Graduation is a celebration. Every year, whānau, friends and representatives of the wider community join Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi to recognise and honour the achievements of our graduates.
It is a time for a certain amount of formal ceremony and ritual. The degree ceremony is an ancient ritual that dates back centuries. It acknowledges the culmination of a period of study, the acquisition and production of knowledge and the development of expertise. As successful scholars have done for many hundreds of years, we dress in academic regalia, hold a procession and honour each graduand in a formal capping ceremony. At Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, our Graduation traditions include rituals adapted from the time of ancient whare wānanga.
Graduation is always an uplifting and moving occasion. It is, deservedly, a time of great pride for our graduates who have worked hard to attain their goals, and for the family, friends and staff who have guided and supported them through their studies. It is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices and efforts of parents, grandparents, children, husbands, wives and other family members and friends that have enabled our graduates to attain their goals.
Importantly, it is also an opportunity to signal our hopes for our students’ future successes and achievements – a time when we urge our new graduates to move out into the world to make a difference, and to recognise that their qualification is not an end but only a beginning.