Lincoln University graduation a celebration of achievement

Honorary doctorates for Synlait co-founder John Penno and naturalist Hugh Wilson will be among nearly 600 awards presented at the 2019 Lincoln University Graduation on May 3.

The ceremonies will also feature posthumous awards to two victims of the Christchurch terror attacks and to a student who died in an accident last year.

Lincoln’s acting vice-chancellor, Professor Bruce McKenzie, said the graduation was a celebration of students’ hard work and achievements, and that included the posthumous awards.

“This occasion, while recognising the tragic circumstances surrounding the loss of those graduates, is also about acknowledging their efforts and their time here, as well as the students who were their peers,” he said.

Around 570 students will be receiving certificates, diplomas and degrees in morning, (10am) and afternoon (2pm) ceremonies at the Lincoln Events Centre.

Lincoln University Awards

Honorary Doctorates

* Dr John Penno is a primary sector business leader, co-founding the then dairy farming and now dairy manufacturing company Synlait Milk in 2000. He was directly responsible for leading Synlait Milk’s strategy development, business development and financial management. He is the Chair of the Freshwater Leaders Group advising the Government on implementing policy to achieve its Essential Freshwater goals.

* Hugh Wilson has a national and international reputation as a botanist, naturalist and innovator. For the last three decades as manager of the 1,250 hectare Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsula, he has overseen the transformation of gorse-infested farmland back to a native flora and fauna reserve. He has also authored numerous botanical publications.

* John Tavendale’s career as a farm advisor spans 50 years. His farm management work has been of considerable benefit to the agricultural sector and the economy, raising production and profitability, and he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to agribusiness.

Bledisloe Medal

* Soil scientist Dr Allan Hewitt receives the Bledisloe Medal. He was the author of the New Zealand Soil Classification that has become the accepted source for naming, characterising, mapping, sampling and reporting for the national inventory of soils in New Zealand. The Bledisloe Medal, is made to a former student or a past or current staff member of Lincoln University, who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her chosen field of expertise.

Alumni International Medal

* Bruce Jefferies receives the Alumni International Medal, acknowledging outstanding work in a country other than New Zealand. He is a globally recognised leader in Protected Area Management, and has worked for many of the world’s leading environmental and park management agencies, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNESCO, UNDP, and the World Bank.

Both graduation ceremonies will be streamed on Lincoln University’s Facebook site as well as the Lincoln University website,, and updates will be posted on the University’s social media channels.

Source:  Lincoln University

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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