Updated: Jun 11, 2019
By Starr Fuentes
Talk about grand finale. Five Towns College's 45th Annual Commencement Ceremony was a picture perfect ending to an outstanding school year. Held at Half Hollow Hills High School East, Five Towns students’ families and friends gathered in the theater to watch their loved ones graduate. The college’s Mass Communication department created a live broadcast on YouTube for everyone who could not make it in person. Mass Communication Chair Thomas Calandrillo worked side by side with the students to ensure a great broadcast.
“The amount of work and preparation that goes into producing a live broadcast such as commencement is no small feat. Now that streaming is becoming more popular, colleges and universities usually hire an outside company to shoot and livestream their graduation. Since we teach multi camera live production at Five Towns College, we have all the necessary equipment needed to do the entire broadcast ourselves. The planning and pre-production of the graduation ceremony start six months earlier and sometimes longer. Our entire broadcast crew is run by students with some supervision from faculty,” explained Calandrillo.
Music powerhouse Wyclef Jean and veteran reporter Vanessa Tyler received their honorary doctorate degrees during commencement. Wyclef Jean spoke to students about persevering and following their dreams during his speech. “Never give up. When you feel like you are going to give up, remember, it’s not about what you do when you fall down. It’s about what you do when you get back up. Always remember this, Wyclef Jean was the behind the counter taking orders at Burger King. Wyclef Jean worked as an security guard. Wyclef Jean cleaned bathrooms with his father. They told Wyclef to go back to where he came from. If I didn't give up, there is absolutely no reason for you to give up!”
VIDEO: Reporter Jayson Troy's graduation report
Wyclef might even be walking the halls of Five Towns College as a Professor next year. “I want to teach a class here at Five Towns College because we are at an age where technology and music is changing. I want to teach those students.”
FTC 2019 Graduate Tyler Biello spoke about his experience meeting Jean. “His speech inspired me. I feel like everyone in the room was inspired. There is more to being a musician than knowing how to play an instrument or sing. Stay motivated and continue educating yourself. With perseverance we can all make it, in one way or the other.”
Biello also sang “Maria Maria” with Jean. “Performing with Wyclef was surreal. I learned so much just performing on that stage with him. It’s not just about sounding good, you have to feel everything you’re doing and be in complete harmony with everyone on the stage.”
VIDEO: Professor Cam
After the final performance, Five Towns College seniors became Five Towns College graduates!
Everyone will definitely be talking about the 45th Annual Commencement Ceremony for a long time. From the beginning to end, Five Towns College knows how to put on a show.
Congratulations to the class of 2019!