Otago Daily Times

Informal graduation festivitie­s held in wake of threat lauded

- HAMISH MACLEAN

THE informal celebratio­ns led by students after an alleged threat of an attack cancelled graduation ceremonies in Dunedin last year have earned the University of Otago and its staff praise.

The university postponed eight graduation ceremonies after the alleged firearms and explosives threat surfaced in December.

The threat disrupted plans for more than 2500 graduands.

But the university’s graduation team and other staff worked creatively within tight timeframes to support graduands with informal celebratio­ns, University of Otago vicechance­llor Harlene Hayne said in a university council meeting this week.

Prof Hayne thanked staff.

She said she had received many reports from students and their families wanting to thank the university for making sure their special day was still celebrated in style.

University chancellor Royden Somerville said the university could learn from some of the successes of the celebratio­ns.

But upcoming March graduation­s would go ahead as originally planned while the university reflected on possibly adapting its ceremonies.

Police have charged a 22yearold Auckland woman, who has interim name suppressio­n.

The charge alleges the threat was of a magnitude surpassing the March 15, 2019, mosque massacres in Christchur­ch.

 ?? PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH ?? Big day . . . Graduands and their families make the most of graduation day near the University of Otago clock tower last December.
PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH Big day . . . Graduands and their families make the most of graduation day near the University of Otago clock tower last December.

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