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Freemasons scholarship winner offers gift

Friday, May 16, 2008

Freemasons scholarship winner offers gift in return

Massey Wellington design student Leilani Isara turned the tables on Governor-General Anand Satyanand when she presented him with a Massey Association of Pasifika Students hoodie.

Ms Isara was one of five Massey students Mr Satyanand presented with scholarships from the New Zealand Freemasons at a reception in Wellington this week.

She designed the hoodie for the association while doing her fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Design in visual communication. Mr Satyanand was delighted with the gift. Although he initially wondered whether it would fit him, he later said would be "excellent" attire for walking the grounds of Government House.

Three other Massey undergraduate students also received Freemasons scholarships worth $6000 each: Courtenay Jacks, who is doing business studies at the Auckland campus, Hilary Corkran who is completing a Bachelor of Science honours at Palmerston North, and Adam O’Connell, who is studying for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science also at Palmerston North.

PhD candidate Kirsty Hammond received one of only seven $10,000 postgraduate scholarships. She is completing a PhD on the effects of fresh forage diets on methane production at Palmerston North.

The Freemasons awarded $238,000 worth of scholarships this year to 35 high-achieving students at New Zealand universities. The organisation is one of the largest privately-funded sponsors of students.

Grand Master Barry McLaggan says rewarding excellence in education is an investment in New Zealand's future. The programme was recently revamped to increase the value of the scholarships. “While applicants must be A-grade students completing their degrees, they must also take part in a non-academic community activity,” Mr McLagan says.

“Freemasons have helped young New Zealanders towards careers as varied as aerospace design, earthquake-proofing existing structures, assisting adolescent patients with eating disorders, and taxonomy research to improve biosecurity."

“Scholarship recipients are all high-achieving young people who recognise the importance of involvement in community service as well as academic success."


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