George Mason University dean raps his convocation speech with the help of a tuba


Dean Lloyd Griffiths told the graduates that one of his favorite parts of convocation has been the music, so he figured this year, “Why not have some music as part of my speech?”

Griffiths was joined on stage by tuba-playing Michael Nickens, GMU’s director of the athletic bands who is known to students as “Doc Nix.” Grads laughed and cheered as Griffith rapped: “Today is real special. It marks a transition. From college to the world. It’s an ancient tradition.”

(The video is rather quiet, so you’ll want to turn up the volume.)

In addition to getting the graduates to join in on the refrain — GMU, what, what, what. Ain’t it so cool. Gettin’ in and gettin’ out of The Volgenau School — Griffiths also rapped about how the students are going to “make a new world” and should stay in touch with their professors via any means possible. The dean also told the students to work hard, to not just compete with other engineers but to create something new.

He he asked them to promote their school and represent it well: “Now you’re out and we’re count’n on you. Keep it movin’, keep it groovin’. Keep our Volgenau mojo improvin’. Cause it’s on you that we stake our reputation. Get in gear and engineer a better world and nation.”

You can read the rap lyrics on the GMU Volgenau School of Engineering homepage. And special thanks to @hinalover for sending this video to me on Twitter.

For more commencement news, follow me on Facebook and Twitter. And here are more graduation-related articles:

You, too, could be a commencement speaker

American University graduate pops the question at commencement

Controversial commencement speaker hall of fame

Commencement honors sometimes fraught with political risks

Jenna Johnson is a political reporter who is covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

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