My eldest is about to reach a huge milestone: she's completing her bachelor's degree next month. She's debating about whether to attend the graduation ceremony. There should be no debate, but I share her ambivalence. The modern graduation is a poor excuse for a ritual, but it ought to be as fresh and interesting as the graduates themselves.
The education department could use facebook, class rosters, shared dorm floors, personal requests, and random assignments to create graduation groups of, say 40, a number that would allow more than simply hearing one’s name read over the PA. In preparation for this graduation ceremony, each graduate should be made to learn one magic trick or card trick and then, as they perform the trick, they can tell a story about a class, a classmate, mating in class or even something they've learned or how they've changed as a result of their brush with higher education. Each graduate would essentially perform a little vaudevillian routine.
This would not only make the ceremony so much more memorable and enjoyable for us parents and friends, but it would actually give these students skills too often overlooked as helpful in the effort to win friends and influence people. Plus, it would be so much more dignified than just tying balloon animals and telling jokes.