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Graduating polytechnic students to march along Stafford St

Graduating polytechnic students to march along Stafford Street

For the first time in Aoraki Polytechnic’s history, a formal parade of graduating students along Stafford Street will provide a colourful preamble to the traditional formal graduation ceremony, this year to be held at the Theatre Royal on Thursday (December 16).

The parade will leave the Piazza at 3.15pm, travel down Stafford Street to George Street, up to Barnard Street and stop outside the old Army Hall building in a march that polytechnic chief executive Kay Nelson said would allow the public to join the celebration atmosphere and show their support for successful students.

“Many of us will know students who are graduating and even though there is not enough room to accommodate everyone at the ceremony, the parade is a great opportunity to come and see the students dressed up and share the spirit of the graduation event,” Ms Nelson said.

“It’s nice to see our students receive public recognition for their endeavours, especially when they will be graduating with certificates and diplomas that will enable them to contribute to building a stronger and successful local economy.

Police will travel ahead of the Timaru Highland Pipe Band-led parade, closing streets ahead of the students while a following patrol will open the streets behind the students. Also marching at the head of the parade will be tutors and heads of schools.

The invitation-only event from 4pm at the Theatre Royal will follow the form of tertiary graduations in other centres with black gowns being worn by diploma students. Once inside, graduands will be presented with an array of awards including diplomas and certificates from business, health and education, IT, trades, arts, media, hospitality, outdoor education and beauty and hairdressing programmes.

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Following a welcome address by Ms Nelson, guest speaker, Oamaru agricultural consultant Grant McNaughton, the 2010 National Bank Young Farmer of the Year, will speak to the students.

And the occasion will be recorded for posterity by an official photographer as well as the opportunity for students to have their photographs taken with family and friends in the foyer of the theatre after the ceremony.

Aoraki Polytechnic’s Timaru graduation ceremony differs from those of previous years when individual schools held separate ceremonies. And the format has been followed by Oamaru and Ashburton campuses in the last week which also combined their graduation ceremonies.


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