|PhD Dinner an appreciated innovation|
The 2014 Graduation Week innovation of a celebratory dinner specifically for Lincoln’s PhD graduates and their families is a well-received addition to the University’s calendar.
Held in the new Food and Function Centre (Te Kete Ika) on the evening of 1 May, the Vice-Chancellor’s Invitational PhD Dinner was attended by around 60 guests - graduands, family members, and academic supervisors.
Lincoln University's Postgraduate Director, Professor Ken Hughey, was the MC and Vice-Chancellor Dr Andrew West was guest speaker.
“The evening is about celebrating the outstanding achievements of our graduands as valuable members of Lincoln University and as a ‘thank you’ for lending us your minds through your dedicated contributions to research,” said Dr West.
“The graduating PhD students have achieved their goals through difficult times - the earthquakes, closed buildings, and change proposals. They have been part of Lincoln University as we have had to make some difficult decisions to preserve the future of the institution. They have been here as the University sets itself on a more focused path for the future.”
The President of the Lincoln University Alumni Association, Jo Spencer-Bower, proposed a toast to the PhD graduands “as they leave the ranks of Lincoln University students and become Lincoln University alumni”.
Among family members who travelled from overseas for the Graduation Ceremony and attended the Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Dinner were Gordon and Greta Maxwell from Hong Kong. Their son Thomas Maxwell was graduating PhD in Pasture Ecology the following day, and in a subsequent letter of appreciation to the University for its hospitality, they described the PhD Dinner as a “great idea generating much enjoyment and positive energy”. They said it was “wonderful” to be with their son and meet his long-term PhD friends “who represented many countries and who had been doing such relevant and economically useful research”. “To blend academic staff, new PhDs and their immediate families was an excellent idea,” they said.
Lincoln University’s Director, Communications and Development, Tafflyn Bradford-James, said the PhD Diner was the evolution of an idea from the Alumni & Development Office to stay connected with Lincoln’s postgraduates after they leave. "The dinner is an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the high level of academic achievement as well as to remind the postgrads that they can stay connected to their university as they move from being students to becoming alumni."
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