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Graeme Marsh to become Otago’s first Honorary Doctor of Commerce


Thursday 11 December 2014 5:00pm

Graeme Marsh thumb
Mr Graeme Marsh

The University of Otago will confer its inaugural Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree on retired Dunedin business leader and philanthropist Graeme Marsh this weekend.

Dunedin-born and educated, Mr Marsh attended Otago Boys’ High School and graduated from Otago with a BCom in Accountancy in 1963. He was later Chairman of the Otago Graduates’ Association. In 1991, he was appointed to the University Council, to which he provided more than a decade’s outstanding service including as a member of the University Investment Committee for much of that time.

University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says that Mr Marsh is a very fitting recipient of Otago’s first Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree, which was established in 2012.

“Graeme Marsh is a highly successful Otago graduate who has pursued a long and award-winning business career. He has also shared his considerable business acumen and governance expertise with his alma mater through his service on the University Council. Additionally, he and his wife Eunice’s various community contributions reflect values that Otago aims to encourage in its alumni as they make their way in the world,” Professor Hayne says.

He and his wife have supported a number of local charitable causes including the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust, the Fortune Theatre, and Olveston Historic Home. They have also supported Columba College and the University.

The University’s state-of-the art study centre in Castle St, which opened in 2013, is named after the Marsh family.

Mr Marsh’s business career developed from chartered accountancy to corporate management with interests that spanned owning General Motors dealerships, engineering and technology companies to control of rope and twine manufacturer Donaghys where he was managing director from 1988-97.

He was a director of the Dunedin-based firm Scott Technology for 38 years and had been chairman for 32 when he retired from that role in 2007. He is also a former chairman of Mercy Hospital Dunedin.

In 1995, his extensive contributions were officially recognised through being awarded a CBE for services to export and the community. In the same year he was also named Deloitte/Management Executive of the Year with the judges describing him as “an astute, skilful and determined leader, and an outstanding business strategist”. Three years later he was inducted into the Enterprise New Zealand Trust Business Hall of Fame.

In 2007 he was made a life fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. The following year he received the Mayor’s Award for Business Personality at the Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Mr Marsh served as president of the Otago branch of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, dominion president of the Motor Trade Association, and as a member of the Australia and New Zealand Business Council and the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council.

Mr Marsh’s honorary doctorate will be conferred at the University’s 1pm Graduation Ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday 13 December.

For more information, contact:

Simon Ancell
Communications Section
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 5016

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