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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO COMMENCEMENT? Preparing to Host a VIP at Formal Academic Ceremonies Brad Barron, Associate Dean and University Registrar Furman University.

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Presentation on theme: "GUESS WHO’S COMING TO COMMENCEMENT? Preparing to Host a VIP at Formal Academic Ceremonies Brad Barron, Associate Dean and University Registrar Furman University."— Presentation transcript:

1 GUESS WHO’S COMING TO COMMENCEMENT? Preparing to Host a VIP at Formal Academic Ceremonies Brad Barron, Associate Dean and University Registrar Furman University

2 Objectives  Consider strategies for planning and executing a successful ceremony … no matter who will be in attendance  Develop an understanding of concerns to address when hosting famous guests (with accompanying security and media entourage) … and those not to worry about  Impart entertaining snippets about a specific event … OK, maybe not so entertaining

3 The Case  Furman University hosts George W. Bush, the 43 rd President of the United States (POTUS).  President Bush was the featured speaker at Furman’s spring commencement ceremony held May 31, 2008

4 Time Line - Dates mid-February – White House begins to consider POTUS commencement appearances Early March – Furman contacted by the office of SC Governor Mark Sanford about the potential for a POTUS visit April 10 – public announcement of POTUS visit April 15 – first meeting of campus personnel to plan logistics of POTUS visit May 25 – Secret Service advance team arrives on campus

5 Time Line – Day of Visit 10:30 – commencement rehearsal 12:00 – venue lock down 16:30 – graduates line-up (two hours early) 17:00 – gates open at venue 17:15 – graduates arrive at security check point 17:45 – faculty arrive at security check point 17:50 – graduates clear security 18:00 – dignitaries begin to arrive 18:10 – faculty clear security

6 Time Line – More Day of Visit 18:55 – Air Force One wheels down at GSP 19:00 – POTUS presents award at airport meeting 19:05 – Presidential motorcade exits GSP 19:20 – Presidential motorcade arrives at venue 19:25 – ceremonial procession begins 19:45 – POTUS accompanied onto stadium floor 20:05 – Presidential address 20:20 – POTUS departs 21:30 – commencement concludes

7 Advice  Understand the unique nature of your situation  Know your procedures  Be flexible  Stay in your scope  Don’t stress

8 Understand your situation  What type of event is this?  When and where will the event be conducted?  Who will attend the event?  How will the event change with the addition of this guest?

9 Know your procedures  What have you done in the past at this event?  How well-developed are the plans for this event?  Who is normally involved in making this event successful?

10 Be flexible  Are there any parts of the event that really cannot be changed?  How much lead time is necessary for changes to be implemented?  What methods of communication can be used to ensure all involved parties know and execute their responsibilities?

11 Stay in your scope  What is your role in this event?  Do you know who on campus is responsible for what in regard to this event?  What can you do to avoid being involved in matters outside of your area?

12 Don’t stress  It is important to plan, but be prepared to amend your plans  Focus on your responsibilities, but don’t obsess about them  Depend on other professionals, both on your campus and with the visiting team

13 Questions? Brad Barron Furman University


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