From the Nominator
"The way the world works transitioned in 2020, changing how people connect and communities interact across distances. What has now become the new normal took time to unlearn, relearn, and adapt.
In July 2020, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) hosted its first virtual commencement ceremony for 1,180 graduates. The university worked with graduating students and student societies to create an experience like no other with its composition of virtual memories, video testimonials, and mosaic of renditions. Commencement 2020 was designed with approximately 40% content produced with graduating students and alumni. From the comfort of their homes--with their families and joined by peers, faculty, and the LUMS community from across the world--the Class of 2020 celebrated a milestone achievement.
The highlight of the ceremony was the keynote address by Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Laureate and a global advocate for education and gender equity. Graduating from the University of Oxford in the same year, Ms. Yousafzai spoke to the graduates as a colleague and a friend, sharing, “The darkest moments are to be followed by the brightest. Our world may never be the same after this crisis, but we can hope it will be better.”
The live session was broadcasted on Facebook with over 1,000 live views, in the long run exceeding a 1 million reach."
From the Judges
Great perspective from student/graduate generated content. It did feel like it was all about them rather than formal speeches and the same old formula for a graduation. Simplified and dignified. This commencement felt personal and more like a warm welcome than a formal commencement. I find it so impressive that even with the distance, it felt probably more genuine than it would have in person. Just from reading their statements, it feels like this was a turning point for their perspective and will likely create better in-person commencements in the future. Very impressed that the planning only took four weeks and that within that timeframe they were able to gather 40% of content from students, alumni, etc.