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Awards celebrate outstanding achievements

The exceptional achievements of Otago alumni are to be celebrated by the University with the introduction of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Since the University was founded nearly 150 years ago, Otago alumni have been making their mark in many spheres, contributing to society and the well-being of communities in their local area and beyond.

University Chancellor John Ward says many of these individuals have gone on to become widely recognised, both nationally and internationally, for their exceptional and sustained achievements.

“It is these individuals that the University wishes to recognise with the establishment of the Distinguished Alumni Awards. We are very proud of our alumni and we wish to celebrate their outstanding work and their successes.

“While many of our alumni acknowledge that their Otago education has provided a platform on which they have been able to build their success, the Distinguished Alumni Awards now offer the University an opportunity to celebrate those alumni whose work has helped to shape our world.”

To be considered for the award, candidates must hold a degree or diploma from the University of Otago and have a history of outstanding achievement that has brought significant benefits to their profession and/or to any aspect of the physical, social, cultural, sporting, environmental and economic well-being of the community, either locally, nationally or globally. No more than five alumni will be recognised each year.

Alumni, current or former staff and friends of the University will be invited to nominate individuals for the awards, to be considered by a Distinguished Alumni Award selection panel, appointed by the Chancellor.

The University plans to honour award recipients at a University alumni event in their country of residence. More information on the awards and the nomination process will be available soon on the University website.

University of Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service

Since 2003, the University has recognised the meritorious service of its alumni volunteers with the Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service, honouring sustained and extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the University.

The number of living holders of the University of Otago Medal for Outstanding Alumni Service at any one time is limited to 15.

To date, eight Otago alumni have been awarded the medal. All have contributed over a period of years to building stronger links in their regions between alumni and the University. The result has been the creation of active alumni networks through which members derive social, professional and educational benefits from their connections with each other and the University.

Outstanding Alumni Service Medal winners (and the year the medal was awarded):

  • 2012 Tan Sri Dato Dr Hj Ahmad Azizuddin bin Hj Zainal Abidin
  • 2010 Murray Frederick Brennan
  • 2008 Alister William Robertson
  • 2008 Alexander Paul Beresford
  • 2008 Neville Clifford Bain
  • 2007 Trevor Bruce Moyle
  • 2004 Wong Cham Mew
  • 2003 John Maxwell Gwyn Zinzan.

Alumni benefits

Alumni events 2014

Upcoming celebrations and reunions

Recent reunions and events

Alumni networks

Library membership
You can use the University libraries for reading, writing, research and relaxation.

Reunion organisation
Do you need help organising your class/college/flat/University sport reunion? Contact

Career development and advice
Whether you are currently searching for a position, considering a career change, or are seeking fresh talent for your business, Otago's Career Development Centre can help.

Contact alumni
Get back in touch with lost friends, flatmates and colleagues from your student days by emailing

Executive Residence
Stay in the heart of campus at the University's Executive Residence at an exclusive alumni rate. Telephone 0800 685 685.

Shore Guide giveaway

The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre has recently launched the Sandy & Muddy Shore Guide, continuing its popular series of guides to identifying the diversity of life found on our shores. Northern and southern New Zealand versions are available.

The guides are are a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring New Zealand's shoreline and particularly for those wanting to join the Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) “citizen science” project. Participants monitor a 1m x 1m square patch of their local shore every season, counting the animals and plants, and recording this information on a data sheet that can be uploaded to the Mm2 website.

The Development and Alumni Relations Office is giving away sets of these waterproof shore guides to 20 alumni. To enter the draw, please email with the subject line "Shore Guide". Please state whether you would like the northern or southern New Zealand sets.

Thank you to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre.

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