Galas + Celebrations | Brand Activations
2021 Commencement Ceremony
Concept, design and execute two highly impactful student engagements to enhance the commencement ceremony and celebrate the milestone achievements of the graduating class during a worldwide pandemic.
Design | Build | Production | Logistics
Augsburg University has a wonderfully diverse student body. The graduating class of 2021 had 855 graduates representing 54 sovereign nations. Our initial impulse was to lean into that uniqueness and create a visually impactful celebration of diversity. While visiting the site we located an open wall space on the side of an academic building that was highly visible and easily accessible. We conceived the idea of a massive custom mural that would cascade down the side of the building.
We designed a decorative graphic mural featuring 54 students in cap and gown against a bold background of colored rectangles. Thinking about the challenge of the moment and the feelings of loneliness among students finishing up their senior year from home, we positioned the graduates backwards – looking away from the viewer. This provided the artwork with a sense of anonymity synonymous with the virtual learning environment. On the back of the caps, the 54 flags of the sovereign nations were displayed, to represent the individuals coming together to make up the 2021 graduating class.
The mural was a stunning tribute to the graduating class. It was installed a week leading up to commencement, students were invited to campus to see and take photos against the mural. The faculty and administrative community on campus as well as the surrounding neighborhood expressed great joy in this decorative, accessible “street art” that lived on past the commencement ceremony.
In addition to the massive mural installation, we made the virtual graduation ceremony come to life by using an event illustrator to create a live visual map of the ceremony as it took place. A timelapse of the illustrator’s work throughout the ceremony resulted in a dynamic and inspirational art piece depicting the event. Although students could not attend the ceremony in person, the art piece provided them with a creative memento to cherish and acknowledge their achievement.
The activation was a success! Two unique visual engagements made this virtual milestone a celebration to remember and promoted the diversity and shared community of the graduates leaving them with a sense of pride for completing a lifetime milestone achievement in a time where restrictions would not allow large gatherings to occur. The community was captivated by the creative mural installation, it left passersby gawking, “This is so pretty, can I take a picture?” The final result was an absolutely delighted client and a celebration that would be remembered by all!