"…You should see that obedient flock who at the mere sign from me will hasten to heap the hot cinders upon the stakes in which we shall burn you for coming to meddle with us."
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor" parable within "The Brothers Karamazov."
Commencement ceremonies are meant for families and friends of the new graduates to celebrate a loved one's move to another stage in life and for the hosting school to celebrate itself and its commitment to education. For students, the exercise is often a dull respite between nights of partying and exchanging farewells.
But for a growing number of people in academia, this...