Success by degrees for vets course

Vet graduates weren't the only ones celebrating a milestone in Palmerston North this week.

As the hundred-plus graduates had their degrees conferred, the course they attended marked its golden anniversary.

The school - established in 1963 by the then Massey College - held a special graduation ceremony in honour of the occasion. The only veterinary school in the country has grown from an initial intake of 32 students to more than 500.

Yesterday four doctoral degrees - to Kerri Morgan, Danielle Aberdein, Eric Neumann, and Sarah Taylor - three masters, a postgraduate diploma, 29 veterinary technology degrees and 96 veterinary science degrees were conferred by the university's new chancellor, Chris Kelly.

In his first week in the position, he shook hundreds of hands before being presented with a Massey University Veterinary 50-year Anniversary medal himself.

Mr Kelly, a graduate of Massey's five-year vet course, was a farm animal veterinary surgeon for 16 years, before becoming a Dairy Board manager and then the chief executive of government farming company Landcorp, a position he held for 12 years before stepping down in June to try his hand at private sector directorships.

The opportunities a vet degree offered were endless, he said.

"You can plan to an extent, but at the end of the day life is like riding on a surfboard.

"You ride a wave until it collapses and you get on another wave and keep going and where it ends up, who knows?"

More than 6800 people graduated from Massey this year, making a tally of more than 127,000 alumni.

Manawatu Standard