Michael Fowler Centre ceremonies
Graduation ceremonies follow a formal structure. Find information on guests, parking, access and announcements.
Day of the ceremony
Arrive at the Michael Fowler Centre 45 minutes before the start of your graduation ceremony. Your guests must be seated in the auditorium 15 minutes before your ceremony begins.
Order of ceremony
- The official procession of Victoria University of Wellington staff will enter the main auditorium and move to sit on the stage.
- You will be called into the main auditorium by Te tangi puoro and haka whakatau, followed by a haka pōwhiri to welcome you. Please remain standing.
- Sing God Defend New Zealand, the national anthem.
- Address by the Chancellor.
- Stand, and you will be ‘capped’ as a group by the Chancellor.
- Doctorate graduands will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their certificate before moving to sit with staff on stage.
- All other graduands will be called up onto the stage to be congratulated and presented with their certificate.
- When your name is called:
- walk across the stage and shake the Chancellor’s hand
- walk on to receive your certificate
- turn left down the steps and have your photograph taken
- return to your seat.
- Address by the graduate speaker.
- Chancellor’s closing remarks.
- The official staff procession leaves the stage and you follow.
You will be announced by your first and last name as they appear on official university documents.
Change of name and pronunciation
If you wish to change the name that is read out when you graduate or you have a name that is likely to be mispronounced, you need to let us know. You’ll be emailed with details of how to submit your details.
It’s important that you help us with the pronunciation of your name as we want to ensure it is correct and that you have a positive graduation experience.
Graduands and guests requiring easy access
There is lift access to all floors and step-free access to seating on the lower level of the auditorium. Guests who require easy access to seating at the Michael Fowler Centre should arrive early to seat themselves (auditorium doors open 45 minutes before the ceremony).
Graduands will be emailed information about making arrangements for guests who have a disability that requires specific seating.
Friends and family
The number of friends and family you can invite to your graduation ceremony is limited due to space restrictions at the Michael Fowler Centre.
You are entitled to up to three guest tickets, as long as we receive your order by the deadline date. You are able to request more than three guest tickets but additional tickets cannot be guaranteed.
Children are welcome as guests at the graduation ceremonies, but need to be with an adult that isn't graduating. We don't allow any children in the graduands’ marshalling area or on stage.
Any child over the age of two requires a ticket or if they're under two, they will need to sit on an adult’s knee for the full ceremony.
A range of memorabilia is available to commemorate your graduation, developed in conjunction with VicBooks.
Venue and parking
The Michael Fowler Centre is located in Wakefield Street and is adjacent to Te Ngākau Civic Square. There is a taxi stand directly outside the venue on Wakefield Street and buses stop on nearby Manners Street. Street parking near the Michael Fowler Centre is very limited. Please leave yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.
Sharing on social media
For the latest information, including photos and videos from our graduation ceremonies and street parade, connect with us on social media.
- Victoria University of Wellington on Facebook
- Victoria University of Wellington on Twitter
- Victoria University of Wellington on Instagram
Use our hashtags—#VicUniWgtn or #WgtnGrad—as we’d love to see how you celebrate.
Friends and family who can’t attend your graduation can watch a live video stream of the ceremony. Details will be available on the homepage.
The official photographer for the Victoria University of Wellington graduation ceremonies is Woolf Photography. No other professional photographers are permitted within the Michael Fowler Centre.
Graduates will be photographed as they are congratulated on stage and again after leaving the stage. Roving photographers will take photographs of graduates, family and friends before and after the ceremony. These images will be available online from Woolf Photography within 24 hours.
You can also have a professional studio-style portrait taken before or after your ceremony. The price for these portraits is from $65, payable when the photograph is taken—credit cards, eftpos and cash are accepted. Print and digital packages are available. No bookings are necessary.
Woolf Photography will be set up in the foyer an hour and a half before each ceremony, but photography will finish 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.