Thunderbird Class of 2020 “walks” using telepresence robots

Phoenix:Today Thunderbird’s global community celebrated graduates in a reinvented digital commencement featuring mobile telepresence robots that allowed graduates to “walk” virtually. One day these students will tell future generations that they not only successfully graduated during COVID-19 but they were also the first class to do so as avatar robots.

“Thunderbird transformed spring graduation ceremonies in order to celebrate our students with a ceremony that honored our historic traditions of bringing the world together – like our parade of flags from around the world. We also designed one that reflected our community’s resilience, compassion and creativity,” said Thunderbird Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram.

“We teach our students how to maximize the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by embracing global ingenuity and innovation, so leveraging transformative technologies like mobile telepresence robots for an unprecedented commencement was a fitting final lesson for the Class of 2020.

We plan to celebrate our graduates again together in person when Thunderbird holds the grand opening of its new high-tech state-of-the-art global headquarters in 2021 in Downtown Phoenix,” said Dr. Khagram.