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Sir Robert Jones bestows annual philosophy awards

Media release
2 September 2008

Sir Robert Jones bestows annual philosophy awards at University of Auckland

Sir Robert Jones bestowed his eponymous Philosophy Awards with all the humour and style that have come to characterise the colourful businessman and benefactor.

This year, former Prime Minister Michael Moore and the Rt Honourable Jonathan Hunt joined Sir Robert for the evening celebration in Old Government House.

The awards, which were established in 2004, are given annually to five undergraduate students who have completed their first semester of Stage 1 Philosophy and who are majoring in Philosophy. The three-year scholarships are each worth $2000 per year. Sir Robert gives similar awards to humanities students at several New Zealand universities.

Noting that he is approaching 70, Sir Robert said he has long been praised for finding the right people to work in, and run, his business interests.

“I am always asked, ‘Where do you find these people?’ I tell them, ‘Go to the Humanities!’ And to anyone who thinks that studying philosophy is wet I say, ‘It’s not wet. You are all too young to know what you are going to do yet, so this is how you start to figure it out.”

Both Dean of Arts, Professor John Morrow, and Head of Philosophy, Dr Tim Dare, thanked Sir Robert for his generous scholarships. Dr Dare said that unlike many prizes which come at the end of an academic period, the Robert Jones scholarships are award at the beginning of studies—giving students “just the right kind of support at just the right time”.

The recipients of the Sir Robert Jones Philosophy Awards 2008 are Imogene Paterson, Rhys Thompson, Joanna Woollams, Keith Ruddell and Madeleine Collier.


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