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Friday, 3 August 2018

150 Pharmacy Flyer SCREENS 418

School of Pharmacy alumni are being invited to Dunedin for a reunion which will form part of the University of Otago's 150th celebrations next year.

The University was the first in New Zealand and both its past and present will be celebrated, 150th Celebrations Project Co-ordinator Kerry Buchan says.

“It has a strong foundation and heritage - heart and stone.”

School Marketing and Communication Coordinator, Rewa Pene, says that “it's really great to have the 150th celebrations to link into; the events sound fantastic”.

The school reunion will start on Thursday May 30 with “welcome back” canapés and wine; followed on Friday May 31 by four continuing education workshops and an evening dinner at the Savoy.

The workshops will be similar to those held this year, which were “well received”.

Ms Pene says the school is keen to hear what topics people want: “We're interested in knowing what our alumni would like to learn that would support their day to day practice. But our workshops are not just for practising pharmacists; topics selected will be of interest to most alumni.”

Workshops will be held at the Hunter Centre, where some students will still be studying.

“Our alumni will be right in the middle of the campus buzz; it will still be buzzing with students.”

Reunion participants can expect to pay between $100 and $300, depending how many activities they take part in. Although alumni live throughout the world, most are likely to attend from New Zealand and Australia.

“Alumni and their partners are welcome to come along and we recommend they save the date and book accommodation, as this will be a busy weekend in Dunedin,” Ms Pene says.

Mrs Buchan says the school's reunion will be part of extensive University 150th events during Queen's Birthday weekend from May 31 to June 3.

“We'll blend that [reunion] with the fabulous weekend of 150th celebrations.”

More than 150 events are planned next year, however Queen's Birthday weekend will be a focal point, with Anniversary dinners, garden tours, a Sunday church service, Gala Concert and on Monday June 3, a Pacific Island Konserti and variety of sporting fixtures.

“It's going to be a weekend of culture, academia, reminiscence and engagement with friends, colleagues old and new.”

An Official Convocation Ceremony will be held on Saturday June 1. This is similar to a graduation; honorary doctorates will be awarded and alumni can march in the street procession, wearing their graduation gowns again.

“That's going to be a lovely afternoon of pageantry and celebration.”

Pharmacy, medical, dentistry, physiotherapy and physical education students attended university classes together, so can easily and naturally organise reunions, Mrs Buchan says. Other students are also encouraged to arrange gatherings or reunions.

“People went through together and got to know each other over the years. People will really enjoy coming back to see how beautiful the University is at the moment...the grounds...the international flavour and diversity.”

Celebrations spread throughout next year will incorporate a strong academic programme and many “town and gown” events, as well as enhancing existing university events.

Plans include an outside picnic in February, colourful street march, music and dance, two Homecoming Weekends and an Anniversary Ball in August. The University will be open for performances and plays.

All these activities will sit within a host of 'blue and gold colour'. A University of Otago yellow rose and an Anthem, play and book will be commissioned; exhibitions, open days and tours held; and videos filmed and available.

“There will be a host of other activities designed to celebrate this wonderful institution. We would love everyone to return and help celebrate this milestone of their alma mater.”

Article written by Sharon Fowler for the School of Pharmacy August 2018 Newsletter, V3I2

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