2021 NAACO Call for Conference Proposals

NAACO is looking for members to share knowledge and expertise with fellow Academic Ceremonies professionals by presenting an educational session at the 2021 conference.

Proposals are being solicited that capture the broad expertise members bring to the field as well as the creative traditions members use to celebrate achievement at their institutions – both in-person as well as from afar.

All types of sessions are encouraged, whether they present a wide view of graduation planning, or drill down to the details of specific areas or challenges.

As a part of the selection process, some sessions will be identified to be part of the NAACO’s Certificate Program, both for the Year 1 (General Knowledge) and the Year 2 (Specific Topics) tracks.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Impact of COVID on ceremonies
  • Keeping students engaged for ceremonies delayed by COVID
  • Ethics and ceremonies in the time of COVID
  • Technology and communications tools
  • Academic attire policies
  • Risk management policies
  • Honorary degrees
  • Academic ceremony protocol
  • Emergency planning
  • Change management
  • Physical distancing for indoor venues
  • Diploma management, production, and distribution
  • Fiscal management and budgeting
  • Accessibility
  • Working with senior leadership
  • Inaugurations and Installations
  • Flags, gonfalons and other symbols
  • Leadership and career development

Other insightful, creative and related topics are also welcome.

To submit a proposal, please complete the online application.

Presentation time slots are 60 minutes long and should include time for a discussion with attendees. Educational sessions time slots will be at various points throughout the conference agenda.

Selected presentations will be identified and presenters notified by the end of October, so those presenting can make arrangements to confirm their participation.

The deadline for proposal submissions is Friday, September 18, 2020.

On behalf of the Education Committee and the Conference Committee, we thank you for being an active member of NAACO and sharing your proposals to contribute to the wealth of knowledge and expertise within our association.


Liz McMahan, Director at Large, Education
Manager, Convocation & Special Projects • York University

Lisa Arakaki, 2021 Conference Chair
Senior Director, Special Events • American University


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