By Forrest Saunders, KCRG-TV
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa thinks it was the first university in the nation to do it.
Saturday evening, the UI broadcast the Tippie College of Business graduation ceremony over the web to China, with Chinese commentary and translation.
School officials estimate one in five students at the college of business is from China. Joan Kjaer, the director of strategic communications for international programs, said webcast’s primary goal was to give families abroad a chance to watch their children grab diplomas.
She said the idea came from a UI freshman, who is also an international student.
“We just thought it was a tremendous opportunity, so we worked together with the folks at UI Video Services, and we pulled it all together in about a month. It’s very exciting,” Kjaer said.
Kjaer said the university is already considering more of the broadcasts in the future, and in a variety of languages besides Chinese.