December graduation for 1800 Canterbury students

17 December 2018

About 1800 students will graduate from the University of Canterbury this week, with over 1500 graduating in person at four official ceremonies held at the Horncastle Arena in Addington, in what may be the last UC graduation ceremonies held at the arena.

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    More than 1530 UC graduands will be receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates in person at four ceremonies held on Wednesday 19 December and Friday 21 December, watched by thousands of friends, whanau and family.

About 1800 students will graduate from the University of Canterbury this week, with over 1500 graduating in person at four official ceremonies held at the Horncastle Arena in Addington, in what may be the last UC graduation ceremonies held at the arena.

More than 1530 graduands will be receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates in person at four ceremonies held on Wednesday 19 December and Friday 21 December, watched by thousands of friends, whanau and family.

The remainder of the UC graduands will graduate in absentia, while 51 students from the College of Education, Health and Human Development graduated in a ceremony held in Rotorua on Wednesday 12 December.

This week’s graduation ceremonies start at 10am on Wednesday morning when College of Engineering and College of Arts students graduate. The graduation address at the morning ceremony will be delivered by New Zealand art writer, academic, curator, art gallery director and UC alumna Jenny Harper who will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate in the same ceremony. Her Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) citation will be read by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Arts, Professor Jonathan Le Cocq.

At 2pm that afternoon it will be the turn of graduands from the College of Business & Law. On Friday morning, College of Science students will have their conferment of degrees ceremony. And at 2pm on Friday, College of Education, Health and Human Development students will graduate. The graduation address at each of these ceremonies will be delivered by Dr Rod Carr, in his final graduation ceremonies as UC’s Vice-Chancellor, before he retires from the role in early 2019.

The University of Canterbury intends to return to the restored Christchurch Town Hall as the venue for its three graduation ceremonies in April 2019, and plans to reinstate the traditional procession through the city by graduands.

More than 3000 students graduate each year from the University of Canterbury. As a result, eight graduation ceremonies per year are needed to accommodate all those wishing to graduate in person, and their families, friends and supporters. There are also special graduation celebrations for Māori and Pasifika UC graduates.

UC Graduation Ceremonies

University graduation ceremonies are part of a tradition which stretches back to the 12th century when the first universities appeared in Europe. The University of Canterbury, established as Canterbury College in 1873, was based on the English Oxbridge model and its graduation ceremonies follow that style but with elements of Māori culture.

The first Canterbury degrees were conferred in 1878 in the Canterbury Provincial Chambers with the ceremonies moving to the College Hall, now known as the Great Hall at the Arts Centre, after its completion in 1882. The Christchurch Town Hall became the venue in 1973 and a further change to three afternoon ceremonies was made in 1987. Four ceremonies became necessary in 1994 and in 1997 five ceremonies, four in autumn and one in summer, were held.

The last ten years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of graduation with a steadily increasing proportion of students choosing to receive their degrees in person. As a result of the 2007 merger between UC and the Christchurch College of Education, the number of graduation ceremonies increased to eight, including one held in Rotorua.

As a result of earthquake damage in the city in February 2011, the April 2011 graduate celebrations were held in a marquee on Ilam Fields. Most UC graduation ceremonies have been held in the Horncastle Arena since December 2011.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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