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Tēnā koutou and welcome to this edition of Otago Connection

Thursday 27 June 2019 4:19pm

Harlene Hayne image
Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne

This year is a momentous one for the University of Otago, as we join together and celebrate our 150th birthday. During first semester we have had a number of celebrations including the Clocktower Lawn Picnic, 150th Academic Procession, Convocation Ceremony, Anniversary Dinner, Church Service, and Museum Exhibition Opening, as well as the rugby match where Selwyn College triumphed over Knox College and took home the Somerville Shield.

In my speech at the Convocation Ceremony I spoke about the fact that at Otago we pride ourselves on nurturing graduates who understand the value of free speech, who don’t shirk from ideas that are different from their own, who have the ability to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and who are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. Over the last 150 years, the University of Otago has proudly fostered a resilient community of scarfies who actively work to make the world a better place.

By the time you receive this newsletter, we will be half way through the academic year and I am delighted to celebrate the success of our students – whether it be through making a difference in our community, or achieving on the local and global stage. We have so many student achievements to be proud of this year.

In this issue of Otago Connection, we celebrate students shining in national and international sports. We introduce you to Robyn Madden, Head of Carrington College. We celebrate the success of our debating team, who won the Joynt Scroll for the first time since 2014. The Joynt Scroll is New Zealand's second oldest sporting competition, and is hotly contested by Auckland, Otago, Canterbury, Victoria and Waikato Universities.

We will also share some of the amazing sporting achievements our students have made while at Otago – with Matthew Clough winning a world triathlon and Bradley Leydon joining the New Zealand under-21 rowing team. Speaking of rowing, our University rowing team were triumphant at the New Zealand University Rowing Championships, with great performances from the whole crew.

We also share with you many stories of students volunteering and fundraising for projects they are passionate about, which in turn positively impact the Otago community. Law and politics student Hannah Morgan spent eight hours battling the cold waters of Foveaux Strait to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation and OUSA. Over 1,000 Otago staff and students participated in our University of Otago Relay for Life and raised a whopping $110,000 for the Otago branch of the New Zealand Cancer Society. Many others fundraised for great causes too, but I will let you read all about them in this issue of Otago Connection. Our students truly are making the most of their time at Otago.

Through Otago Connection, I look forward to sharing many of the wonderful things our students are doing and achieving as they live and learn together. I am committed to keeping you – the friends and families of our students – as connected to Otago as possible.

Hei konā mai,

Professor Harlene Hayne