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Source: Massey University

Graduates at the 2019 graduation ceremony at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.

Chancellor Michael Ahie.

Industrial Design graduate Rik Olthuis.

More than 700 Massey University graduates from the class of 2020 will be celebrating in the upcoming special graduation celebrations to be held at Massey’s three campuses, beginning in Wellington this Friday.

The events are being held for students who graduated in absentia because COVID-19 restrictions meant the traditional graduation ceremonies in April and May could not be held, and will enable graduates to celebrate their academic success with their friends, whanau, staff, classmates and other graduates from the class of 2020.

Massey University Chancellor Michael Ahie says despite a global pandemic disrupting their traditional graduation ceremony, graduates should be proud of their achievements.

“The Class of 2020 will certainly remember the year they graduated for a variety of reasons. They have had a long wait, but it’s wonderful to now be able to mark this milestone for our graduates and celebrate their academic success. We’re proud of all our graduates and wish them the best for their futures.”

Industrial Design graduate Rik Olthuis is attending the event in Wellington on Friday and says he is looking forward to catching up with classmates and seeing the directions they’ve headed in.

Mr Olthuis is the recent winner of the National James Dyson award, for his design of biodegradable sneakers. “I was inspired to design a sneaker using only biodegradable materials with no adhesives – leading the future of sustainable footwear.

“Since studying at Massey, I have moved to Tauranga and started a Job as an Industrial Designer for Busck Prestressed Concrete, taking care of the modelling and draughting in the Utilities Department,” he says.

The informal events will comprise an official welcome and a chance to mingle and enjoy entertainment and kai and have their photograph taken in academic dress.

A celebration will be held in Palmerston North next Friday and in Auckland on October 20 and each student association will also host an evening party for graduates and their guests.