While Kanye West was being undeservedly presented with an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts, 2191 Victoria students of actual intellectual calibre were rewarded with a total of 2446 qualifications (including 41 PhDs) during last week’s graduation ceremonies.
The six ceremonies, spread across 12–14 May, aimed to celebrate the achievements of students in their chosen fields.
Victoria University Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan was keen to remind graduands that getting a degree from Victoria was “no easy feat—anyone graduating should not lose sight of the value and significance of their accomplishment.”
The formal processions of staff and students through the centre of Wellington City were organised with the intention of inviting the general public to take part in the festivities and “come and celebrate with us”.
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However, no one made allowances for Wellington’s frequently shocking weather and several hundred students had their parades well and truly rained on. Graduands from the Tuesday and Thursday were all ultimately denied their stroll through the CBD garbed in robes and caps.
After declaring the Tuesday Graduation Parade all washed up, Victoria University posted to their Facebook page that those who had been set to walk in it were unlikely to be able to defer to the Thursday parade due to a shortage of gowns.
Several sad—and mad—grads responded to the post:
“Still keen to walk against traffic holding a sign that says ‘ARTS’ written in crayon on cardboard, blasting ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ out of my phone speakers.”
“Super disappointed in the way that this has been run, May isn’t exactly great weather central as a month and the fact there was no back up day for so many graduates is just ridiculous. Not good enough.”
“Stupid premature decision. The weather was fine since 11. You made a stupid move and others must pay. There better be parade tomorrow or there will be a civil suit matter in court.”
The University also announced on Facebook that academic dress will be available, free of charge, in June and July for any missed photo opportunities. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further details.
Despite the waterworks, all graduands are now richer one mighty expensive piece of paper and are now prepared to step out into the real world and make something of themselves: a feat in which Sir Neville has every confidence they will excel.
“As alumni of New Zealand’s globally ranked capital city university, I know that this week’s cohort of Victoria graduates will go on to make an important contribution to New Zealand and the world, and I wish each of them every success in their future endeavours.”