A cheer rose up from the crowd of Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduates on Monday, with 235 students attending the university’s first day of graduation ceremonies.
Graduates from the Faculty of Arts were the first to don their gowns, with students graduating from the schools of Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication and Creative Industries and Psychology.
After many years of grueling studies, the feeling of joy and relief was palpable within the university’s Joyes Hall, which was brimming with more than 640 guests cheering on their loved ones.
The afternoon ceremony saw 269 students graduate from the schools of Education and Information Studies.
The graduation ceremonies will continue until Wednesday, with more than 1,100 graduates to receive their undergraduate and postgraduate awards, with crowds expected to reach more than 3,000 over the combined six ceremonies.
Delivering the occasional address to yesterday morning’s graduates was the District Director of the Department of Family and Community Services, Ms Glynis Ingram.
During the ceremony, Ms Ingram was also awarded with the honorary title of Doctor of Arts for her significant contribution to regional Australian communities and to CSU through her work to protect children and young people most at risk of abuse.
Another success story, among so many, was that of Tony Curran, a CSU academic and 2015 Archibald Prize finalist who was awarded a PhD for his Self Aesthetics: Towards a contemporary poetics of portraiture.
Mr Curran said it was a relief to be finished with his studies, which saw him enter a piece of artwork into the Archibald Prize, but it was a hugely rewarding experience.
“My research was a truly worthwhile investigation and I learnt so much through the whole process,” Mr Curran said.
“I was looking at the philosophical issues in aesthetics and developing a hypothesis about how portraiture should be made, which I tested with my own weird abstract work that I entered into the Archibald Prize.”
CSU lecturer in psychology, Dr Rachel Hogg was awarded a PhD for her research that examined the relationship between horse and rider in elite equestrian sports, which involved interviewing more than 30 elite Australian and international riders.
The coming days will see more eager students throw up their graduation caps in delight, with graduates from from the Faculty of Business taking to the stage on Tuesday and those from the Faculty of Science set to graduate on Tuesday and Wednesday.