment, and speech; there is nothing special or fascinating. A fantastic speech like that of the late Steve Jobs at Stanford University doesn’t appear in the ceremony conducted by POSTECH.

The bigger problem is that there is no respect by participants of the ceremony. Students and families have demanded for the school to hold the ceremony in the afternoon; their simple reason for that is to make their only half-day visit schedule comfortable. They have usually disappeared during the ceremony, after their own conferment of degree. Because of that, the late Tae-Joon Park, the founding chairman, left his seat with anger before the end in the ceremony a few years ago.

The commencement event is the last step as the student of the school, and the first step as the member of society. It is really special, and it should be the last time for cheering classmates to unite before the new step.

Universities in the United States celebrate the commencement for several days with a lot of events, conversely. This year’s commencement of Stanford University is planned to last for four days, with seven events. One of the events is the seniors’ dinner party funded by the alumni association. In addition, it leads graduates to spend the last few days on campus where they dwelled for several years.

▲ The Fleming House cannon of Caltech fires off annually for the commencement event.

The symbol, which specialize the commencement, should also be considered for the tradition of the school. The good example is the cannon of California Institute of Technology (Caltech.) The Fleming House cannon is annually fired off for the commencement event. A similarly unique symbol or performance can make the commencement of POSTECH unique.