1 April 2008 Ex-NZ Cricket chief Doig among special award recipients at Lincoln University Graduation
Eight special awards will be made at Lincoln University’s Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch Town Hall on Friday 4 April - two honorary doctorates, two alumni medals and four Excellence in Teaching citations.
The presentation of these honours will be part of the ceremonial centred on the award of 725 degrees, diplomas and certificates.
The honorary doctorates are being conferred on former international opera singer and chief executive of New Zealand Cricket Christopher Doig and businessman Graham Kitson, Chairman of the JATRA Group of companies. Both are of Christchurch.
The Bledisloe Medal, for outstanding contributions to New Zealand’s interests by a Lincoln University alumnus or staff member, is being awarded to Samuel Robinson of Hawkes Bay, a past chair of meat company Richmond Ltd now amalgamated with PPCS.
The Lincoln University Alumni International Medal, for outstanding contributions by an alumnus outside of New Zealand, is being awarded to British farmer, farming organisation leader and lobbyist Giles Rowsell of Hampshire, England.
The teaching awards are being presented to Associate Professor Grant Edwards, Dr Crile Doscher, Associate Professor Chris Gan and Associate Professor Sidney Weil.
Christopher Doig has spent 31 years as a professional singer in New Zealand and overseas and six years as Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket. Winning the prestigious Mobil Song Quest while a teacher at Auckland Grammar School opened a pathway which took him to the Vienna Music Academy and a Diploma in Singing, awarded with Distinction. Study at the Academy in turn launched him on an international singing career. Back in New Zealand in the mid-1980s he was initially Director of the Christchurch Arts Centre then Director of the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, a post he held through to 1992.
In 1995 he was appointed Chief Executive of NZ Cricket and in recent times he has returned to the world of opera as executive chair of the new Christchurch-based company, Southern Opera. He is also a board member of Sport and Recreation New Zealand.
Doig will receive the first award of the Lincoln University degree Doctor of Social Science honoris causa.
Graham Kitson graduated from Lincoln in the early 1970s with a Master of Horticultural Science degree with Honours in Agricultural Economics. Since then he has successfully blended science and business to create a business enterprise based on exporting and marketing New Zealand food products in Japan. The JATRA Group of companies, of which he is the Chair, has interests in processed foods, fisheries, wasabi, plant nursery stock, wine grapes and active biological products. Hi Tech Foods Ltd, the group’s “flag ship” trading entity, is a significant exporter of frozen roux, white sauces and other refined food products as well as bio-active products.
All of his companies’ operations have a strong focus on technical innovation and technology transfer. Through his enterprises he expresses a central theme of his working life - the need for New Zealand to “add value” to its food products.
Kitson, whose whakapapa is Ngai Tahu, has had a close association with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for some 12 years and has served on many of its key committees. He is also a board member of the Lincoln University-based National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies. He will receive the degree Doctor of Science honoris causa.
Samuel Robinson of Hawkes Bay was among Lincoln’s first crop of Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) graduates in Farm Management. Farming, community and business involvement have been the themes of his working life. From his sheep and beef property “Te Maire”, near Waipukurau, he was named Hawkes Bay Farmer of the Year in 1986 and nine years later received the AC Cameron Award for Leadership and Excellence in Farming. Last year he was named Hawkes Bay Farm Forester of the Year. He has had a long involvement with the meat industry and was a Director of Richmond Ltd from 1991-2004 and Chair for seven years. During his time as Chair, Richmond successfully acquired and merged both Lowe Walker and Waitotara to grow the business to become one of New Zealand’s major meat exporters. The last three years of his chairmanship involved the process of takeover by PPCS. Since leaving Richmond he has done his best to help facilitate the merger of PPCS and Alliance.
He was recently appointed to the Meat Industry Taskforce. He has been a trustee of AGMARDT, a Director of Farmlands and is on the board of AsureQuality. He has been a Director of the Port of Napier since 1991 and is a past member of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and the Hawkes Bay Catchment Board. He will be Lincoln University’s 75th Bledisloe medallist.
Giles Rowsell came to New Zealand and Lincoln College in 1964 on a scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture degree. He played rugby in the College’s 1st XV and captained it in his final year. Returning to the family’s mixed arable and livestock farm in Hampshire, England, he took over its management from his father. He also continued his rugby playing for London Wasps and Hampshire. Over the years the farm has become an intensive arable unit of some 400 acres producing wheat, barley, oats, grass seed, winter oilseed rape and morphine poppies. Throughout his career Rowsell has been heavily involved with farmer organisations, rising to the chair of most. These range from agricultural marketing groups to farm machinery syndicates to The Farmers Club in London, to Grasshoppers, to United Oilseeds. He chairs United Oilseeds which is owned by 3500 farmers, markets approximately 30 percent of the UK rape crop and is the largest trader of oilseed rape in the United Kingdom.
Farming aside, equestrian eventing is his absorbing sporting passion. In three-day eventing he rose through the ranks to become Team Manager then Chairman of Selectors for the Great Britain Eventing team. He was Competition Controller for Eventing at the Atlanta and Athens Olympic Games. He continues his involvement today through commentating.
Among the many farming related chairs he has held are - the Association of Seed Producers, United Farmaceuticals and Hampshire Farm Developments.
He has maintained loyal links with Lincoln University, particularly as a mentor and host of alumni visiting Britain. He will be Lincoln University’s sixth Alumni International medallist.
The four Teaching Award recipients are -
Associate Professor Grant Edwards. A former Rhodes Scholar from Lincoln University who studied at Oxford University. He teaches and researches in the Agriculture Group within Lincoln University’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Division.
Dr Crile Doscher. He has made an outstanding contribution to the development of teaching in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Lincoln University. He started his teaching career as a US Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Yemen.
Edwards and Doscher go forward as Lincoln University’s nominees to the National Tertiary Teaching Awards, to be held later this year.
Associate Professor Christopher Gan. Teaches Finance and Economics subjects and heads the Economics and Finance Group within Lincoln University’s Commerce Division. Has won two past Lincoln University Excellence in Teaching awards plus a National Tertiary Teaching Award.
Associate Professor Sidney Weil. His specialist field is Accounting and since joining Lincoln University in 1995 has taught into the University’s Commerce programmes. He too is a past winner of a Lincoln University Excellence in Teaching award. He is an active researcher in the field of teaching and has numerous publications to his credit related to Accounting education research.