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UIC Hosts 2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Click above for the 5-minute highlight reel of the 2021 UIC Virtual Commencement 

On February 22, Underwood International College said its goodbyes to our Winter 2021 graduates. Commencement is usually one of the biggest events on campus, as families and friends gather to celebrate their beloved graduate’s new chapter beyond Yonsei. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, the festivities looked slightly different than they have in previous years.

On top of the all-university commencement, each college holds its own diploma ceremony in the winters. In hopes of giving our graduates a proper farewell, Underwood International College opted to host a virtual commencement ceremony this February. We produced a video prior to Commencement Day in Yonsei’s famous Luce Chapel, taking into careful consideration the national coronavirus guidelines.

(In order from front to back, L to R) Dean Taeyoon Sung, Chaplain Meehyun Chung, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Hyunjae Kim, Associate Dean of Planning Chulyoung Kim, Chair of Common Curriculum Kelly S. Walsh, Associate Dean of International Affairs Helen J.S. Lee  

The filming was attended by Dean Taeyoon Sung, Associate Deans Hyunjae Kim, Chulyoung Kim, and Helen J.S. Lee, and Chair of Common Curriculum Kelly S. Walsh. After the invocation by Chaplain Meehyun Chung, Dean Sung gave his introductory remarks, which was followed by Associate Dean Hyunjae Kim’s academic report. Professor Walsh then conferred degrees to the 259 students in the Class of 2021. This was followed by the presentation of the Highest and High Honor Rolls to our eight recipients, one of whom, Sungjin Kim (ECON 15), delivered this year’s valedictory address. To end the ceremony, seven volunteers from Underwood Vision Ensemble (UVE), UIC’s very own student orchestra, performed their renditions of “Pomp and Circumstance March” and “Now, It’s Goodbye.”

UVE performs the graduation classic, "Pomp and Circumstance"

The finalized video was uploaded to UIC’s official YouTube page at 2pm on Commencement Day. For the special premier, viewers were able to leave comments through the live chat feature. We had people tuned in from all over the world, and many shared short congratulatory remarks for their graduates. 

Ms. Sun Ah Key, UIC’s Student Affairs Senior Manager, was in charge of coordinating the virtual ceremony. She described the purpose of the event as “giv[ing] the Class of 2021 a sense of belonging.” Ms. Key was particularly impressed by “all the photos and messages students submitted,” showcased at the end of the virtual ceremony video. Director of Administration Daeshik Jung expressed “[his] gratitude to all of the UIC faculty and staff members in preparing the first virtual graduation ceremony.” He added, “Congratulations to the Class of 2021, and best wishes for your futures,” echoing the sentiment of the entire UIC Administration Team.

Student participation made our virtual celebrations much more meaningful. Thanks to the efforts of Yura Bahng (IID ‘16) and Hyunjung Oh (IID ‘16), UIC was also able to host a casual get-together for our graduates on the evening of Friday, February 26. Using technology from BASH, a new media company, each participant was able to create their own avatar and walk around a virtual party atmosphere. When the avatars were in proximity to one another, users were able to video chat in real time and share congratulatory remarks. The event was attended by several UIC faculty members as well, and it was a more laidback celebration that gave our graduates a final chance to see their peers and professors.

   

Screenshots from the student-led social event, using technology from BASH 

As Dean Sung quoted in his address, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). While we are saddened to see our graduates go, we are honored to have been a part of their lives and cannot wait to see all their future accomplishments. Congratulations, Class of 2021 — we wish you the best of luck!

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