Pomp, Circumstance, and the People Who Make It All Happen

Laura Segall for The Chronicle

Melissa Werner manages commencement ceremonies at Arizona State U., which graduated 17,000 students last year. "It's like a wedding for 10,000 people," she says. "Everyone's important that day"—but only briefly.
April 29, 2012 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Barnard College scored the prize commencement catch this year, landing President Barack Obama to speak at its ceremony on May 14.

With the president, of course, comes drama: a kerfuffle over his bumping the originally scheduled speaker, the first...

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