Graduates join 40,000 alumni

18 June 2014
Professor Greg Whittred
Business School Dean Professor Greg Whittred congratulates graduands

Stopping traffic on Queen Street is the highlight of many a young graduand’s graduation day. There is nothing like being all togged up in academic regalia, walking with friends and being led by a marching band with proud family and friends standing on the footpath waving.

Graduation has certainly changed over the years and become the major "town and gown" event on the University’s calendar.  It is now managed by a separate office with a dedicated team, yet faculty staff still volunteer on the day to ensure their graduands have that personal service and recognition. The Business School has some 40,000 graduates/alumni with about 15,000 living overseas.

Business School graduates celebrated with family and friends in the Alumni Marquee on 7 May as they joined the alumni network.  

Dean Professor Greg Whittred addressed students at the Graduation Breakfast, congratulating them and highlighting the importance of their accomplishments.

“Most people have heard the phrase the ‘tassel is worth the hassle’. It might be a little trite but it actually sums up what we are celebrating here today. Years of hard work, literally thousands of hours of study, numerous exams and essays, and long nights in front of the books. Your diligence and perseverance has paid off, and you should all revel in the celebrations.

“It’s not just your families and friends who are proud of you today. Your achievements are, in a very real sense, our achievements. And we are justifiably proud of you.”

He told students the doors would always be open for them to return, and encouraged everyone to keep in touch.

Guest speaker at the breakfast was EY Business Student of the Year Ben Reynolds, who was awarded the title just the night before.

He said the real challenge for students was what to do next – would they lead successful careers, carve out a global niche, or be among the few who go on to bend history?

“As all good speeches do, I’d like to finish with a quote from Robert Kennedy,” Ben said. “few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events and all those acts will be written in the history of a generation.”

Business School graduates created a sea of orange amid the Graduation Procession, led by the University of Auckland dignitaries, from the Alumni Marquee in the Old Government House grounds to Aotea Square.

See our Autumn Graduation photos on the Business School Facebook page