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Sir Graham Henry and Judge McLean to receive UC Doctorates

Sir Graham Henry and Judge McLean to receive UC Honorary Doctorates next week

December 4, 2012

The All Blacks World Cup winning coach Sir Graham Henry and New Zealand’s first chief coroner Judge Neil McLean will next week be awarded University of Canterbury Honorary Doctorates in education and law.

Sir Graham and Judge McLean will receive their doctorates at UC’s summer graduation on December 14. Sir Graham will deliver the graduate address.

Sir Graham is one of UC’s and the College of Education’s most distinguished graduates. As former head coach of the All Blacks from 2004 to 2011 he is well known internationally and nationally. He has been described as one of the most successful coaches ever to have coached an All Blacks side.

``His contributions to education, sports coaching and to our country have been recognised at the highest levels through his OBE,’’ Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Gail Gillon said today.

Sir Graham attended Christchurch Boys High School and later earned a Teachers Diploma in physical education and science at the former Christchurch College of Education, now the UC College of Education.

He went on to teach at Christchurch Boys’ High School, Auckland Grammar School (where he coached the 1st XV) and Kelston Boys’ High School and was later appointed as Kelston headmaster in 1987 until taking up rugby coaching fulltime in 1996.

Sir Graham, who coached the Auckland Blues, was appointed the Welsh coach in 1998 and later coached the British and Irish Lions on a tour of Australia. He was named the All Blacks coach in 2004. He was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to rugby.

UC Chancellor Dr John Wood said an honorary doctorate recognised outstanding contributions of UC alumni to their field and to the wellbeing and betterment of society.

``There is no doubt that Sir Graham has made an outstanding contribution to education in its broadest sense through his coaching, mentoring and excellent leadership abilities.

``Sir Graham is an inspiration not only to many of our students across these areas of education and sport but an inspiration to the wider teaching, sport and business communities. His lifelong dedication and commitment to education and sport coaching and his ability to foster the very best from the individuals he coached at the highest levels internationally, make him truly worthy to be the recipient of UC’s inaugural Honorary Doctorate in Education.’’

Judge Neil Maclean, New Zealand’s first chief corner, will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Law at the December 14 afternoon graduation ceremony.

Judge McLean completed a law degree at UC in 1967 and became the Christchurch Coroner in 1978. He was appointed a judge of the district court in 1993.

As the chief coroner, he worked closely with professional and community groups in setting up the new coronial service.

UC Chancellor Dr John Wood said Judge Maclean assumed a high profile and was particularly prominent with regard to the question of suicide.

``Overall he has done much to communicate to the general public just what the role of the coroner is and made efforts to reassure the public with regard to specific issues such as the Christchurch earthquake and the sinking of the Easy Rider in Foveaux Strait.’’


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