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Academic prizes

The following prizes are awarded to the year's outstanding students:

MacMillan Brown Prize

Founded in 1917 by Prof. J MacMillan Brown, who gave the sum of $100 to the Council. A further sum of $150 was added by the Council because Prof. Brown did not accept a salary during his tenure of the Chair of English in 1920.

The Macmillan Brown Prize is awarded annually for excellence in English composition in verse or prose.


Lawrence Jones Prize in New Zealand & Post-Colonial Literature

Established in 2001 in honour of Lawrence Oliver Jones, member of the staff of the Department of English from 1964 and Professor from 1982 until his retirement in 2000.

The Lawrence Jones Prize in New Zealand & Post-Colonial Literature is awarded to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts with Honours student who gains the highest level of attainment in the study of New Zealand literature and post-colonial literature.


Alan Horsman Prize

Established in 2009 as a consequence of an anonymous gift. The donor expressed the wish that an annual prize be named in honour of Emeritus Professor Alan Horsman.

The Alan Horsman Prize is awarded to the student with the highest mark in English paper ENGL121, except that when that student has been awarded the Gilray Prize for aggregate top marks in 100-level English, in which case the Horsman Prize is awarded to the student with the second highest mark in ENGL121.


Colin Gibson Prize in Dramatic Literature

Established in 2001 in honour of Colin Alexander Gibson, a member of the staff of the Department of English in 1957, and Donald Collie Professor of English from 1984 until his retirement in 1999.

The Colin Gibson Prize in Dramatic Literature is awarded to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts with Honours student who gains the highest level of attainment in the study of dramatic literature.


Sterne Prize

Established in 1957, the Sterne Prize is awarded to the best student of English at 200-level.


Sir Thomas More Prize in English

Establishment in 1989 commemorate the quincentenary of the birth of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Lord Chancellor of England, lawyer, and man of conscience. At the conclusion of celebrations to mark the quincentenary, a trust fund was established to support the prize.

The Sir Thomas More Prize in English is awarded to the student adjudged to have written the best essay in Tudor literature for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, in English.

Lenore Harty Prize

Established in 1989 from contributions to a fund subscribed by students, colleagues, and friends to mark the retirement of Dr Lenore Harty in recognition of her distinguished career as a teacher of Old and Middle English and Icelandic. She joined the University staff in 1961.

The Lenore Harty Prize is awarded to a student who has demonstrated particular excellence in Old and/or Middle English for English at 200-level.


John Tinline Prize in English

In 1886, the late John Tinline, Esq., of Amuri donated the sum of £1000 to provide a scholarship for students advancing to MA in English. The John Tinline Prize in English was established at the University of Otago in 1965.

Helen Brosnan Memorial Prize

Established in 1972 under the will of Johanna Monica Brosnan, a former student of the University of Otago who was admitted to the degree of Masters of Arts in 1918 with First Class Honours in English. The Helen Brosnan Memorial Prize is awarded to the woman student obtaining the highest average mark in the final examinations for English at 400-level.

Gilray Memorial Prize

The Gilray Memorial Prize is provided from the income from a sum subscribed in 1924, by students of the late Professor Gilray, Professor of English Language and Literature from 1889-1920, to commemorate his long and distinguished association with the University. The Gilray Memorial Prize is awarded to the best student at 100-level.

Rhys Brookbanks Prize in Writing

Rhys Brookbanks was student in the department of English from 2005 to 2008, earning a first class BA (Hons) in English and History. He was keenly interesting in all its forms and was a particularly gifted poet. Rhys went on to study journalism at Canterbury University. He had recently begun work at Canterbury Television (CTV) when he died in the Christchurch Earthquake on 22 February 2011. Established in 2011, the Rhys Brookbanks Prize is awarded to the student at 100, 200, or 300 level who demonstrates the greatest skill in the art of writing.

George Macgregor Cameron Prize

Established in 1992 from a gift by Mrs O. S. Cameron of Riverton, the George Macgregor Cameron Prize recognizes the distinguished contribution made to the Department of English by her husband, the late George Macgregor Cameron, who taught in the Department from 1928 until his retirement in 1965.

The George Macgregor Cameron Prize is awarded to the student who is adjudged to have written the best essay on a topic in Medieval or Renaissance Literature as part of the requirements for the second or third year course for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English.

Jocelyn Harris Prize

The Jocelyn Harris Prize was established in 2006 to commemorate the achievements of Professor Jocelyn Harris in the field of women’s literature. Professor Harris joined the department of English in 1971 and was appointed professor in 1994. The prize is awarded to the student who is adjudged to have written the best essay on a text written by a women author as part of the requirements for a 100-, 200-, or 300-level paper in English Literature.

James Clark Prize in English

In the early 1900s the late Mrs Clark, widow of the Rev. James Clark of Palmerston, left a legacy of £500 to the Presbyterian Church for the promotion of sound learning at the University of Otago. The interest of the legacy is devoted to providing five annual prizes in books. The James Clark Prize in English is awarded to the student of the highest class in English based on the number of marks gained during the session, together with those gained in the examination at the close of the session.