COS holds graduation on TV and online

College of the Sequoias to email link to video of commencement ceremony, televise it on CW 59

VISALIA – With a mascot like Giants, COS felt like it had to go big when it came to finding a way to honor graduates without an in-person ceremony. That’s why the community college has decided to televise it.

College of the Sequoias (COS) announced that they will be emailing out a link to its pre-recorded, stylized video of its 93rd commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 21 to all students, staff and faculty. The ceremony will be available for viewing on Vimeo, an online video platform, but will eventually be permanently housed at for future viewing.

“Graduation Day is our favorite day of the year because we get to celebrate the achievements of our students,” COS superintendent and president Brent Calvin said. “Obviously, holding a virtual ceremony is not what any of us would have planned, but we thought it was important to do something to honor their hard work and dedication.”

Participating graduates will have their names read by two announces, a male and female voice, that will alternate throughout the video. Background footage, known as B-roll, from each of COS’ three campuses in Visalia, Tulare and Hanford will be played as each program and area of emphasis is introduced. Headshots of all 660 students will displayed as their name is announced. The video will also feature three student speakers and speeches by several COS administrators.

If you don’t have internet access or speeds to slow to watch video, you can also catch the video on TV. The COS graduation ceremony can also be viewed on the CW 59. The ceremony will air at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 on the local channel 59 in Fresno.

“Some of our more rural areas have inconsistent internet access, so just doing a video with a link didn’t feel appropriate,” said Lauren Fishback, marketing and public relations manager for COS.

Fishback said the video was produced in-house by herself and the college’s media content specialist over the course of three intense weeks. She said it took one week to reach out to graduates to see if they were going to participate, another week to record speeches and B-roll, and a final week to edit it all together with music, motion and many photos.

Calvin said the video is just one of the ways COS is working to make this year’s graduation special when students might be feeling like they are missing out on the traditional experience.

“I would like to thank our faculty, staff, and administrators as well as our Board of Trustees for everything they have done not only to salvage the spring semester but to support students in need through laptop and hotspot loaners, food disbursements and gift cards, and additional financial aid,” Calvin said.

Fishback said the commencement ceremony is especially important because it includes graduates from both the fall and spring semesters. If students will want to participate in an in-person ceremony, Calvin said they will be able to do so either this summer or next year.

“We look forward to the possibility of holding an in-person ceremony late this summer if conditions allow for it,” Calvin said. “And if that does not work out, our 2020 graduates will be invited back to walk with the 2021 graduates next spring.”

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