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Wānanga Takes Graduands' Success To The Streets

MEDIA RELEASE – Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi: indigenous-university

15 April 2013

Wānanga Takes Graduands’ Success To The Streets

Hundreds of supporters, whānau and friends will join Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi: indigenous-university on Friday, April 19, to celebrate the graduation of more than 2000 tertiary students.

Awanuiārangi students are taught at sites throughout the North Island, but the major graduation event will be in Whakatāne, where the institution’s main campus is located. More than 1000 people are expected to converge on the town for the full day of ceremony.

The number of students graduating is growing each year, with an increasing number of graduates at Bachelor, Masters and PhD levels. Awanuiārangi awarded its first doctorates in May last year, and forecast steady numbers of PhD graduates from that point. Several hundred students will receive their degrees, diplomas and certificates during the formal Graduation Ceremony at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall.

The day’s events will begin at 8.30am with a pōwhiri at the new Awanuiārangi campus at 13 Domain Road. At 11am, staff, students and visiting academics in full academic dress will take celebrations to the streets with the now customary Gown and Town hīkoi through the centre of Whakatāne. The tradition was established several years ago as an opportunity to acknowledge graduands’ success, and has always been well supported by the community. More than 400 school pupils from seven primary and intermediate schools will show their support by performing waiata and haka as they line The Strand. The procession begins at Quay Street and follows The Strand through to the Buddle Street round-about.

The capping ceremony begins at noon at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall, where the community facility is again expected to be packed to the rafters with students and their supporters. The Hon. Justice Joseph Williams will be the guest speaker, and a hākari and whakangahau (banquet and celebration) will conclude the day’s events.


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