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Alumni appeal launched to support University of Otago initiatives

The Clocktowers clock

Friday 15 February 2013 10:13am

The University of Otago has named the initiatives it will support as part of its 11th Annual Appeal.

Run by the Development and Alumni Relations Office, the annual appeal allows alumni to participate in supporting the University financially, and encourages their ongoing engagement with the University community.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says that the three initiatives chosen to support in this year's appeal are undergraduate scholarships, a new Chair in Earthquake Science and the MRI scanner fund.

"The support of alumni and friends has always been integral to the University's success," says Professor Hayne.

"Their ongoing willingness to give back to their University helps us to maintain our 144 year-old legacy of excellence in teaching and research, so that we can continue to make a real difference in people's lives."

The appeal traditionally funds a range of scholarships and supports research in key issues that contribute to national and international development.

Campaign Officer Jude McCracken says the response to the appeal over the years has been gratifying.

"In 2012 a large number of Alumni and Friends made gifts for the first time to the Annual Appeal. This year we are hoping to double the participation rate from last year."

This year's appeal will be staggered over the year, and the first mail-out to New Zealand alumni and friends took place this month. 

Initiatives supported by the 11th Annual Appeal

Support of Undergraduate Scholarships

Every year hundreds of academically-gifted year 13 students apply for scholarships at the University of Otago with the dream of gaining a world-class education. For many young people hoping to better themselves a University of Otago scholarship such as the Alumni Appeal Scholarship is the only chance to overcome the hardship barriers associated with attending university.

The University of Otago believes that there is no better investment in New Zealand's future than supporting scholarships, giving bright young people a chance to fulfill their potential and make a significant contribution to society.

The Chair in Earthquake Science

For several decades prior to the devastating 2010-2012 Canterbury earthquake sequence, University of Otago researchers were undertaking world-leading investigations into crustal structure and fault zone mechanics. The establishment of a Chair in Earthquake Science will enable the University of Otago to consolidate this crucial research.

The Chair will be at the hub of a multidisciplinary Centre for Fault and Earthquake Science, drawing on cross-departmental expertise at the University of Otago (including Geology, Geography, Marine Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Surveying). The Centre will be linked to national and international research partners, particularly those in countries around the Pacific Rim sharing comparable earthquake hazards. 

The Chair in Earthquake Science will lead vital research into understanding the fundamentals of earthquake nucleation and rupture and how these relate to fault structure, growth, evolution and cessation.

The MRI scanner fund

The University of Otago is at the forefront of neuroscience and biomedical research. Although Otago researchers have world-class expertise, they are limited by access to MRI technology. Without this fundamental technology, our research efforts into better understanding human body structure and function are very restricted.

To this end the University of Otago wishes to purchase a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. This will provide a great opportunity for University of Otago researchers, clinicians and students to gain detailed insights into the structure, function and metabolism of the human brain and other body systems. MRI scanning will enable essential research into the prevention, cure and treatment of a wide variety of diseases, including neurological disorders and neurodevelopmental conditions, as well as improving our understanding of what makes a healthy brain and body.

The MRI scanner will likely be based at Dunedin Hospital, where it will not only support biomedical research by the teams in the Brain Health Research Centre and their colleagues, but also augment research and services provided by the new Chair in Neurosurgery, and many other clinical disciplines.

Support the University by engaging with the alumni community

Alumni who are not able to give financially can support the University by:

  • Joining or creating a local network.
  • Attending one of the Otago Alumni events
  • Passing on their Otago Magazine to a friend.

Visit the Alumni Facebook page to connect with fellow Otago alumni.

For more information, contact:

Jude McCracken
Campaign Officer
Development and Alumni Relations
University of Otago
Tel +64 3 4795246

Philip Kearney
Development and Alumni Relations
University of otago
Tel 03 4798381
Mob 021 2295522

Visit the Alumni Relations website for more information.

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