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It All Looks So Easy

Time-lapse of 2019 Commencement belies precision planning behind event

Rain, rain, go away. For the second year in a row, BU’s All-University Commencement managed to stay dry despite menacing skies. As if by design, the rain stopped at just the moment the ceremony got underway. Still, many of the 20,000 attendees who gathered on Nickerson Field Sunday, May 20, to cheer on this year’s 7,509 graduates elected to don a rain poncho—just in case.

The time-lapse video above might suggest that pulling off Commencement is just a matter of setting up a few thousand chairs. But it’s a lot more complicated than that. This past weekend, BU hosted some 176 events, including more than 50 different diploma Convocations and ceremonies, attended by an estimated 50,000 people.

All told, some 63,000 meals were served during Commencement festivities. BU Dining Services managed to bake more than 27,000 cookies, which, if stacked, would be as tall as 58 giraffes standing atop one another. Try whipping up 146,880 chicken salad sandwiches (no, that’s not a typo). Guests also put away 1,100 pounds of cheese and a whopping 6,387 pounds of fruit salad. That’s a lot of slicing and dicing.

And the planning for the University’s 147th Commencement, scheduled for May 17, 2020, begins next week.

Find more coverage of Commencement here.

Phil Zekos can be reached at pzekos@bu.edu.

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