The Graduation Ceremony

Lincoln University holds two graduation ceremonies, which take place on the same day in the Christchurch Town Hall.

The next annual graduation ceremony will be held on Friday 9 May 2025.


Graduation ceremonies

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 about one-and-a-half to two hours and is preceded by a procession from the Christchurch Art Gallery to the Christchurch Town Hall. 

If you are receiving two or more qualifications, each of them will be announced when you cross the stage at the ceremony, 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 contact you closer to the date to let you know which ceremony you should attend to receive both qualifications.   

Morning Ceremony

The morning ceremony is for Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce graduands.  Please view the Morning Ceremony Qualification List below to check your qualification.

9am - Procession marshalling begins
9.20am - The procession departs
10am - The ceremony begins

Afternoon ceremony

The afternoon ceremony is for graduands of the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design and the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Please view the Afternoon Ceremony Qualification List below to check your qualification.

1pm - Procession marshalling begins
1.20pm - The procession departs
2pm - The ceremony begins

Can't find your qualification listed above? 

Don't panic if you can't find your qualification listed, please email with your name, student ID and qualification name and we will confirm for you. 

Regalia hire

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

If you are not wearing regalia, you will not be permitted to join the procession into the graduation ceremony and your qualification will be conferred in absentia.

Graduands need to 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 wear the undergraduate diploma gown. 
  • Those who are receiving an undergraduate diploma will wear the black gown. 
  • Those receiving a degree or master's qualification 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 the day

Well done! You should be really proud of yourself and what you've accomplished. 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, graduands should be at the Town Hall by: 

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

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 7.30 am 
  • For the AFTERNOON ceremony – please check from 11.15 am.
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. 

The Chancellor will cap and shake hands with you to signify the conferment of your qualification. You should take a moment as this is when your photograph will be taken by Linton Photography (photos are available after graduation for you to view and purchase). 

You will then walk to the Vice-Chancellor, who will shake your hand, before you go down the stairs in the centre of the stage. Your parchment will be given to you offstage and you will then return to your seat as directed by the marshals. The parchment carries the University seal and certifies the conferral of the degree or award of the diploma or certificate.

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 2025 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

Future Leaders and Sports Scholar graduation celebrations

Where: Stewart Foyer and Stewart 2 Lecture Theatre 

When: Thursday 8 May 2025, from 2pm – 4pm 


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 the presentation of certificates to each scholar and an update of current achievements, followed by group photos. 

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

Future graduation dates

So that you can plan for your graduation, here is a list of future annual graduation ceremony dates: 

  • Friday 9 May 2025
  • Friday 8 May 2026
  • Friday 14 May 2027
  • Friday 12 May 2028
  • Friday 11 May 2029
  • Friday 10 May 2030