Category Archives: Alumni

UCSA Ngaio Marsh Theatre – Save Me a Seat

Find out below about the Ngaio Marsh Theatre Save Me a Seat fundraising initiative from UCSA President Sam Brosnahan. 

The Ngaio Marsh Theatre created amazing memories for generations of UC students. Now’s your chance to give future generations that same opportunity, and to be a part of the student experience for years to come.

The earthquakes destroyed the old theatre, but they could never destroy its spirit and history. That lives on in everyone that watched, crewed or performed in a show. And that’s why it’s so important we bring the Ngaio Marsh Theatre back as part of Haere-roa, the new UCSA building.

Of course, that requires money. (Yeah, you already know what we’re getting at with this.) But we think it also needs a sense of history. That when students step out on to that stage – maybe for the first time in their lives, maybe the only time in their lives – they feel like they’re part of a larger tradition. The tradition that you were part of.

In recognition of your support for the Ngaio Marsh Theatre, we will celebrate your gift with an engraved name plate on one of the auditorium seats for every $500 received. There are now less than 300 seats up for grabs so get in quick! Click here to Save A Seat

On behalf of students past, present and future, thank you for your support!

Ngā mihi nui,

Sam Brosnahan
UCSA President

Remembering Professor Robin Clark 1935-2018

Professor Robin Clark, an enthusiastic and passionate UC alumni and supporter, passed away recently.

Born in Rangiora in 1935, Robin earned a BSc (1955) and MSc with first-class honours (1957) at UC, then known as the Canterbury University College, before becoming a national and senior national Fellow.

Robin went on to the University of Otago in 1958, where he was a research and teaching fellow before moving to University College London that year to undertake a PhD in Chemistry.  He remained at UCL throughout his academic career starting as an assistant lecturer in 1962, before gaining his DSc in 1969.

By 1988 Robin was the Dean of Science and the following year was named Head of the Chemistry Department. Robin had been the Sir William Ramsay Professor since that time.

From 1965 Robin held many visiting professorships, giving five named lectures throughout the world. He authored or co-authored around 520 publications, gave 138 lectures at conferences, co-authored around 80 posters, attended more than 300 academic conferences and seminars, and lectured in 36 countries.

He received 13 honours from the scientific and academic communities, including honours from the Royal Society of London (elected Fellow in 1990), Royal Society of Chemistry, Academia Europaea, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Czech Spectroscopy Society.

Robin’s chief appointments included Chairman of the XI International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (1988) and Chairman of XI International’s International Steering Committee (1992 – 1994). He was deeply involved with the Royal Society, the Royal Institution, the University of London, and University College London. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2004.

In 2001, UC recognised Robin’s contributions to his field, awarding him an Honorary Doctorate (honoris causa) of Science.

In his oration at the April 2001 ceremony, Professor Jim Coxon (Chemistry) presented Robin as a “man of eminence and creativity in the scientific and chemical community.”

Pictured: Robin receiving his Honorary Doctorate from UC Chancellor, Dame Phyllis Guthardt.

Robin was named Chairman of the New Zealand University of Canterbury Trust, UK in 2004, a position he held for 12 years. In his 2016 farewell address Robin shared that while he had spent the majority of his adult life in the UK, his heart firmly remained in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“My children both still have New Zealand passports. All four grandchildren have visited New Zealand at least twice already. I remain a New Zealander at heart, and I have always been keen to help UC.”

A service of thanksgiving will be held for Robin next Wednesday and Alene Wilton, Chair of the UC New Zealand Trust/Alumni Group, will attend on behalf of the University.

Wednesday 19 December from 12.30pm
Christ Church & St Johns
Watling Street
Radlett
WD7 7JJ

Julie King 1945 – 2018

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Julie King earlier this week. 

Julie came to from England to teach art history at UC, and made an important contribution to the art history of Aotearoa New Zealand, curating nationally touring exhibitions and researching and writing about many aspects of art.

Her book Olivia Spencer Bower: Making her own discoveries was published by CUP in 2015 and has proved popular with a wide audience, just as Julie had hoped and intended. 

We were privileged to work closely with Julie on this book, which she was determined to complete in spite of various challenges thrown up by the 2010/11 earthquakes.

While Julie was serious and professional about her commitments as an author, she had a lightness of spirit that made her a pleasure to work with, and above all it was Julie’s generosity and warmth that we will remember.

Catherine Montgomery, CUP Publisher

New CUP book offers insight into New Zealand’s greatest 20th-century philosopher

Canterbury University Press (CUP) is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Associate Professor Mike Grimshaw, Arthur Prior – ‘A Young Progressive’: Letters to Ursula Bethell and to Hugh Teague 1936–1941.

Arthur Prior studied theology at Otago, but he lectured in philosophy at Canterbury University College. He invented ‘tense logic’ while he was at Canterbury during the years 1949–54 and is regarded as New Zealand’s greatest 20th-century philosopher.

Author Mike Grimshaw has previously published on unknown Prior notebooks and on Prior’s work on James Joyce. For this volume he took on the considerable challenge of transcribing, annotating and editing Prior’s letters to Ursula Bethell (who called him one of her ‘young progressives’) and to his cousin, Hugh Teague. Along with Mike, CUP would like to acknowledge and thank the staff at Macmillan Brown Library archives, where the letters to Ursula Bethell are held, for all their support and assistance.

Providing context to the annotated letters in this volume, Mike covers Prior’s journey from theology to philosophy, and his marriage with ‘the versatile Clare Hunter’ (an epithet earned through her debating society skills) with whom he travelled to Europe in 1937. Jack Copeland, Distinguished Professor and Head of Philosophy, provides the Introduction in which he concludes:

‘Arthur’s bohemian interlude in Europe and its aftermath in New Zealand … was a critical period in his development, the crucible in which the mature thinker was formed. His letters in this volume … chronicle a substantial part of that fascinating period’.

Copies are available from UBS on campus or from CUP’s online catalogue.

Janet Holm Prize in History honours remarkable Cantabrian

The History Department is very grateful to have received a new prize in History in memory of Janet Holm, donated by her family.

The prize recognises students’ academic excellence in the study of New Zealand History at UC, an area of particular passion for Mrs Holm.

Environmental activist
Janet Holm originally studied at the University in the 1940s. She returned to UC in the 1980s to obtain an MA(Hons) in History, after decades of environmental activism.

Her activities included a significant role in the Clean Air Society, which introduced the open-fire ban in Christchurch resulting in an MBE in 1988 for her environmental activism. In 2004, Environment Canterbury recognised her with an Outstanding Contribution Award for her work in the Canterbury region.

Award-winning historian
In the 1990s and 2000s, she published three books; Nothing But Grass and Wind provided a history of the Rutherford family of North Canterbury. Caught Mapping studied New Zealand’s early surveyors, and brought her recognition as the first female Honorary Member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors. On Zealand’s Hills, Where Tigers Steal Along explored aspects of nineteenth-century New Zealand society.

In 2005, she received the A.C. Rhodes Medal from the Canterbury History Foundation, awarded ‘to honour and recognise the work of a non-academic Canterbury historian who has significantly added to our knowledge of the past or has by various means advanced and popularised the subject of History in the wider Canterbury community.’

Mrs Holm passed away in July this year, at the age of 94.

The Janet Holm Prize in History will be awarded to a student majoring in History displaying excellence in 100, 200 or 300-level courses with substantial New Zealand content. It will be presented for the first time on 5 December, at the annual History Awards.