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Make Our Graduates Smile

April 28, 2020
Re: Make Our Graduates Smile
To: All faculty and staff
April 28, 2020
Dear Colleagues,
We are all sorry to not be holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the hardworking class of 2020, but here is a way that faculty and staff can help make our virtual commencement memorable for our students. We know that nothing will make our graduates smile more than seeing your faces, the faces of the faculty and staff who have taught and nurtured them along their journey.
As such, we are planning to have the traditional processional of Elgar’s “ Pomp and Circumstance ” be sung (not well, but passionately) by all of us. Over the next three days, there will be a series of quick Zoom recording sessions, coordinated by faculty member Katie Brokaw. We would very much appreciate you logging into one of them to wordlessly (DUH, duh-duh-duh, Duh, Duuh) sing along to a recording of the song. The recordings of these Zoom sessions will then be spliced together for the ceremony.
Zoom sessions for Project Pomp will be held at the following times (you will be receiving invites to all of them and can attend whatever fits your schedule):
Wednesday, April 29 | 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Thursday, April 30 | 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Friday, May 1 | 10 a.m.
Guidelines on how this will work:
  • All you need to do is sing along; one orchestral recording will be playing in the background for you during the session, so that all are singing in the same key. Much of the recording will be overdubbed, so please don’t worry if you feel you aren’t a good singer!
  • Feel free to wear your Master’s or Doctoral robes if you have them, or a UC Merced shirt or lab coat, and to use a UC Merced virtual background . Kids and pets are also welcome! And if you’d like to hold up a congratulations sign or in any other way get creative, go for it!
  • After we record the song, faculty and staff signed into each session will also have the chance to stay on the call to record a personalized few seconds of video for the Class of 2020, verbally expressing congratulations.
  • Recording sessions will take between 10-30 minutes, depending on how much you’d like to record.
What makes UC Merced special is YOU. If you are able, please try to join one of these short calls over the next few days. It will mean the world to our deserving students, and might just cheer you up a bit, too.
Gregg Camfield
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost