The commencement ceremonies that took place May 15 in Nemzek Fieldhouse took a new twist on celebrating students’ collegiate accomplishments. This spring’s event featured pre-commencement shows with live and taped video, which aired on WDAYZ Xtra and the MSUM website.

“The idea of the pre-game shows came as we were talking about how we could extend our story beyond the commencement ceremony and beyond tweeting,” MSUM’s Associate Vice President for Academic Planning Denise Gorsline said. “Tweeting is still a key social media strategy, but we felt we could do more.”

MSUM alumna and WDAY news anchor, Lane Zyvoloski, was asked to be the host for the ceremonies’ pre-commencement shows.

“I think the first pre-commencement show was extremely successful,” Zyvoloski said. “It’s the first time something like this has been done, and the whole concept is very innovative and exciting. It shows MSUM is not afraid to try new things. It offered a chance for student leaders, staff, professors – and even President Blackhurst – to reflect on what makes MSUM a successful place to grow.”

From Mongolia to Moorhead, family and friends of graduates tweeted their support and pride throughout the day with #MSUM2015 on Twitter as they watched the live stream on the MSUM website.

“Feeling loved and supported on your graduation day – even when your family can’t be there – is so important,” Zyvoloski said. “There are students who don’t have family members searching frantically for them in the crowds after the ceremony. But with the live stream, they could still know their family was watching.”

This year’s hashtag, #MSUM2015, collected 2,838 tweets, made 2,428,053 potential impacts (the potential number of times somebody could have seen the hashtag) and trended in Minnesota.