The Importance of the Name

The commencement ceremony is, to many, the most important day of their academic career, and one of the most important moments in their lives. Ensuring that every student and family feels respected goes a long way toward creating a more inclusive ceremony and campus. Even seemingly simple things such as ensuring that every name is pronounced correctly advances these goals and communicates respect for identity and cultural background. In fact, the highlight of commencement ceremonies for most graduates and their families is hearing their name read in recognition of their academic achievement. NameCoach is a company with whom Lifetouch partners to bring inclusion full-circle. Using NameCoach ensures that the name is pronounced properly, from orientation day to classrooms to commencement. The NameCoach Commencement Service enables name readers to easily and effectively learn name pronunciations by reviewing student-recorded audio and phonetic spellings.

Key features of the system include:

• Easy collection of audio recordings through web application, email invitations, or embeddable link and widget at any online touchpoint

• User-friendly voice recording from any device.

• Web-based dashboard for instant review and management of pronunciations and phonetic spellings.

• Excel export, audio download, and no-login-required features for easy integration with existing workflows and printing on name cards.

The software is intuitive and easily integration into your current systems.

The software is intuitive and easily integrates into your current systems. The founder of NameCoach began his company because of his sister’s disastrous experience at her own commencement. The reader could not correctly pronounce her name as she reached the pinnacle of her academic achievement.

Promoting Campus Inclusion 

The NameCoach Commencement Service is an important component of the broader NameCoach Campus Connect Service. By making audio name pronunciations easily accessible throughout campus systems, NameCoach enables an institution to recruit and welcome students more warmly, make them feel at home on the campus and in the classroom, and connect with alumni on a more personal level. For example, NameCoach tools embed directly into your Learning Management System to so that instructors can learn pronunciations and better connect with students from the very first day of class. This video shows how Northwestern University enabled NameCoach in the Canvas LMS.

Research has shown that with correct name pronunciation, institutions can advance the sense of belonging that is is critical to student success, retention, and recruiting. Responses to NameCoach Like GradScan, NameCoach has had immediate impact on the enjoyment of commencement by the university communities it serve, and on the promotion of equity and inclusion in those communities.

Here are just a few impact statements from users of NameCoach:

“For the first time, we had zero complaints about Commencement! I truly think you have an amazing product.”

– Barry Finnegan Dean of Academic Services

Lindenwood University

“Of all the tech tools rolled out in my 10+ years at CSUN, NameCoach has to be the best-received one I’ve seen. Faculty and staff ‘just get it’ and they love it! NameCoach was very responsive and addressed all our requests and concerns immediately.”

– Paul Schantz Director of Tech Services Cal State University


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