Behind the Scenes: Commencement 2022

May 18, 2022

Technology makes in-person events run smoothly, too

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Graduating Students celebrating in front of Bear Down

Last Friday night, the University of Arizona celebrated its 158th commencement ceremony, conferring about 4,600 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to a crowd of 36,000 attendees filling Arizona Stadium. Unseen by the graduates and public, the CIO Division provided networking, telecom support, and check-in to the first in-person commencement since 2019. 

Since late February, the staff of UITS and Trellis have been working hard to develop and execute plans to make the 90-minute event both successful and memorable. Led by Tim Nitz and Walter Ries, the commencement support team was broken into several groups. 

Ken Boynton led the NetOps team for supporting the ShowSource operations center—the production company overseeing the event—along with the Command Center and Security Operations. The Telecom team, led by Chris McCotter, added extra wifi to the stadium and check-in areas, installing additional outdoor wireless access devices and fiber connections.

New to the event this year, was the rollout of a new check-in process for graduates using QR Codes via their phones, usurping an older method using CatCards. Developed by our Trellis team and led by Nik Glazier-Hodge, the new check-in process was streamlined by using Trellis to distribute tickets to graduates via email which were then scanned by volunteers at the security checkpoint. For scanning and processing the codes, Lauren Harvey configured, tested, and supported 30 UITS-provided iPads for staff and volunteers.

Congratulations to team leads Tim Nitz, Walter Ries, Ken Boynton, Chris McCotter, Clancey Dollard, Lauren Harvey, Nik Glazer-Hodge, Fermin Garcia, Mark Roberts, and everyone who helped make Commencement 2022 a success!!