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University of Otago Performance Scholarships announced

Students working in the Central Library

Friday 18 June 2010 4:15pm

A new suite of scholarships, encouraging excellence in areas of performance including sport, culture, music and the arts, has been established for first-year students attending the University of Otago next year.

The University has received the generous support of the Callis Charitable Trust to fund the scholarships. The Callis Trust, a philanthropic Dunedin-based organisation, supports a number of community initiatives. The Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, Bishop Kelvin Wright, will be the Trust’s representative on the scholarship selection panel.

The Trust Chairman Sir Eion Edgar says he is pleased that the Trust is the founding supporter of the performance scholarships.

“I hope that this will encourage other individuals and trusts to also offer financial support for this excellent initiative. The founders of the Callis Charitable Trust, Joan and Lyell Callis had a genuine interest in encouraging talented young people,” says Sir Eion.

The University’s Director of Development Associate Professor David Gerrard says the performance scholarships at the University of Otago will offer the opportunity to identify future scholars who may aspire to the success of Otago Alumni, including Johnathan Lemalu, David Kirk, Anna Leese, Anton Oliver and Alison Shanks.

Elite sporting performance is of particular interest to the University of Otago as many of New Zealand’s most outstanding sportsmen and women have emerged from within the University’s ranks, says Associate Professor Gerrard. He adds that there is an internationally recognised case for encouraging a balance between academia and sporting achievement.

“Many prestigious, research-intensive universities support this type of environment. For example, sport scholarships are awarded at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Princeton,” he says.

“The scholarships are uniquely linked through excellence in their rowing programmes and established, celebrated inter-university sports fixtures.”

Examples of such fixtures include the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge and the rugby encounter at Twickenham, concludes Associate Professor Gerrard.

Nominations for the University of Otago Performance Scholarships will be invited from New Zealand secondary schools. Up to 10 scholars will receive a $5000 allowance to offset fees or accommodation, and a guaranteed place in a College of Residence.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate a high level of ability in a chosen area of performance to be complemented by an appropriate academic programme. Likely areas of performance include the study of music, theatre studies, performing arts and physical education.


Dr David Gerrard
Associate Professor
Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Tel 64 3 479 8381