Monday, June 11, 2012

Niagara University Graduate Commencement Ceremony 2012 - FULL VIDEO and Critique

Holy crap, college graduation ceremonies are long and boring! I say this as a person who attended college (on a full scholarship, might I add), graduated in the top 3% of my class, and chose to throw a party on the big day instead of walking. I figured I worked my a-- off for almost 5 years, why punish myself any further? Niagara University's Graduate Commencement Ceremony, held on May 13, 2012, was no less snoozerific, in my opinion. It was long, full of pomp and funny, cult-like clothing, and was more sleep inducing than a hand full of Ambien with a vodka chaser. There were two exceptions, however. The first exception was honorary doctorate recipient Lloyd Robertson, who gave a most excellent commencement address. Amongst other things, he playfully described Canadian-American relations and the sibling-like rivalry between the two countries. Subtle differences abound, but when all is said and done, Americans love their Canadian cousins, and Canadians hopefully feel the same way about their lovable neighbo(u)rs to the South.

The other stand-out from this otherwise fairly typical graduate commencement ceremony was of course the presence of Mike Holmes. As with Lloyd Robertson, Mike also received an honorary doctorate, his in the field of Pedagogy. Shortly after the ceremony, the university released a short video clip of Mike graciously accepting the degree on Niagara's website. A few weeks after that, Niagara posted the full, hour-and-a-half long ceremony, which including the opening induction rituals, as well as the presentation of the degrees to the much-deserving students.

I think most people would agree, the most boring part of any graduation ceremony is sitting through the long, seemingly endless list of names that go on and on forever and ever -- no disrespect meant to the class of 2012. We here at the Holmes Spot have taken great pains to watch the ENTIRE video, beginning to end, and have highlighted some points of interest. Yup, we do the hard stuff so you don't have to. For all you diehards out there, feel free to watch the entire video, but for everyone else, here are some cool things we noticed.

The 2012 Niagara University Graduate Commencement Ceremony (FULL VIDEO)


First things first: Mike. Mike got an honorary degree. I think we've all seen the clip. I think we've discussed it here on this blog ad infinitum.  For those who haven't seen it, here it is in all its black-robed glory.

Now, the fun stuff. Mike is no doubt a celebrity in his own right. And being a person who works on television, he's bound to have at least a couple of fans in a room full of people. As the degrees were being presented, a young man gave Mike a thumbs up and went to shake his hand. Not expecting the attention, it seemed to catch Mike off guard just enough to make him drop his honorary diploma. It made quite a bit of noise, but Mike played it off cool. This young man was only the first of many to show Mike some love.

The ceremony continued on like normal, until one guy decided it would be fun to fist-bump Mike, causing a chain reaction of a dozen or more students making a pit stop by Mike to shake his hand before receiving their diplomas. And then it happened again. As the students continued to show their affection, a student with the name "Michael James" was called, and Mike made a virtually inaudible comment about liking his name as the student approached him for the then-requisite handshake. (For those who don't know, Mike's middle name is also James.)

As the ceremony closed, Father Levesque thanked Lloyd Robertson and then thanked Mike Holmes (whom he was less familiar with than Robertson, but admired none the less). Levesque remarked that both men lived extraordinary lives, and made a round-about comment about the warm attention Mike received. He seemed mildly intrigued and perhaps a little surprised by the rapport Mike had with dozens of the students there.

The biggest thing I took away from watching this behemoth of a video was that Mike Holmes displayed a genuine admiration and respect for the students and their achievements. He was visible throughout the entire presentation, and he clapped and smiled for EVERY SINGLE person who walked across that stage. Out of the 5 or so people who sat with him, he was the ONLY person to do so. Character is what you do when you think nobody is watching... In Mike's case, it might be more apropos to say it's what you do when you think nobody is going to scrutinize what you're doing and then write a blog about it! No, I highly doubt Mike expected some obnoxious fan chick, vis-à-vis me, to comb through an hour plus of graduation hell so she could analyze his interaction with the students. It's clear that this is more-or-less a candid snapshot of Mike at his realest, and just another reason why so many people around the world love and admire him so much. Keep clapping, Mike.

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