La Trobe will be the first university in Victoria to hold a physical graduation experience since the global pandemic began, with more than 3,500 students donning their mortar boards and gowns through the month of December.
Students will celebrate the completion of their studies in a wide range of courses – from agriculture to health sciences, education to law – during La Trobe University’s first ever graduation festival.
From Friday December 4 to Saturday December 19, the University will dedicate up to 10 hours each day to a rolling series of presentations for graduands, which will include fittings in traditional regalia and time for professional photography.
A small number of supporters will be welcomed on campus to mark this important milestone in a safe and inclusive way.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, congratulated the Class of 2020 on a remarkable final year of study.
“It’s been a tough year, but amongst the lockdowns and changes to how we teach, it’s more important than ever to celebrate students who have completed their studies in 2020,” Professor Dewar said.
“I am especially proud of this talented and resilient cohort of students, and I am delighted to welcome them back to the Bundoora campus to celebrate their achievements.
“I want to extend my gratitude to our staff, who have worked so diligently to make GradsFest possible and COVID-safe.”
Among those graduating this month is Bachelor of Bioscience and Animal and Veterinary Bioscience student Grace Shing-Francis, whose loved ones will watch on as she is presented with her degree.
“The completion of a Bachelor degree alongside an Honours degree is an incredible stepping stone for me towards my career, and I am absolutely over the moon to have them both completed,” Grace said.
“GradsFest has given me the opportunity to graduate in person with the people that have really supported me this year, and I’m so grateful to be able to invite my partner, mum and best friend and celebrate with them.”
The entire cohort of around 8,000 Melbourne-based students will also be celebrated online on Tuesday December 22. Regional graduates are invited to attend graduation celebrations at their respective campuses next year.
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student Noah Duldig is one of 10 Melbourne graduates cohosting the December broadcast.
“Working as a psychologist has been my dream career for a long time,” Noah said.
“This course has really grown my curiosity and fascination with the brain and its relationship with how we think, feel, and behave. I’m hoping to continue my studies, with the goal of becoming a clinical neuropsychologist.
“The timing of the global pandemic with the most intense year of study I’ve ever experienced was not ideal, but I’m really proud of myself for pushing through and adapting to study online. I’m also really excited to be celebrating my achievements with my friends and family in South Australia, who will gather on the couch with me to watch the online festivity.”
La Trobe will award 11 academic staff Professor Emeritus during GradsFest for their lasting contributions to the University and their fields of work.
PHOTO (from left to right): Grace Shing-Francis and Noah Duldig