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December graduation for 1300 Canterbury students

December graduation for 1300 Canterbury students

About 1300 students will graduate from the University of Canterbury this week at four ceremonies held at the Horncastle Arena in Addington.

A total of 1282 graduands will be receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates in person at four ceremonies held on Wednesday 13 December and Friday 15 December, watched by friends and family. A further 237 UC students will graduate in absentia, while 62 students from the College of Education, Health and Human Development graduated in a ceremony held in Rotorua last Thursday, 7 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 UCSA student president James Addington.

At 2pm that afternoon it will be the turn of graduands from the College of Education, Health and Human Development. The graduation address at the afternoon ceremony will be delivered by UC Senior Research Fellow in Political Science Dr Therese Arseneau.

On Friday morning, College of Science students will have their conferment of degrees ceremony. The graduation address at that ceremony will be delivered by Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Science, Professor Wendy Lawson.

And at 2pm on Friday, College of Business & Law students will graduate. At this final graduation ceremony of 2017, the University of Canterbury will bestow former Prime Minister and UC alumnus the Rt Hon Sir John Key with a Doctor of Commerce (honoris causa) honorary degree. (More info here: Sir John Key to receive Honorary Doctorate from University of Canterbury.) Sir John will also deliver the graduation address.

More than 3500 students graduate each year from the University of Canterbury. As a result, eight graduation ceremonies are needed to accommodate all those wishing to graduate in person, and their families, friends and supporters.

About 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 also incorporate 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 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 the University and the Christchurch College of Education, the number of graduation ceremonies has increased to eight, including one held in Rotorua.
As a result of earthquake damage in the city, the April 2011 Graduate Celebrations were held in a marquee on Ilam Fields. The Graduation Ceremonies have been held in the Horncastle Arena (formerly the CBS Canterbury Arena) since December 2011.

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