While other institutions have canceled their graduation ceremonies, the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo (MTA) decided to hold a modest, yet exciting, online event
One of the most exciting highlights for MTA students each year is the annual graduation ceremony. This ceremony marks the beginning of their lives as college graduates. Thousands of excited graduates and their families are invited to the ceremony for the momentous occasion. The students eagerly await the moment their names are called to receive the certificate, for which they had tirelessly worked toward. In light of the current Corona Crisis, it seemed inevitable that the ceremony will be cancelled, thus depriving the graduates of the exciting event.
The ceremony, which takes place every year in June, was repeatedly postponed due to the crisis in the hope that it would be possible to produce it in its original format. Realizing that, under the current circumstances, the chances of this happening are close to nil, it was decided not to give up but, instead, to hold a unified virtual ceremony for the graduates of all of MTA’s five schools. The task was assigned to the Dean of Students, in collaboration with the College's Events and Conferences Department, who rose to the challenge in an impeccable manner.
Accordingly, just before Rosh Hashanah, MTA held a virtual graduation ceremony for 1,080 first- and second-degree graduates. The ceremony, which was broadcasted simultaneously on Zoom and YouTube, was moderated by Israeli actress Ania Bukstein and featured a performance by Israeli singer Avraham Tal.
"We had close to 700 views on Zoom and another 300 on YouTube," said Michal Raz, head of the Dean of Students Office. "When taking the family members into account, thousands of spectators attended the event without have to endeavor long speeches or lectures. Each school's dean read out the graduating students name and the entire ceremony only lasted 50 minutes still keeping the humble spirit and character of the college.
Although the entire ceremony was transmitted virtually, its production involved the building of three stages, an elaborate camera apparatus and drones, The event opened with a video taken by a live drone, which was launched at the beach in Jaffa and hovered all the way to the stage of the event.