Commencement is a long tradition in the academic world, represents the transition from student life to that of a "professional." So one expects that the ceremony will give an insight of how those years spent as a student make a mark on the character and ethos of the individual. When one observes the changes in those who one met a few years back and then see how they have matured and evolved, there is no other feeling but the satisfaction of being a participant in that process.
So how would "Commencement" look when students get their education through online programs, what king of relationship will be developed between students, instructors, teachers, and professors; not to mention administrators? Will it be possible to witness the evolution and maturation of a young student through the critical years of traditional college?
Or is the new paradigm of online education only effective when educating adults? These are questions that many in the academic world are addressing.
My feeling is that with the complicated and diverse nature of humans, no one system will fit all. Hybrid systems will always be more effective and will have the advantage of adaptability in a fast changing world.