RIPON – As the graduating class of 2014 put on their caps and gowns, students at Ripon College were encouraged to celebrate their success on social media.
It’s all a part of Ripon’s graduation theme, titled “The New Media.”
That theme also found its way into Sunday’s graduation speech.
“Greatest last four years ever,” said a Ripon graduate as she sends out a tweet. It’s one of many on Ripon’s Twitter page.
With the hashtag RCgrad14, a photo booth for graduates to take home the hard copies of the pictures with their family and friends, and a “selfie squad” taking pictures of graduates to post online, Ripon College is embracing social media.
“There’s a big difference between parents and their children in terms of how they interact with the world because media has altered so dramatically since the early 1990s,” said Zach Messitte, Ripon College president.
Students seemed to enjoy this year’s social media theme.
“I think it is a great idea. I mean, I don’t think Ripon is that big, obviously, so it’s kind of cool to get out there that much more,” said Brice Terbeest.
Even the graduation speakers’ took the theme to heart. Their speech… titled “Nine tweets and a selfie.”
Hanna Rosin, a writer, and David Plotz, editor of Slate, an online magazine, didn’t stick to Twitter’s 140 characters but they did keep the audience’s attention.
“Tweet number three, everything you write is public. Hashtag, you didn’t get the job,” said Plotz.
Before graduates settled into their seats, some said they’re prepared for the real world.
“I do have a job lined up. I actually have a job interview in about four days so I’m always taking one step and I know what I can do and what I want to do,” said Penelope Shapansky.
Ripon College reports 96 percent of its graduates are placed in jobs, grad school, or student teaching within six months after graduation.
As the “selfies” and “usies” continued on Ripon’s campus the commencement speakers had one more thing to do.
“Three, two, one… tweet. Congratulations graduates of 2014.”
With the click of a button, a picture of the commencement speakers with graduates in the background will live online forever or as long as Twitter exists. You can see the picture and other graduation photos by clicking here.