Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light) red setting, the NMIT graduation events scheduled for 3 February (Marlborough) and 11 February (Nelson) were not able to proceed with a formal ceremony at either location.
However, 2021 graduands were given the option collecting their certificates and having a professional photo taken in their regalia at a session originally booked for the formal ceremony or join the 2022 end-of-year graduation events.
While it was disappointing the students were not able to take part in the usual parade of graduands through the streets, or the function after the formal ceremony, the photo sessions offered an opportunity to mark the occasion in their formal academic regalia. Around 100 graduates took the opportunity to attend a photo session, alongside their invite whānau, in Blenheim or Nelson.
In addition, SANITI (the student association) handed out graduation gift boxes at the graduation sessions along with a voucher for a local hospitality venue.
Making sure graduates still looked the part in their regalia on the day, was a special group of volunteers working hard behind the scenes.
Around 30 volunteers from Soroptimist International of Nelson and others organise and maintain over 400 gowns, hoods and regalia available for hire across Te Tauihu.
Read more about the regalia hire team here(external link).
Unfortunately, because the formal ceremony was cancelled, the selected student speakers were also unable to address the graduates.
Two of the students scheduled to speak were:
Mathew Beach: Diploma in Business and a Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting Major.
Despite working for several years as a successful truck driver Matt knew he wanted to make a career change and decided to follow his passion for accounting and business. For someone who describes himself as a ‘high school dropout with very little maths or English skills’ Matt was very focussed and determined to reach his goal. This year Matt started a new job as an Audit Analyst at Deloitte in Christchurch, plus he is starting a Post Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accounting.
Finn Horsfield: Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking.
Looking for a more fulfilling career and a rural lifestyle Finn packed up his life in Auckland, and an apprenticeship, and moved to Te Tauihu to start a degree with basically zero knowledge of viticulture or the winemaking process. He says he just knew he ‘liked drinking it and wanted to live on a vineyard’. Finn is now working as a Vineyard Operator for Dog Point Vineyards based at a 40ha organic vineyard in Marlborough’s southern valleys.
While many other tertiary institutions chose to cancel their large graduation events, NMIT opted for a safe plan that still allowed for some celebration and acknowledgement, as well as provided an opportunity a formal photo session in academic regalia.