Virtual commencement tops AC's prestigious marketing awards

by Joe Wyatt
Published February 24, 2021

When the pandemic compelled most of higher education to develop alternatives to in-person commencement activities, rather than merely following the crowd, Amarillo College set the bar.

Digital marketing AwardsIN  

The Communications and Marketing Department at Amarillo College has earned six national collegiate marketing accolades in the 8th Annual Education Digital Marketing (EDM) Awards – four at the topmost Gold level, one of which recognizes AC’s first-ever entirely virtual graduation ceremony.


“I think I loved it even more than our typical graduation because you got to see pictures of students with their families, their pets, their children,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “It was a true celebration of who our students are.

“I think our virtual graduation was the best representation of what our Culture of Caring is really about – it’s about our students, and our graduation really showcased them.”

The Education Digital Marketing Awards are endorsed by Higher Education Marketing Report and recognize the best educational websites, digital content, electronic communications, mobile media and social media.

AC emerged from a large pool of distinguished colleges, universities and secondary schools from across the country that combined to submit almost 700 entries.


Gold Awards presented to AC were for the following:

  • Streaming/On Demand Content – AC’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony
  • Total Digital Marketing Program
  • Social Media Content Campaign
  • Digital Publication – Creating a Culture of Caring, Learning & Innovation

The College captured Silver recognition for:

  • COVID Response Strategy
  • Digital Publication – Teaching for Transformation

Submissions were reviewed and judged by a national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals, and the EDM editorial board.


“These prestigious awards are gratifying,” said Kevin Ball, AC’s vice president of communication and marketing. “The pandemic challenged our team to present the spring commencement ceremony entirely virtually, which we had never done before, so we are particularly thrilled by that recognition.


“I believe the College is poised to excel as the digital world evolves because we are always willing to explore the boundaries of what is possible.”