Friday 19 June 2020 11:45am
Two graduation ceremonies are planned for August.
Otago’s graduation ceremonies are set to return in August, after COVID-19 disruptions caused the cancellation of its May ceremonies.
Four graduation ceremonies planned for May were cancelled because of COVID-19 alert level restrictions. Graduands who had initially planned to cross the stage in May were given options, with 692 choosing to delay graduation, and 372 graduating in absentia in May while indicating that they wished to take part in an adapted graduation ceremony at a later date.
Now the University of Otago is planning for additional ceremonies to accommodate these two groups. This will initially see an additional ceremony added to the usual ceremony in August, with ceremonies now planned for 15 and 29 August.
Otago Chancellor Dr Royden Somerville QC says he is delighted that the University is able to resume its schedule of graduation ceremonies.
“We recognise graduation ceremonies play a vital role in the student experience. The University community is thrilled to welcome our graduands and their whānau to Dunedin to celebrate their achievements.”
Registrar and Secretary to the Council Chris Stoddart says the town and gown relationship the University shares with the wider Dunedin community is a strong one, and he hopes the August graduations will be a part of getting the city back to “normal” following the pandemic.
The 15 August graduation coincides with the Highlanders vs Hurricanes Super Rugby Aotearoa match in Dunedin.
“The combination of graduation and a home Highlanders game is sure to make for an amazing weekend. Graduation brings a great sense of celebration to the city, and we hope our ceremonies will give Dunedin a boost after the COVID-19 lockdown period,” Mr Stoddart says.
While it is expected the graduation ceremonies will go ahead, if the COVID-19 alert level changes the University will adhere to any public health conditions or restrictions in place.
Additional ceremonies are also being planned for December, including for those in absentia graduates from May who indicated a wish for a public ceremony later in the year.
Applications for August graduation open 22 June and close 29 June.