Bryant & Stratton College with campuses in four states and an online division will host a graduation ceremony in Second Life, the online virtual world created by Phillip Rosedale for Bryant & Stratton.  The ceremony will take place on June 10 for online students. 

This ceremony will be the first time that a graduation has been hosted on Second Life.  The ceremony will include a procession, commencement speaker, and conferring of degrees to students that are dressed in caps and gowns.  The commencement address will be given by Second Life founder Phillip Rosedale. 

Bryant and Stratton started using Second Life five months ago.  The virtual world has allowed the school to hold open houses, student events, and even campus tours.  Classes are not held in Second Life, but the school is considering making guest lectures in Second Life.

The school got the idea for a virtual graduation as a way for online students scattered throughout the U.S. to gather together in one place without actually traveling to New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, or Virginia for the physical graduation.  The school expects at least 40 of the 133 online graduating students to attend the virtual ceremony. 

The school has prohibited anyone except for graduates, staff, and family members from attending the Second Life graduation.  This graduation on Second Life could prompt other online schools to come up with some type of virtual graduation so that students throughout the U.S. can attend graduation.  The school is considering the idea of guest lectures, and it will be interesting to see if they have virtual classes in the future.   It will be interesting to see if other online schools follow in Bryant & Stratton College's footsteps. 

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