Michael Fowler Centre ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies follow a formal structure. Find information on guests, parking, access and announcements.

Tickets

Guest tickets are no longer for sale.

You must have ordered tickets for any guests you would like to bring. You do not need a ticket for yourself.

Ticket allocations will be confirmed two weeks prior to your ceremony.

Your graduation information pack, including guest tickets, will be available for collection from Level 1 Foyer, Murphy building, Kelburn Parade during the following times:

  • Monday 10 December, 10am–5pm
  • Tuesday 11 December, 9am–6pm
  • Wednesday 12 December, 9am–6pm
  • Thursday 13 December, 9am–5pm

  • Day of the ceremony

    Please arrive at the Michael Fowler Centre 45 minutes before the start of your graduation ceremony. Your guests must be seated in the auditorium 15 minutes before your ceremony begins.

    Order of ceremony

    • The official procession of Victoria University staff will enter the main auditorium and move to sit on the stage.
    • You will be called into the main auditorium by Te tangi puoro and haka whakatau, followed by a haka pōwhiri to welcome you. Please remain standing.
    • Sing God Defend New Zealand, the national anthem.
    • Address by the Chancellor.
    • Stand, and you will be ‘capped’ as a group by the Chancellor.
    • Doctorate graduands will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their certificate before moving to sit with staff on stage.
    • All other graduands will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their certificate.
    • When your name is called:
      • walk across the stage and shake the Chancellor’s hand
      • walk on to receive your certificate
      • turn left down the steps and have your photograph taken
      • return to your seat.
    • Address by the graduate speaker.
    • Chancellor’s closing remarks.
    • The official staff procession leaves the stage and you follow.

    Names

    You will be announced by your first and last name as they appear on official university documents.

    Change of name and pronunciation

    If you wish to change the name that is read out when you graduate or you have a name that is likely to be mispronounced, you need to let us know. You’ll be emailed with details of how to submit your details.

    It’s important that you help us with the pronunciation of your name as we want to ensure it is correct and that you have a positive graduation experience.

    Graduands and guests requiring easy access

    There is lift access to all floors and step-free access to seating on the lower level of the auditorium. Guests who require easy access to seating at the Michael Fowler Centre should arrive early to seat themselves (auditorium doors open 45 minutes before the ceremony).

    Graduands will be emailed information about making arrangements for guests who have a disability that requires specific seating.

    Any graduands requiring specific assistance should email the Graduation Office as soon as possible or phone +64-4-463 5057.

    Friends and family

    The number of friends and family you can invite to your graduation ceremony is limited due to space restrictions at the Michael Fowler Centre.

    You are entitled to up to three guest tickets, as long as we receive your order by the deadline date. You are able to request more than three guest tickets but additional tickets cannot be guaranteed.

    Children

    Children are welcome as guests at the Graduation ceremonies, but need to be with an adult that isn't graduating. We don't allow any children in the graduands’ marshalling area or on stage.

    Any child over the age of two requires a ticket or if they're under two, they will need to sit on an adult’s knee for the full ceremony.

    Memorabilia

    A range of memorabilia is available to commemorate your graduation, developed in conjunction with VicBooks.

    Venue and parking

    The Michael Fowler Centre is located in Wakefield Street and is adjacent to Civic Square. There is a taxi stand directly outside the venue on Wakefield Street and buses stop on nearby Manners Street. Street parking near the Michael Fowler Centre is very limited. Please leave yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.

    Sharing on social media

    Are you social media savvy and want to show us how you’re celebrating your graduation? Apply to take over the University’s Instagram account (@vicuniwgtn) on the day of your ceremony. You may have already seen one of our student Instagram takeovers this year—they’re saved as highlight on our page if you missed out. Register your interest via email: social-media@vuw.ac.nz

    For the latest information, including photos and videos from Victoria’s graduation ceremonies and street parade, connect with us on social media.

    Use our hashtags—#VicUniWgtn or #VicGrad—as we’d love to see how you celebrate.

    Live streaming

    Friends and family who can’t attend your graduation can watch a live video stream of the ceremony. Details will be available on the Victoria homepage.

    Photography

    The official photographer for the Victoria University graduation ceremonies is Woolf Photography. No other professional photographers are permitted within the Michael Fowler Centre.

    Graduates will be photographed as they are congratulated on stage and again after leaving the stage. Roving photographers will take photographs of graduates, family and friends before and after the ceremony. These images will be available online from Woolf Photography within 24 hours.

    You can also have a professional studio-style portrait taken before or after your ceremony. The price for these portraits is from $65, payable when the photograph is taken—credit cards, eftpos and cash are accepted. Print and digital packages are available. No bookings are necessary.

    Woolf Photography will be set up in the foyer an hour and a half before each ceremony, but photography will finish 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.