Graduation for Participants
technology instead of traditional tape, graduates of five schools
at Penn were able to individualize their graduation experience
this year, thanks to MarchingOrder.
is a software program that allows students to post their names,
hometowns and/or personal messages on a giant screen as they pass
through the graduation exercises. Prior to graduation day, they
submitted the information to their schools, and at the ceremony
the individual's information was accessed through a bar code and
projected on a 25- by 65-foot screen.
piloted the software at its 2001 graduation. This year, thanks
to Penn's support, MarchingOrder personalized the ceremonies for
more than 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students in SEAS and
four other schools at Penn: the Wharton MBA graduation listed
the students' name and hometown; at the GSE ceremony, the students
could list their hometown, a personal message, a photograph and
was also used by the School of Nursing and, to a limited extent
by the College.
is also proving useful as a tool to manage other events. SEAS
used it for its awards ceremony last month.
The brainchild of David Badler, who just graduated with degrees
from SEAS and Wharton, MarchingOrder attracted the interest of
fellow Wharton/SEAS senior Tyler Mullins and Matt Uffalussy, who
just graduated from SEAS' digital media design program. Mr. Badler
and Mr. Mullins, who created MarchingOrder's financial model and
market research survey, used it as an independent study for a
marketing class, a senior project for a computer science class
and a class project for an operations and information management
class. The students received guidance from SEAS professor David
Farber and marketing professor David Reibstein.
began as a student project now has entrepreneurial and financial
support from Penn's business-incubator program, P2B, and Business
Services. Penn administrative officials were so impressed with
MarchingOrder, they agreed to fund start-up costs for hardware,
interfacing software, a bar-code reader and other expenses through
continue to be impressed with what they are doing," said Phil
Goldstein, P2B's chief operating officer. "We have been helping
them to design their pilots for other universities and to develop
a business plan to help launch them as a company after the pilots."
fact, Penn isn't the only instituion that used this software program
this year. The University of New Mexico's Department of Economics
used MarchingOrder at its ceremony on May 11. Lourdes McKenna,
administrator at the University of New Mexico's Department of
Economics, said, "The decision to use Marching-Order was a simple
one. Once we saw how novel an idea this was, we were eager to
improve our graduation ceremony using this innovative software
program." Most of their graduates participated.
that MarchingOrder can make these ceremonies a little bit better
for everyone involved makes it real exciting for me," Mr. Mullins
said. "It's a big improvement over tape on mortarboards."
innovation was recently featured on WB17 TV's 10 p.m. news.