VU graduate Kit Chaipanukiat
Kit Chaipanukiat during his 'virtual ceremony' as overseas family watch (Photo courtesy Star Weekly)

While COVID-19 disrupted the way Victoria University usually hosts graduations, it did not subdue its celebratory spirit as VU hosted a unique ‘virtual at-home graduation ceremony’ yesterday.

Nearly 3,000 students dialled in from home to receive their testamur to acknowledge this profoundly meaningful milestone. Many students even ‘gowned up’ and had professional photos taken to mark the occasion.

Family and friends from around the world could log on for the hour-long event as seven ceremonies were streamed simultaneously, one per College and one for VU’s Research graduates.

Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins said graduation was one of the most exciting and highly-anticipated events on the VU calendar, and the University had to carefully consider how it could continue to recognise and celebrate student achievements during COVID-19 restrictions.

“Transforming a graduation from an in-person event to a virtual one is quite the task, and despite this, it remained a considered, meaningful and inclusive event,” he said.

The virtual event was months in the planning and involved teams from across just about every VU area, in particular Event Services and Student Administration.

It included a closing video featuring dozens of heart-felt messages from students and their loved ones.

Kittianant (Kit) Chaipanukiat from Thailand, received his Master of Digital Media after three years at VU. He gave a special ‘shout-out’ to his mother and sisters as he was joined from Bangkok by dozens of family and friends to celebrate his special day.

Watch a recorded ceremony.

See the short messages of thanks and congratulations from graduands, family and friends.