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Michelle Obama’s Only University Commencement Address Streamed Live via Mediasite


Sonic Foundry’s webcasting services link University of California Merced’s milestone event to the world

MADISON, Wis.- First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her first commencement address to the founding classmen from the UC system’s newest campus on Saturday, and through services by Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the recognized market leader for rich media webcasting and knowledge management, the world could watch - live.

Sonic Foundry’s Event Services used the company’s Mediasite platform to power the live webcast to more than 3,000 desktops around the world on Saturday, as well as to news organizations, overflow rooms and facilities throughout the city. In Merced, 12,000 people sat before the concert-size stage as Mrs. Obama spoke before the largest audience since the inauguration. An archive of the webcast can be viewed at and

UC Merced students have been working for months to get the First Lady to headline their groundbreaking commencement ceremony, and online video has been a part of the milestone event from the beginning, with a YouTube video, “We Believe in Michelle Obama” kicking off the campaign. The live and on-demand Mediasite webcast rounded out the milestone event’s virtual elements.

“It was really exciting. And with technology like Mediasite everyone was able to watch. Especially students whose family members were unable to come. They were still a part of our day because of the webcast,” said senior Soccora Campsanto, who performed an original song during the ceremony. “It’s great to have not only the campus and the community, but also the United States and the entire world know that grassroots projects like this still work. We can make a difference. It’s a student-driven university, and having the enduring link to this landmark event will add to our legacy as the founding classmen.”

The UC Merced campus opened in 2005 and has 2,700 students and 162 faculty members. It is expected to eventually house up to 25,000 students and 6,000 faculty.

“The entire Sonic Foundry team is honored to be a part of this historic event, working with UC Merced to record and archive their first commencement ceremony highlighted by the First Lady’s remarks,” said Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry. “We are proud to have taken even a small role in Saturday’s event, and look forward to working with this young campus to help them realize their vision of delivering education beyond the boundaries of Merced Valley.”

Saturday wasn’t the first time Mrs. Obama has been recorded via Mediasite. One of the First Lady’s campaign visits was webcasted in September 2008 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The archived presentation is available at


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