Parade! Giant "O"! Victory Lap!

Eleven people have now emailed me the memo below. Yeah, I got it too. Sorry, it’s beyond parody.

I love the small Department graduations we have now. So far as I can tell these are almost unique to UO, most schools have one big, long ceremony. With ours the students are all together with their fellow majors and are in a great mood – or hungover, or on their way to it. It’s fascinating meeting the parents. You get all kinds of useful feedback from seeing and talking with students and parents – all kinds.

And it’s just interesting learning what, where and from whom these kids come from.  Big guys in chainsaw hats with 8 & 1/4 fingers. People who are impressed because I’m a professor in a gown. People who think I’m an idiot because I’m a professor in a gown. Single Moms who are just so happy they are done with the tuition bills. Grandparents hobbling around smiling.  “I was a teacher in Sutherlin for 32 years – I’m just so proud of her.” Little brothers looking up to their big sister, literally. Babies. Divorced parents with new partners, but wanting a picture with just the two of them and me and their student in the middle. Tough job people, but from what I see I think you did OK by your kid. I hope you think I did my job too.

Instead of reinforcing and building on this, we are going to have a parade and then jump through a giant “O” and do a victory lap of Hayward Field and then sit there and listen to a bunch of overpaid administrators give self-congratulatory speeches?

You are fucking kidding me.

PS: But the food fair idea is brilliant. Get a Nikasi booth and you can count me in.

February 17, 2010


TO:        Faculty and Staff

FROM:        Jim Bean, Senior Vice President and Provost

SUBJECT:     2010 Commencement Information

I want to take a moment to update you on the commencement activities that will take place on Monday, June 14.  A committee has been planning a complete transformation of the commencement exercises for the past year. We are excited to reveal new traditions that will honor the achievements of our students.

To briefly give you an idea, we will begin with an academic parade at 9 a.m. where all students, faculty and staff will march down 15th Street to historic Hayward Field where the University Graduation Celebration will take place. We hope that our faculty will lead their respective school and college delegations in the parade. Students participating in the parade will be excited to see faculty who have been instrumental in guiding their academic endeavors at this event.

The parade will end at Hayward Field where you and graduates will cross through a large Oregon “O.” Graduates will be greeted by family and friends who will cheer as a victory lap is taken around the field before being seated on the infield for the celebration. Our updated ceremony will showcase student achievements over the past four years, remind students of the experiences they have shared, and enjoy remarks from a university prominent alumnus.

Following the University Graduation Celebration, our traditional school, college and department ceremonies will take place at noon and 3 p.m. In between ceremonies, we will encourage guests to take a walk around campus, visit the student’s classrooms, visit a museum and enjoy a nice graduation meal at GradFest on 13th Street. GradFest is a new addition to our day and will feature food vendors as well as a photo booth and DuckStore booth.

Campus will be busy during graduation weekend, hosting the NCAA Track and Field Championships from June 9 to 12 and Commencement on Monday, June 14. In addition, zero-week classes for summer session begin on June 14. While it is an honor to host these important events concurrently, we also recognize that it poses challenges for campus.

It is recommended that faculty consider scheduling time-sensitive activities, such as grading, in anticipation of Commencement taking place on a Monday. I also encourage flexibility with regard to students who may be graduating and enrolled in zero-week classes.

For more details, including the schedule of all events, visit

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