VGCC video promotes unity, joy

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 05:42 PM

Vance-Granville Community College’s new social media video hit record views in its first week and brought some staff into the 21st century.

The 4-minute reel was released Monday, featuring more than 350 students, faculty and staff dancing and singing the lyrics to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

The video has been viewed by more than 2,250 people on YouTube and 10,850 people on Facebook as of Thursday.

According to the college’s spokesman, James Edwards, this more than doubles records set by past productions of staff and students.

College recruiter Spence Bailey, videographer for the project, said Vance-Granville’s rendition of the song was made to promote campuses’ unity, despite being scattered across four counties.

“The video just ties in the one college vision,” he said. “We wanted to incorporate as many people as possible and show that this is a best place to learn and work.”

The video incorporated all four campuses and early colleges.

Webmaster Jermiel Hargrove said it was difficult to get representation of all the diversity.

“We had some that were willing to get in front of the camera, but others were more reluctant,” he said.

The vice president of employee and public relations, Stacey Carter-Coley, brought the idea to Hargrove and Bailey, who conducted research to see what other colleges had done.

They, then, contacted department heads and instructors, who pulled together scenes with their students.

The shooting and editing took about three months to complete.

“I had a ball doing it,” Bailey said. “It was a lot of fun. It was different from our normal routine. We are used to doing educational videos. We got to see people get out of their comfort zone.”

They were able to get the college’s president, Stelfanie Williams, to participate, as well.

Bailey said some students have contacted him about a new project already — the ice bucket challenge, in which people record themselves bathing in ice water.

The social media phenomenon was created to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease — a condition affecting the nerve cells in the brain and causing them to die.


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