It’s graduation week at the University of Waikato – and that means four days of celebration for 1504 people graduating across 11 ceremonies in Hamilton and Tauranga.
On Monday, 135 graduates walked onto Te Kohinga Mārama Marae on the University’s Hamilton campus to receive their tohu mātauranga (university degrees).
On Tuesday and Wednesday, a further 1117 people graduated at the Globox Arena at Claudelands, and on Friday, 252 people will graduate at the Tauranga campus. Across the week, 32 people received their doctoral (PhD) degrees across a wide range of subjects.
For all of the graduates and their families, supporters, friends and teachers, graduation is a moment to reflect on many years of hard work and dedication, said University Chancellor Sir Anand Satyanand.
“I mihi to you graduands, acknowledging your success based on months - and sometimes years - of study. I mihi to the supporters and families and the efforts and encouragement you have supplied.”
Among those celebrating this week were the first cohort of graduates in the Bachelor of Health (BHealth) degree.
“It’s an exciting moment,” said Marina Kuplich Barcellos, who received her Bachelor of Health in Poutū-mārō Biomedical Sciences. “I put a lot of effort into my degree, so it makes me happy and proud to think of what I’ve accomplished.”
Originally from Brazil, Marina is now enrolled in a Master of Science (Research) degree, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Waikato, focusing on immunology.
Excellent teachers and supportive classmates were the highlight of her undergraduate experience.
“What made it special was having this little group of students that stuck together through the whole degree. We created a bond, a friendship, that hopefully will last for many many years,” said Marina, 24.
Raglan-based Olivia Dean-Chambers, 24, also enjoyed doing her Health degree.
“I loved how the degree flowed overall; all of the papers supported each other, and we learnt a lot about the health and wellbeing of the population. My favourite part was the connections I made with the other students. By third year, we all became close and would have coffee catch ups and support each other with the highs and lows of study.”
Professor Jo Lane, Dean of Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, said that the University was “incredibly proud of this cohort”.
“The Bachelor of Health degree launched at the beginning of the pandemic, which makes the perseverance and achievement of these first graduates all the more impressive. Next year, we look forward to another first, with the inaugural graduates from our new Bachelor of Nursing degree, which has attracted really strong enrolments.”