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Two Significant Honorary Doctorates To Be Awarded

Two significant honorary doctorates to be awarded in June

Former Chancellor Caroline Bennett, a noted educationalist, and Gordon Edgar, former director of the Ruakura Animal Research Station and co-author of two classic veterinary texts, will be awarded honorary doctorates by Waikato University this month.

The awards will recognise their outstanding contributions to the university and the Waikato region, as well as their other many achievements.

Caroline Bennett Mrs Bennett has been principal of Fairfield College in Hamilton since 1996, a position she took after a long and distinguished career in education. Examples of her earlier activities in education include helping set up te reo programmes at Rotorua Girls’ High School and participating in the first intake for the Certificate of Mâori Studies course at Waikato University. As a member of the New Zealand Educational Administration Society she took an active role at both regional and national level.

In recognition of her achievements, Mrs Bennett was appointed Dame Jean Herbison Fellow in 1992 and Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Administration Society in 1996. In 1993 she became a ministerial appointee to the Bay of Plenty Conservation Board.

She was first elected as Chancellor of Waikato University 1998 and was re-elected each year after that up until the end of 2002. Before her election as Chancellor, Mrs Bennett had served on Council for seven years, six of them as Pro-Chancellor. For three years she chaired the university’s equal opportunities and freedom from harassment committee. She was a valuable facilitator in the development of a Treaty of Waitangi policy.

Gordon Edgar Gordon Edgar has made very significant contributions to his profession in veterinary science, primarily during his term as Director of the Ruakura Animal Research Station for 15 years from 1964 – 1978. He has also served as a member of many boards and councils.

Dr Edgar served in various theatres in world war two and was mentioned in dispatches in 1944. After the war, he stayed in the UK, completing a BSc in veterinary science in 1949 and a PhD in 1952. Back in New Zealand, he began a lengthy association with the Ruakura Animal Research Station. He was the lead author of two particularly important publications: Diseases of Domestic Animals in New Zealand, published in 1958 and The New Zealand Farmers’ Veterinary Guide, published in 1959. The guide, written for farmers, proved an invaluable, authoritative and widely-used resource volume with successive editions published.

Up until his retirement in 1978, Dr Edgar continued to have a distinguished professional and academic career. His association with Waikato University extends back to its earliest days, when he was a strong supporter of a university for Hamilton. He went on to serve the university in two main ways: as director of the environmental studies unit from 1980 to 1981, and as a member of the university Council from 1975 to1979.

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