Hundreds of smiling graduates and their families gathered in Claudelands yesterday as the first University of Waikato post-pandemic graduation ceremonies in Hamilton were held.
The 10am ceremony kicked off four days of Hamilton ceremonies for the University this week; a series that began last week in Tauranga and ends at Te Kohinga Mārama marae on campus this Friday.
In all, 1666 people are graduating in-person across eight ceremonies, with 916 bachelor’s degrees, 187 bachelor’s with honours degrees, 235 master’s degrees, 44 PhD’s and 284 post-graduate and graduate diplomas conferred.
University Chancellor, Sir Anand Satyanand, congratulated the graduates and thanked their families and teachers for supporting them with their studies.
“This is a moment and a day for you to celebrate your success, based on days, weeks, months and years of study… [and] today you have the right to enjoy this milestone you have reached.
“You will join many more of 80,000 [graduates] who have gone before you,” he said. “Students who have gone on to successful careers in government, politics, professions and business.”
Student speaker Dominique Bouwer, who was graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English, acknowledged the graduates all came to university to make a difference. She encouraged her peers to use that knowledge and experience “to make a life you are proud of.” She also told them not to worry when life took unexpected turns.
“The good news is that the school of life will never stop teaching you, even if this is the end of your journey at university.”
The last University of Waikato graduation ceremony to be held in Hamilton was in April 2021. Graduation ceremonies scheduled for December 2021 and April 2022 were cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.