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UC's 150th anniversary street parade goes 'full noise'!

04 April 2023

It’s graduation time in Ōtautahi Christchurch, with over 1000 University of Canterbury (UC) graduates celebrating successfully completing their studies.


Congratulations and well done to all our graduates celebrating in April. E ngā kaimahi me ngā tauira o Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha, nāia te whakamānawa ki a koutou katoa.

As part of its 150th Anniversary celebrations, the University has organised a special street parade coinciding with April graduation week.

Beginning in Hack Circle at 10am on Tuesday 4 April, the special graduation procesh will go ‘full noise’ through the city streets accompanied by the New Zealand Army Band, with friends, whānau, UC alumni and supporters encouraged to gather for the event. Ōtautahi Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger and UC Pro-Chancellor Shayne Te Aika will address and toast graduates at the end of the parade route in Victoria Square.

Three large-scale graduation celebrations will be held in the Christchurch Arena over two days – Tuesday 4 April and Thursday 6 April – to enable UC graduates to cross the stage and celebrate their achievements with thousands of their whānau and loved ones from near and far in attendance.

During the April graduation ceremonies, the University of Canterbury will bestow honorary doctorates (honoris causa) upon four illustrious alumni: the Honourable Margaret Austin will receive a Doctor of ScienceMark Stewart will receive a Doctor of CommerceRoss Calman will receive a Doctor of Arts; and Justice Vui Clarence Nelson will receive a Doctor of Laws.

With Christchurch Arena lit up red in their honour, UC graduates are set to celebrate in style. Each of the ceremonies will also be livestreamed on the UC Facebook page for anyone unable to attend who wants to watch the celebrations.

UC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey says she is continually impressed with how innovative, resourceful, and engaged UC graduates are.

“These new graduates are joining a 140,000-strong extended UC whānau of engaged and empowered alumni affecting change across the globe,” she says.

“I look forward to seeing the contribution they will make in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa and beyond, with their lives and careers, as I know it will be substantial.”

Happy 150th birthday

This year, the University of Canterbury celebrates its sesquicentenary with the 150th anniversary theme: Ka titiro whakamuri, ki te anga whakamua | Guided by the past, shaping the future.

From the beginning, UC has embodied Waitaha Canterbury’s belief in the power of education to support and build a vibrant, strong, and successful community. The University has trailblazing graduates, including the first woman in the British Empire to earn a degree with honours – Helen Connon, who received her Master of Arts in 1881. In 1893 Tā Āpirana Ngata became the first Māori graduate from a New Zealand university. Along with other illustrious former students, Ernest Lord Rutherford and Kate Sheppard, Tā Āpirana is honoured on today’s banknotes.

In the 21st century, UC graduates continue to lead our community, from politicians and journalists, to actors, writers and artists, scientists, astronomers, and educators – engineering the future in their diverse chosen fields.

“UC has successfully responded to change and disruption through the last 150 years and we will continue to rise to meet the challenges of the future with our unwavering commitment to academic excellence,” Professor De la Rey says. 

For more on UC’s Graduation Week Street Parade, and other events celebrating the University’s 150th Anniversary, visit

Read about some of our newest graduates:

UC celebrates four new Honorary Doctorate recipients:

April 2023 UC 150th Anniversary Graduation celebrations include:

Tuesday 4 April, 10am start

Tuesday 4 April, 1.30pm

  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Engineering

Thursday 6 April, 10am

  • Qualifications in the UC Business School
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Science

Thursday 6 April 2023, 2pm

  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Arts
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Education
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Health
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Law

Media contact
  • Email
  • Phone: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
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