The sky's the limit
Massey University graduands become graduates today, as celebrating students don robes and doff caps to receive their degrees in Palmerston North.
Ceremonies began this morning and more than 450 Massey graduands will be capped in two ceremonies, with 35 to receive doctoral degrees and 108 their masters onstage at the Regent on Broadway.
Massey vice-chancellor Steve Maharey called the capping the highlight of the academic year.
Students from Massey's Albany, Wellington and Manawatu campuses as well as distance learners will join the robed procession from Broadway Ave to The Square.
Bachelor of Aviation graduate Elisha Lim has travelled back to Palmerston North from Singapore to celebrate finishing her degree - and to clock up some more flying hours.
She moved to New Zealand to train and left last December after finishing her professional pilot training.
For Ms Lim, the capping ceremony marks the beginning of a career flying high - and for the School of Aviation the day celebrates 25 years of training pilots.
"It is the thought of being able to ferry people around, bring them to somewhere they want to go - for a holiday or back home," she said.
"When they reunite with their family it makes them happy, so carrying the people is my work to do something for others."
She will keep good company on the graduation stage today.
Olympic bronze medal rower Storm Uru is to receive his master's degree, and former reserve bank governor Dr Allan Bollard, and 86-year-old Palmerston North social work pioneer Mervyn Hancock will have honorary doctorates conferred.
This year's graduation celebrations in The Square will be free of free booze. Massey was forced to pull its graduation cocktail party from The Square to avoid a technical breach of the liquor ban area.
Instead, city councillors, Massey staff and invited guests will be served non-alcoholic refreshments, and can buy alcohol as permitted by the caterer's licence, with celebrations moving to the Missoula Room in the civic administration building later on.
The council intends amending its bylaw to list two Massey graduation events exempt, to ensure next year's celebrations go off without a hitch.
The Manawatu Standard