At most college commencement ceremonies, someone is given the task of reading the name of each graduating senior. With all the unfamiliar foreign names and unique domestic pronunciations, it's not a job for the faint of heart.
Edgar Rasch announced the names of graduates at Maryville University for 22 years until he retired last year. About 10 years ago, he set up a voice mail system for all graduating seniors to call and pronounce their name.
Among 650 graduates, about 450 or 500 would do it, he recalled, including the John Smiths of the class.
"But invariably, the person I needed the most help with didn't call me," he said. [Link]