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Graduation parade a family celebration

11 April 2024

A local school principal and her niece enjoyed marking a double graduation in the family at the University of Canterbury’s graduation street parade.


Dr Lynda Taylor, who is Leeston Consolidated School principal, has graduated with a Doctor of Education degree after seven years of part-time study on top of her full-time job. A Doctor of Education is a specialised doctorate for professionals working in education and related fields.

Dr Taylor was joined at yesterday’s central Christchurch street parade, held in golden autumn weather, by her niece Jessica Lee who also attended a graduation event this week. Jessica received her Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) degree from Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) and is working as a research and teaching assistant at UC.

The pair were cheered on by family members, including their father and grandfather, 84-year-old Allan Averis, a retired engineer from Peel Forest. Mr Averis is recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves.

“It’s lovely to be able to celebrate together on this beautiful day,” Dr Taylor said. “We’re very happy that my dad is on the mend and was able to join us.”

About 1,300 UC graduates took part in UC’s graduation street parade, a procession from High Street through the central city to Victoria Square. The parade is part of the University of Canterbury’s biggest ever graduation week, with over 2,700 students crossing the stage at five events held over three days.

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