The Graduation Ceremony

Lincoln University holds two graduation ceremonies - held on the same day in the Christchurch Town Hall

The morning ceremony is for Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce graduands and the one in the afternoon is for graduands of the Faculties of Environment, Society and Design and Agriculture and Life Sciences. Both are held at the Christchurch Town Hall. 

Each ceremony runs for approximately one and a half to two hours and is preceded by a procession from the Christchurch Art Gallery to the Christchurch Town Hall. 

Check the following to see if you will be graduating in the morning or afternoon ceremony.

If you are receiving two or more qualifications you will have all of your qualifications announced when you cross the stage at graduation, and you will receive all your parchments at the same time.  

If you are graduating with more than one qualification, and they are listed under different ceremonies (i.e. one in the morning and one in the afternoon) the graduation office will let you know closer to the ceremony date and which ceremony you will attend to receive both qualifications together.   

Please contact the graduation office if you have a preference or want to confirm so that you can make plans for the big day with your friends and family.


If you are uncertain which graduation ceremony will include your qualification, please email [email protected] to confirm this. 

Morning Ceremony

Procession marshalling begins at 9am, the procession departs at 9.20am and and the ceremony begins at 10am. The ceremony then runs for approximately 1.5 hours.

This ceremony includes all qualifications from the Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce.

Afternoon ceremony

Procession marshalling begins at 1pm, the procession departs at 1.20pm and and the ceremony begins at 2pm. The ceremony then runs for approximately 1.5 hours.

This ceremony includes all qualifications from the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design and the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Regalia hire

If you attend the graduation ceremony you must wear regalia (academic dress) – you will look great. There is no set dress code for the day, but most graduands and guests choose to wear smart, semi-formal day wear. 

If you are not wearing academic dress (regalia) you will not be allowed to join the procession into the graduation ceremony.  Your qualification will therefore be conferred in absentia.

Graduands will wear the regalia appropriate to the qualification being awarded. 

  • Diploma in Agriculture, Diploma in Farm Management, Diploma in Horticulture and Diploma in Horticultural Management recipients will wear the undergraduate diploma gown. 
  • Those who will be receiving an undergraduate Diploma will wear the black gown. 
  • Those receiving a Degree or Masters will wear the black gown, the appropriate hood for their qualification and a trencher with tassel. 
  • Graduate and Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate recipients will wear a gown, trencher with tassel, and a Lincoln University grey hood. 
  • Doctoral recipients will wear the PhD gown, a black bonnet and a hood of ultramarine and Indian yellow.

Regalia (academic dress)

What to expect on they day

Well done! You should be really proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished, so it is well worth celebrating. Graduating in person is an exciting and well-deserved experience filled with tradition and pride. 

The procession 

Each ceremony will be preceded by a procession from the Christchurch Art Gallery to the Christchurch Town Hall.  It takes about eight minutes to walk the procession route.   

It is important to be at the Christchurch Art Gallery in good time to register for the procession (this is when you are given your seat number, which is the order in which you will cross the stage at the Town Hall). 

  • Please be there by 9.00 am for the morning ceremony 
  • Please be there by 1.00 pm for the afternoon ceremony 

If you don’t want to walk in the procession, please go straight to the Town Hall for the same registration time, and go to the Ticketek booth in the main foyer so we can note your attendance and provide you with your seat number.

What happens if it's raining?

In the event of wet weather, there will be no procession and all graduands should go directly to the Christchurch Town Hall. 

If there is no procession due to wet weather graduates should be at the Town Hall by: 

  • 9.10 am for the morning ceremony (with all guests seated by 10.00am) 
  • 1.10 pm for the afternoon ceremony (with all guests seated by 2.00pm). 

If it is wet on the day, please check the Lincoln Facebook page to see if the procession has been cancelled due to the weather. 

  • For the MORNING ceremony – please check from 7.30am 
  • For the AFTERNOON ceremony – please check from 11.15am.
How long is the ceremony?

Each graduation ceremony is between one and a half and two hours in duration.   

Please let your guests know they need to wait until the ceremony has finished before they leave in order to avoid any disruption during the ceremony.

What happens during the ceremony?

The ceremony will begin with a fanfare. The academic procession will enter the auditorium led by the Esquire Bedel who carries the University mace. 

The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Council members and academic staff make up the academic procession, all wearing academic regalia. 

All those graduating rise and remain standing until the mace is in place and the Chancellor gives the signal to sit. 

As they stand, all those graduating remove their trenchers or bonnets and should not replace them until their award has been conferred. 

The Pōwhiri

Both ceremonies will begin with a pōwhiri (welcome ceremony). The PhD graduands will enter the auditorium after the academic procession is seated. There will then be a whakatuwheratanga (a speech of blessing). This will be followed by a waiata (song). During the singing, the pounamu (greenstone carving) will be presented to the Chancellor by one of the graduands.

The presentation of awards

The Chancellor of Lincoln University presides over the ceremony. He will welcome guests and graduands, confer the degrees and award the diplomas and certificates. 

As the name of the degree, diploma or certificate is called, recipients of that award should rise, one row at a time, and prepare to proceed to the stage as directed by the marshals. 

As you reach the side of the stage, a Graduation Officer will check your name and give you a tap on the shoulder to indicate you should proceed up the stairs. 

You walk to the centre of the stage, where the Chancellor will be standing, for the degree to be conferred or the postgraduate/graduate diploma/certificate or diploma to be awarded. 

If there is no trencher (hat) as part of your regalia the Chancellor will shake your hand. If the trencher (hat) is part of your regalia the Chancellor will first ‘cap’ you by placing a trencher on your head and then shake your hand (you are then free to put on your own trencher). 

You will then walk to the Vice-Chancellor who will hand you your parchment and shake your hand, before you go down the stairs in the centre of the stage and return to your seat as directed by the marshals. 

Your trencher or bonnet is worn throughout the remainder of the ceremony, except during the singing of the National Anthem. 

Honorary degrees and medals

Any honorary degrees or medals, such as the Bledisloe Medal and Lincoln University International Alumni Medal, will be presented during the ceremonies. 

The ceremony conclusion

At the end of the presentations, the Chancellor will call all present to rise and sing two verses of the National Anthem. 

The ceremony concludes with the singing of Gaudeamus. 

The academic procession then leaves the auditorium, followed by the graduates and diplomates. 

The audience should remain standing until the graduates and diplomates have left the auditorium. 

Light refreshments will be available in the downstairs foyer at the conclusion of each ceremony. 

Graduands and diplomates are expected to remain in the auditorium throughout the ceremony.

Advice and Tips

Other graduation events

Other Lincoln graduation events held are the Ball, Rā Whakamana, Future Leaders and Sports Scholars graduation celebrations, and a celebration for Pasifika graduands.

Graduation Ball

Come along to the 2022 LUSA Graduation Ball and celebrate your success with friends and family! The Graduation Ball hosted by LUSA is a great chance to catch up with friends and celebrate in style. 

Follow the LUSA Facebook page for details closer to the event, and if you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Future Leaders and Sports Scholar graduation celebrations

Where: Stewart Foyer and Stewart 2 Lecture Theatre 

When: Thursday 12 May 2022, from 4.00pm – 6.00pm 


Graduating scholars of the Future Leader and Sports Scholarship programmes, and their family and friends are invited to an event to celebrate their achievements with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and support staff. 

The celebrations will include time to mingle (snacks provided) from 4pm.  Presentation of certificates to each scholar and an update of current achievements, followed by group photos from 4.30pm. 

Invitations to this event will be sent out in early March, if you have any questions please email [email protected]