More than 4,600 students celebrated significant individual achievements at the University of Newcastle’s (UON) April graduations ceremonies.
As the University celebrates 50 years of delivering equity and excellence, a series of graduation ceremonies took place in Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Thursday 16 April. To ensure our community were able to celebrate with the University’s newest graduates, their friends and families and UON staff, a special graduation parade also occurred through the streets of Newcastle city.
Lead by Australian Army Band, 270 graduates and more than 100 current and former UON staff paraded from Newcastle Museum down Merewether Street, through to Hunter and Auckland Streets, past City Hall on King Street before finishing at the steps of the Civic Theatre in Wheeler Place.
UON Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said sharing the graduation ceremonies and a parade in the CBD with the community acknowledged the University’s relationship with the city and people of Newcastle, and its lasting commitment to the Hunter region.
“Our students and community are at the heart of the UON story. This year’s graduations celebrate 50 years of achievement by our students past and present, and 50 years of community support that has shaped our University’s history, as well as the remarkable impact our staff, researchers and alumni have made on the region and the world.
“We invite the community to join us for this special occasion to celebrate half a century of delivering the highest quality education, research and innovation, and to look forward to building the next 50 years,” Professor McMillen said.
UON has grown from modest beginnings in 1965, when just 1,700 students were taught by 140 academic staff. Today, UON is a global institution enrolling 40,000 students on campuses across NSW and in Singapore, and employing 2,500 staff including world-leading researchers who are in the top one per cent in their field globally.
Students graduating at the April graduation ceremonies will join the University’s remarkable alumni network that includes 125,000 people across more than 120 countries.
Special guests at this year’s graduations include broadcaster and social commentator Phillip Adams AO, while honorary degrees were presented to Dr John Blakemore (Doctor of the University honoris causa), and Tan Sri Datuk Mohd Razali Abdul Rahman (Doctor of Letters honoris causa).
In addition to being a recipient of the International Nickel Fellowship, Dr Blakemore was recognised by the Australian Institution of Engineers as being amongst the top 10 Engineers in Australia for Engineering expertise for his contributions to re-engineering businesses and the development and commercialisation of new products and processes.
Tan Sri Rahman has received several awards from the Malaysian Government and the Malaysian Royal Family for his services to business and government, resulting in the honorific titles of Datuk and Tan Sri. He is also a Patron of the University of Newcastle Alumni Malaysian Chapter.