Wednesday 18 November 2020 8:12am
A group of dedicated alumni and friends from across the decades gathered at Alchemy in Wanaka on 21 October and at the Queenstown Resort College in Queenstown on 22 October to connect with each other and with the University, and to celebrate mutual achievements.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson welcomed guests and spoke about the University’s achievements and challenges in 2021. COVID-19 has provided both opportunities for the University to shine and as well as numerous challenges. Professor Nicholson shared the contribution that Otago researchers and other staff have made to support the government and country’s response to the pandemic.
She also thanked the numerous members of the alumni community who have in turn supported the University and its students by generously donating to the Student Hardship Fund, Pūtea Tautoko.
The Chancellor, Dr Royden Somerville QC spoke updated guests on the health of the University and the strategic planning that is underway to set the University’s future direction. He invited alumni and friends to read the 2040 Vision document and make a submission on the proposed direction.
Guest speaker, Professor Greg Cook from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology spoke about his research into discovering new weapons in the battle against global warming and animal disease. These weapons include the research into a stand-alone animal-use only product, with a new active (sanitizer) to prevent the occurrence of bovine mastitis in NZ dairy herds, and the identification of new nitrification inhibitors to help the war against global warming.
Professor Cook’s presentation stimulated many questions, and much discussion and guests enjoyed the opportunity to speak with him afterwards.
Many memories and stories were shared amongst the guests and all enjoyed the warmth of once again experiencing the Otago spirit.