One of the commencements virtualized by the coronavirus crisis is the US Navy Academy’s at Annapolis, Maryland who have their own tradition of embracing failure at these ceremonies: “The Anchor” This answer in Quora provides an insightful description of honour of graduating dead last at Annapolis:
- “Traditionally, the class pitches in for an ‘anchor fund’ – it was a dollar per person when I graduated – that goes to the anchor man upon graduation. With around 1000 graduates per class, it’s a nice chunk of change. So it leads to a weird little competition of sorts among the dozen or so Mids who are close to the bottom of the class; do poorly enough to finish dead last, but well enough to graduate. The anchor man usually gets a standing ovation during graduation from the rest of the class, which confuses the spectators because it’s not announced or otherwise annotated. But his classmates know. Just a little subversive celebration. After all someone has to be last in the class. And it’s sort of like finishing last in the Boston Marathon – there’s plenty of pride just in completing the task.”
Congratulations to all the graduating midshipmen especially the anchor.