Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU Celebrates December 2020 Graduates in Virtual Reality with Avatar Robots, Holographic Commencement Speakers and Awards Delivered by a Drone

Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU Celebrates December 2020 Graduates in Virtual Reality with Avatar Robots, Holographic Commencement Speakers and Awards Delivered by a Drone

Class of 2020 honored in commencement ceremony featuring telepresence robots in a VR version of the school’s new building, hologram speeches and the Dean piloting a drone

PHOENIX, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Delivering an innovative and inclusive experience fit for this historic year, Thunderbird safely recognized the academic accomplishments of its class of 2020 in a technology-enhanced graduation celebration today to close an unprecedented fall semester.

The online event took place within an immersive virtual reality rendering of Thunderbird’s new global headquarters, opening August 2021. The ceremony was held in a digital version of the global forum, which will be a centerpiece of the state-of-the-art facility. The commencement speaker appeared as a holographic projection within the virtual building, which mirrors the real headquarters under construction now. Outstanding graduates also had a special aerial delivery of their award certificates, courtesy of the Dean’s drone.

“The Coronavirus Pandemic has accelerated the adoption of transformative new technologies like the ones we’re pioneering at Thunderbird that help us stay healthy while connecting us so we can still learn and celebrate together,” said Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram.

“In keeping with our commitment to impactful and inclusive innovation when others retreat, we’re harnessing these powerful tools not only to adapt to the challenging circumstances of this historic health crisis, but also to be a vanguard in business, leadership, and management education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution going forward. As the most global and digital leadership, management and business academy in the world, we’re proud to celebrate our 2020 graduates and their families in a way that transcends limitations and highlights the future-ready skills and experience they gained at Thunderbird. Next, we look forward to welcoming our fall 2021 class to the most cutting-edge educational facility anywhere,” Khagram said.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management
Thunderbird School of Global Management is a unit of the Arizona State University Enterprise. For 75 years, Thunderbird has been the vanguard of global management and leadership education, creating inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide by educating future-ready global leaders capable of tackling the world’s greatest challenges. Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management was ranked #1 in the world for 2019 by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. ASU is ranked No. 1 “Most Innovative School” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for six years in succession.

About ASU
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence, and, impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social, and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

CONTACT:
Jonathan Ward – Thunderbird Media Relations
Jonathan.Ward@thunderbird.asu.edu
+1 480.490.9773
Download Media
https://thunderbird.asu.edu/convocation

Thunderbird School of Global Management's December 2020 commencement speaker and outstanding graduates appeared as holographic projections within the virtual building, which mirrors the real headquarters under construction now on Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus.
Thunderbird School of Global Management’s December 2020 commencement speaker and outstanding graduates appeared as holographic projections within the virtual building, which mirrors the real headquarters under construction now on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eNrs0tpTeU
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDGRUfdmCIM
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