JCCC Stories

College leaders relish commencement celebration

May 19, 2017

“A gig too good to give up.”

That’s how Dean Larry Reynolds describes a role he plays every year at graduation.

And, you wonder, what might that be?

Reynolds stands on the stage, waits until a student in cap and gown approaches and then he   announces the student’s name. The next part is his favorite.

“The moment the student walks across the stage – that’s the coolest part,” said Reynolds, Dean of Communications, English and Journalism. “They are so excited knowing how much they put into it and it’s a culmination for their families and friends as well. They are out there standing and cheering.”

Reynolds is a part of a small team of volunteers who annually read the names of the graduates at commencement ceremonies. He’s been doing it every year for 15 years. Accounting Professor David Krug has 10 years behind him and Jim Lane, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has three years in. Others with the college help out but these three haven’t missed a year, said Pam Vassar, Assistant Dean of Student Life.

The biggest challenge is pronouncing all of the names correctly. There are always a few that are tricky. Krug tries to get the student to help him out but if that doesn’t work, he does his best and always speaks with confidence. “If you stumble over it,” he said, “the whole auditorium knows that you messed up. Worst case scenario, only the families will know which ones I botched.”

Vassar said all of her readers seem to love doing it. And why not? “They get to see their students at their happiest,” she said.