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CCAD Students to Celebrate Graduation Minecraft Style

Susan Post Susan Post CCAD Students to Celebrate Graduation Minecraft StylePrototype of Mershon Auditorium at The Ohio State University in Minecraft (Hannah Donovan)
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It started as a joke.

After CCAD made the decision to cancel its in-person graduation ceremony originally scheduled for Saturday, May 9, one student got creative.

“Over Spring Break, I started building Mershon [in Minecraft], mostly as a joke, and I posted it on Twitter,” said CCAD senior Hannah “Han” Donovan, who was also selected as Outstanding Senior for CCAD’s Comics & Narrative Practice program.

CCAD’s graduation was originally slated to take place at The Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium.

“People seemed to enjoy the idea, both to remark on the absurdity of the situation and as a genuine substitute to the in-person spring commencement.“ Donovan said. “CCAD leadership liked it and wanted me to make Minecraft commencement a reality.”

Donovan is working on completing her Minecraft video game version of Mershon, which will feature an interior with seats for graduates in front of the stage and the exterior with the entryway up to the auditorium’s front door for graduating seniors to walk up in-game. The virtual version will have some CCAD-specific nods too, like the Art sign and references to faculty members.

“We realized this situation was a difficult time for our students, especially seniors who are missing their final months together at CCAD,” said CCAD President Dr. Melanie Corn. “However, our students are talented and clever, so it’s exciting to see them taking all of this change and uncertainty and making the best of it.”

Students can play Minecraft in the Mershon replica throughout May, both before and after graduation. The official ceremony, which will be streamed through CCAD’s website, will also feature shots of the auditorium in the game interspersed throughout the event.

“Although unconventional, this year’s online celebration will acknowledge this special moment for our graduates,” Corn said. “We want them to celebrate their accomplishment in creative ways within social distancing guidelines.”

Graduates will still receive caps and gowns and are encouraged to celebrate in small groups, sharing photos of themselves on their social media accounts with the hashtag #ccadlasts.

“During drastic change and loss what people yearn for is a sense of community,” Donovan said. “Minecraft graduation may not replace the momentous feeling of walking across the physical stage but it’s an opportunity for CCAD graduates to connect in a light-hearted way with their classmates. To feel that is what a lot of us need right now.”

For more information, visit ccad.edu.

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