Viterbi graduates learned in late March that USC commencement ceremonies would be postponed until it is safe for large groups to gather in person again. In an effort to recognize Viterbi’s graduating students, the Viterbi Admission and Student Engagement office developed a celebration website to provide an online place for the Graduate Class of 2020 to remember, share, and commemorate their Viterbi experience.
The celebration was kicked off on Tuesday, May 12th by Sr Associate Dean Kelly Goulis and Executive Vice Dean Gaurav Sukhatme who fondly recalled their memories of being students at USC, and offered words of wisdom to the graduating class. The website consisted of the following features:
- A Celebration Toolkit with message templates and stickers for social media posts, yard signs, and even Zoom backgrounds to use while taking part in the various online activities.
- A number of workshops were organised to help the students with their next steps. They included: How to Best Prepare to Work Remotely, Exploring a Doctoral Degree for MS graduates, a PhD Academic Career Mentoring Panel for PhD graduates, and a workshop for those still Looking for a job after graduation.
- USC’s largest student organization, Viterbi Graduate Student Association (VGSA) led the online events with Year End Reflection Yoga, where the students took a walk down memory lane, recalling their time spent at USC.
- There were also games like Kahoot!, SCavenger Sprint, Viterbi Bingo, Celebration Pictionary and Community Jackbox which allowed the students to interact with the rest of their graduating class with friendly competition. All games had prizes for the winners.
- A Viterbi themed Escape Room was also designed along with an Instagram Challenge the students could take part in any time.
- Title Book section: here, the students submitted superlative titles for their classmates and friends. The title cards were then posted online for all to see.
- Travel and Food section: This page displayed favorite destinations displayed on a map along with best local spots to eat at, taken from survey data.
- Memories and Achievements section: This page showcased pictures and testimonials from the students, of their most fond memories at USC. This section also had a collection of Flickr albums of the events that took place during their time at USC VIterbi.
- A map was also generated based on locations in the world where our Trojans would head off to post graduation. It was symbolic and a reminder of how far reaching the Trojan Family is.
In addition to prizes, daily raffles also took place to encourage participation. To tie all the festivities up, the website also provided links to individual department celebrations. On Friday, May 15th USC held a virtual conferring of degrees and each school individually congratulated the Class of 2020.