Wild celebration: MSc graduate Julia Wakeling at her 'bush graduation' ceremony with her supervisor, Prof William Bond.
UCT alumna Julia Wakeling has an unusual graduation story to tell.
She graduated with an MSc in botany last June, but as she had already started working for her MSc supervisor, Professor William Bond, managing his research project in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal on the day of graduation, she missed her big day.
Bond happened to be in the park at the time, helping Wakeling find her feet while assisting several honours students. So that she wouldn't miss out, Bond arranged a small surprise graduation ceremony.
Lacking the usual gravitas of graduation, Wakeling was draped with sheets and towels to create a suitable 'gowned' effect.
"It was a delightful little ceremony at the research camp where I'd been based for most of my master's fieldwork."
The ceremony a la bush camp was followed by snacks and champagne.
"It was a little out of the ordinary, but very memorable," said Wakeling.
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