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May 23, 2011 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Graduates take to the streets

Wellington was awash with gowns and trenchers last week as students from Victoria University celebrated graduation.

Close to 2000 students graduated in five ceremonies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Michael Fowler Centre.

The graduation parades on Wednesday and Thursday went off without a hitch in sunny but chilly conditions.

Students walked from the Law School to Civic Square supported by their friends and family. They were met at Civic Square by Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Victoria University Chancellor Ian McKinnon.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Victoria‘s graduation ceremonies are a mix of tradition, pageantry and spontaneous celebration with a uniquely New Zealand twist.

“They are a perfect way for our graduates to celebrate their academic achievements and are an occasion to remember,” he says.

This year’s graduation season also celebrated a first for Victoria as its initial intake of Engineering students graduated. The engineering programme began at Victoria in 2007.

“We are obviously excited about having our first group of engineers graduate on Tuesday and that Abi Rajendran was chosen to give the graduation address,” says John Hine, Dean of Engineering.

“This first group of students have shared an adventure of discovery over the past four years as they pioneered the new programme year after year. We are really proud of them and we hope they are proud of their Victoria degree.”

Last week’s graduation was also somewhat of a family affair. Three members of the Reid family graduated with three different degrees at three different ceremonies. Hamish Reid (23) graduated with Bachelor of Design, Sarah Reid (25) with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Sociology, and Michael Reid (61) with a PhD in Public Policy. Their mother/wife attended each of the three ceremonies.

Salient co-editor Uther Dean and News Editor Hannah Warren were among those celebrating the completion of their studies.

“Even though it feels like I finished ages ago, it was really nice to have it recognised that we worked hard for three years and achieved something we can be proud of,” said Hannah.

As well as recognising graduating students, this year Victoria will award two Honorary Doctorates to pianist Michael Houstoun and physicist Dr. Bob Buckley.

Houstoun won every significant prize for pianists in New Zealand by the age of 18. He then went on to place at three of the world’s most distinguished piano competitions: Van Cliburn, Leeds Piano, and the Tchaikovsky Competition.

As well as receiving his doctorate, Houston performed at the Wednesday afternoon graduation ceremony.

Buckley is a world-leading physicist, working with superconductors. He is recognised as an IRL Distinguished Scientist, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has been awarded the Pickering Medal, Wellingtonian of the Year, and was jointly awarded the inaugural Prime Minister’s Science Prize.


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  1. Anjii says:

    I’m quite pelsead with the information in this one. TY!

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