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Variety at Victoria’s Graduation Festivities

Variety abounds at Victoria’s Graduation Festivities

Victoria’s graduating students will be joined by an author, an astronomer, an Oscar-winning designer, a distinguished economist and two former politicians when they receive their honorary doctorates from Victoria University in early May.

More than 1500 students will graduate at the ceremonies on 6 and 7 May, including Mayor Kerry Prendergast, who will receive a Master of Business Administration, and Lorae Parry, author, actor and former Writer in Residence at Victoria, who will graduate with a Master of Arts in Creative Writing.

The familiar sight of hundreds of graduands parading through the streets of Wellington will kick off the celebrations. Parades will be held on both days at 12pm, departing from the School of Law, Government Buildings on Lambton Quay. Graduands will walk along Lambton Quay, up Willis Street and finish at Civic Square at approximately 12.30pm, where they will be welcomed by the Mayor.

If the parade is cancelled, notification will be given on 91ZM, Channel Z, and the Breeze from 10am on the morning of the parade.

Six honorary doctorates will be awarded at the ceremonies:

Albert Jones is an amateur astronomer who co-discovered the brightest explosion seen by the naked eye in the last three centuries. Regarded as one of the finest visual observers of the night sky, Albert Jones uses a telescope he build in 1948 and his work is in high demand throughout the world. Mr Jones will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

The Hon David Caygill is a former Finance Minister and pivotal player in the major economic reforms of the 1980s. Mr Caygill has close ties to Victoria University through the Institute of Policy Studies, contributing to a number of publications since he became involved in the late 1980s. Mr Caygill is now deputy chair of the Commerce Commission and will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree.

The Hon Fran Wilde has been at the forefront of change in New Zealand through her work as a politician, mayor and professional, predominantly in Wellington. She has played a significant role in New Zealand’s public life, in particular dedicating herself to improving the life of people in Wellington. Ms Wilde will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Richard Taylor is an Oscar-winning designer who co-founded Wellington’s Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the technical home of the successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, an internationally unparalleled film success. Richard Taylor’s contribution to Wellington’s Creative Capital will be recognised by Victoria through an honorary Doctor of Literature degree.

Sir Frank Holmes is an economist who has played an important role in shaping New Zealand’s economic and social policy during a long and distinguished career, part of which he spent as a lecturer at Victoria. Sir Frank was an early advocate of free trade with Australia and has also played a leading role in the work of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria. Sir Holmes will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree.

Witi Ihimaera is a pioneering Mâori author, with strong links to Victoria University. Graduating in 1971 with a BA and returning in 1982 as the University’s Writer in Residence, he has played an active role in New Zealand arts and culture formation through his work in a number of literary fields. Mr Ihimaera will receive an honorary Doctor of Literature degree. Students will graduate at one of four ceremonies at the Michael Fowler Centre:

Thursday 6 May, 1:30pm Humanities and Social Sciences and Law Honorary Doctorate: Fran Wilde

Ceremony 2, 6.30pm Humanities and Social Sciences Honorary Doctorates: Richard Taylor and Witi Ihimaera

Friday 7 May Ceremony 3, 1.30pm Commerce and Administration Honorary Doctorates: David Caygill and Sir Frank Holmes

Ceremony 4, 6.30pm Architecture and Design and Science Honorary Doctorate: Albert Jones

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