WOGO hosts on-air ‘drive-in’ graduation ceremony

In the News

A Chippewa Falls radio station helped its local high school celebrate its graduates while social distancing.

WOGO worked with the high school to produce the Chi-Hi “Drive-In Graduation.” More than 300 seniors and their families lined up in decorated vehicles at the local fairgrounds. As “Pomp & Circumstance” played over the air, they drove out in a police-escorted procession through town where the community came out to yards and sidewalks to cheer on the class of 2020 as they listened to the commencement broadcast on WOGO.

WOGO aired pre-recorded addresses from the principal and class leaders during the journey to the high school to receive diplomas. 

The broadcast ceremony also included a highlight reel of senior sports moments, honors for this year’s faculty retirees with a montage of thanks, and student voicemails celebrating their senior year memories. Music played during the ceremony featured numbers from the school’s music department.

As the graduates rolled through the bus loop in front of the school to receive diplomas from their gloved-and-face-shielded principal, the WOGO graduation play-by-play crew provided live commentary for every senior including awards and commendations, future plans, their advice to next year’s class, and teacher comments.

A percentage of all sponsorship revenue was set aside for $1,600 in scholarships which was given to two deserving students.

WOGO also provided audio to the school’s live video stream so grandparents, friends, and relatives could both watch and listen. Coverage also included video from a live drone.

“Only afterward did we realize how this promotion became far more than just a graduation,” said Promotions Director Caleb Svendsen. “It was a collaborative labor of love with school, station, and community, and a beautiful June night that brought our city together after so much time apart.”