We’re just coming out of graduation season, where millions of high school and college students all around the world earn their diplomas and sit together for two hours during a really boring ceremony. However, some lucky graduates got the opposite of boring when their schools brought in special (and famous) commencement speakers. It used to be that schools picked speakers based on their message or connection to the school. And while those are still considerations, schools these days are savvy enough to also consider what kind of viral boost they might get from prospective speakers.
When SNL alum, Andy Samburg, spoke at Harvard’s graduation, the Harvard Magazine was there to record it, and has already leveraged it to more than half a million views for their channel:
Syracuse invited Social Network writer, Aaron Sorkin, and then grabbed nearly 100,000 views of free publicity by hosting the video on their official YouTube channel:
Smith College got in on the act, bringing in Glee’s Jane Lynch:
Mitt Romney was invited to speak at Liberty University’s graduation, and both Romney and the school are able to share in the online video benefits:
Sometimes a little controversy can be a good thing, at least in terms of added publicity. Wellesley High School has been in the news quite a bit this week after a particularly harsh (but probably true) commencement address was given entitled You Are Not Special:
If the college or university isn’t hosting the video themselves to drum up publicity, it’s someone like PBS coming in and filming, as they did for President Obama’s address to Barnard College graduates: